Over the last few months I've received hundreds of inquiries and questions concerning citizens interviewing with police officers and police detectives; especially questions as to whether you should ever subject yourself to questioning and interrogations. I've written an article that partly address this subject before ( See the Reid Method, May 6, 2009). Apparently, due to the airing of soo many crime television shows in the last year citizens are beginning to have questions about the ethics of many police officers in some of these shows. You should! (Please note: We're talking about bad cops utilizing illegal tactics and tricks).
There are too many police shows to list, but many questions have surround the show called 48 hours, and some of the tactics used. I've actually mentioned this show many times in the past, but I imagine it's just reaching many people now after airing for some time. But basically almost all these shows tend to air segments concerning arrests, confessions, and interrogations.
I personally don't agree with the airing of many of these shows, as many of the producers and officers now tend to "entertain" the audience by "acting, showcasing, and enjoying" the demise of someone else tragedies and misfortunes...but that's just me. I simply believe that if someone commited a crime... arrest him, and give him or her their day in court. Law enforcement is too serious of a life altering event to display as "entertainment", especially to the victims! Okay, since I've vented on that subject, let me really confuse you.
Since those shows are airing anyway, I tell all to watch them! Why? That you may see the entrapment methods used so that you will know how to avoid them if arrested, especially the show 48 hours. Remember, police officers can lie to you in order to make an arrest...which is precisely why you should always get a lawyer before talking. Why would you ever want to talk to anyone that may be lying to arrest you? Please read that again!
Anyway, as for as ever agreeing to be interrogated by police...never do it! If the police officers are there to arrest you, believe me you'll only be digging yourself a deeper hole by agreeing to an interrogation or interview. You won't stop the arrest anyway! Just ask for an attorney.
If you're ever asked to come down to the station resist that as well, unless your attorney is present. You'll also quickly notice how irritated and disgusted you'll make them when you ask for an attorney. They called this "lawyering up" in police talk, and they absolutely hate it. Why? They realized that you KNOW that something is up or amiss! Or in other words you're smart!
And to all you mothers and fathers with minor children, say around 12-16, especially 16, never allow police officers to interrogate them. You should always "lawyer up" for your child. Refuse and don't allow your child to ever be interrogated without an attorney present.
Now, back to shows like 48 hours. Have you ever notice that even though the police may have all the forensic evidence they need against that person and go to arrest them that they always interview or interrogate them in some little room before taking them to jail. Why? Their seeking a confession! You see the confession is not only for the police if given, but to make the district attorney's case stronger at trial! That confession is always taped as well!
Oh, another thing, while police detectives interrogate suspects (or you) in those little rooms, the table and chairs are usually placed in strategic positions. Basically it'll be three chairs, with them seating you in the middle (to feel cornered). If the suspect seems a little weak or begin to cry, they will come up close to you and placed their hands on your shoulders or knees to "comfort" you (actually a ploy to get you to confess). Everything in that room is strategically placed. Now as the suspect is being interrogated, other officers will see the entire interview in progress in another room, as the entire process is usually tape fed.
If the suspect "doesn't confess", but doesn't ask for a lawyer, the detectives will usually leave the room for a few minutes. Later, one or two more detectives will enter the room to attempt "another way" to get the suspect to confess. This is serious folks. If the suspect request a lawyer... end of interview! If you don't ask for that lawyer, they'll keep on with the high-pressure tactics.
I've also seen many cases where if a person would have invoke his right to an attorney the charges wouldn't have stuck. I'm not wishing that criminals get away, I'm only telling you how "talking" and running your mouth can get you in trouble...whether you're guilty or innocent.
My articles are primarily written for the innocent, that they may know the law, not become entrapped or "tricked", and that they have a fair day in court. Always ask for an attorney before talking, and avoid that "little room".