Schneier covers two videos explaining why it's a bad idea to say anything to police when arrested or investigated.
The first video is a law school professor explaining why he's proud to say he will never talk to a police officer under any circumstances. Here are some highlights:
- There are tens of thousands of federal crimes. Many of which are so broad, you could be convicted under completely bogus circumstances.
- Example: If the IRS just wants to "Ask you a few questions" you say no unless they grant you immunity
- There is NO way it can help you. But even if you tell the absolute truth and are totally innocent, there are many ways it can hurt you.
The neat thing is that he gave up half his time to an expert law-enforcement interviewer. The second video is of that expert interviewer explaining some of the tips and tricks he uses to get people to talk. Highlights include:
- Any cop can follow you for a time and find a legitimate violation to pull you over for
- He'll come into the room with a stack of papers with a videotape on top (so they think there's a video) and just start doing paperwork. Because people hate silence, eventually the suspect will start talking
- He brings in a tape recorder and eventually says, "I want to talk to you off the record" and he turns it off. The thing is there's no such thing as "off the record" and every word in an interrogation room is recorded.
- While you may technically be innocent until proven guilty, a jury assumes that if you're sitting next to a defense attorney, you have a reason to be there.
- If you didn't know already, police are allowed to lie in interviews
The last thing he stressed which seemed supported by the rest of his talk was that he never tries to send an innocent person to jail. Which so long as the interviewer your talking to has that same viewpoint is very comforting. Since you can't know their intentions, I think it's safer to take the first guy's advice and not talk to the police without representation.Tags: Accountability, Consequences, Police