On Wednesday, The Arizona Republic published a Department of Justice memorandum, which states that the FBI and other agencies should “electronically record statements made by individuals in their custody.” This would reverse a “no-recordings” policy that the FBI has held (unofficially at first, and then officially) since its inception in 1908.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and the United States Marshals Service (USMS) are also encouraged to videotape interrogations.
The memorandum establishes a “Presumption of Recording” which the DoJ says does not “create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural… by any party against the United States.” Still, the Justice Department urges the agencies to electronically record statements given by people in custody after their arrest but prior to their appearance in court. The policy also “encourages agents and prosecutors to consider taping outside of custodial interrogations,” such as during the questioning of witnesses, The Arizona Republic reports.
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