WASHINGTON (AP) — Agents from the FBI and some other federal law enforcement agencies will begin recording their interviews with suspects.
It’s a reversal of longstanding policy. A new Justice Department directive from Deputy Attorney General James Cole creates a “presumption” the FBI will electronically record interviews of suspects in custody. That replaces current practice, in which agents interview suspects without recording them, take notes and write a report summarizing the conversation.
The memo allows for some exceptions, including if the suspect objects or if information in the interview could jeopardize national security.
The policy will take effect this summer.
The Arizona Republic posted the memo on its website. A Justice Department spokesperson confirmed the memo. The spokesperson is not authorized to discuss a change that has not been announced and requested anonymity.
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