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3 ways police officers may manipulate people during questioning

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Americans who are facing questioning by police while in state custody technically has certain rights. People have the right to remain silent, meaning that police officers cannot force them to answer questions once they have invoked this right. They also have the right to have an attorney present during their conversations with the police.

Frequently, people who would benefit from using those rights make the mistake of sitting down with police officers to answer questions without any support. They may end up manipulated by police officers into an unfavorable situation as a result. These are some of the ways that law enforcement professionals may choose to trick or manipulate people during questioning.

They make promises they can’t keep

One of the most common and manipulative tactics police officers use when questioning people is to promise certain types of help to the person in state custody. The average person will feel very nervous about the possibility of criminal prosecution and may leap at any opportunity to diminish the likely consequences they will face. Officers will take advantage of that fear by claiming they can eliminate certain penalties or that they will speak to the prosecutor to help someone. Such tactics lead to people falsely confessing or sharing more information than they should give in the circumstances.

They lie about evidence

Police officers will sometimes tell individuals that they have security camera footage showing them at the scene of a crime or witnesses who were able to identify them. They might even claim that a friend or family member made statements that implicated them as the criminal in the situation. Although people frequently raise questions about the ethics of a police officer lying to someone during an investigation, there are currently no rules prohibiting lies about the state’s evidence or the status of the overall investigation.

They ask the same questions repeatedly

Sometimes, police officers will question someone for as long as they legally can, keeping them detained in a small room for hours. During that time, they may ask questions over and over again or ask variations of the same question repeatedly. People might then either give information that implicates them or contradict themselves as they answer the same question repeatedly. Either of those situations could make someone look unreliable or might make them seem like a liar.

Those who do not have someone to advocate for them are much more vulnerable to misconduct by police officers than individuals who have someone to stand up for them. Recognizing that police officers may try to manipulate someone in state custody could help people avoid mistakes that could lead to their conviction.

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