Police Interrogations: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Published 2022-04-17

All Comments (21)
  • Nervous Breakdown
    Never, ever talk to the police without a lawyer. Ever. Don’t sign anything. Invoke your right to a lawyer and stay silent.
  • Mafia1997
    This episode legit saved me. I was asked to go in for questioning of a crime I wasn’t apart of, and I was told, “it would look really bad on your part if you don’t come in. We’re just trying to help you out.” So I said, “I’m not saying anything at the advice of my lawyer, and only speaking to you if she’s there.” The police left me alone after that, and didn’t want to talk to me.
  • S Ryan
    Investigators who force confessions should have to go to jail for as long as the people they put there wrongly were.
  • Nystria
    "innocent people can wind up confessing just to escape the stress of that situation" also describes torture
  • Another important piece of advice: if the cops ever come to you and say, "Can you come to the station and answer some questions for us?" DON'T DO IT. They will often act chummy and assure you it will only take a few minutes. They're lying. They're actually trying to charge you but don't have enough evidence for a warrant. If you willingly go with them, they'll trap you in the station and keep you there until you confess. Instead, ask if they have a warrant and insist that you won't go without your lawyer
  • pompe221
    80% of people waive their right to have an attorney present. The other 20% who retain attorneys are immediately branded as guilty because "what are they trying to hide?" You cannot win.
  • HebaruSan
    When a lying cop interrogator tells you they have all this evidence against you, take a moment to ponder why they haven't charged you yet if that's true
  • Matt ild éo
    I'm astonished to see that in almost every criminal drama, the cops brutality or the cops doing cruel or illegal inteerogations rtchnics is almost ALWAYS "justified" with a back up story ("he slap the suspect but he was so emotionnal beacause the situation remind him his personnal trauma", and so on) to build empathy for cops and to normalize the idea that cops doing shit is "explainable"
  • Cathy Wethington
    When I was in my twenties, a friend of my roommate moved in with us to hide from the alcoholic boyfriend she'd been living with. One night a woman called saying she needed to get in contact with her, but since I'd been told she didn't want anyone to know her whereabouts, I said I didn't know where she was. I later found out that it was the police department trying to locate her, and that her ex had confessed to murdering her and their baby. Meanwhile both were alive and well. I never believe confessions unless they are backed up with real evidence
  • Marc Whinery
    "Confess or else" is torture. It's a threat of physical pain used to extract a confession.

    They threaten you with prison, either explicitly or implicitly referring to known horrors of the US prison system.

    "Confess, or you'll be raped every day for the next 20 years" That's what they say, and that's pretty close to Spanish Inquisition level "interrogation".

    The prisons are deliberately kept as unconstitutionally cruel as possible, to help elicit confessions.

    If you believe in "human rights", then you are "soft on crime".
  • Kikko M
    In New Zealand, they tape whole interrogations and the camera is placed between the interrogator and the suspect, so that viewers of the tape have equal amount of observations on them. It is known that jury's impressions change depending on whose face (interrogator or suspect) they see. Hence, the camera is in between.
  • Smokey Willy
    I remember learning at a very young age that police lie to you. I used to get profiled quite a lot. They aren’t there to be your friend or help you, nor do they even properly understand your rights. If confronted by police follow these steps:

    1: Pull out your phone or camera and begin recording (under the 1st amendment you are completely within your rights to record any public official during the course of their duty, if you’re in public. Which includes publicly funded areas of government buildings and facilities.)

    2: Ask what their name and badge number is, they should be obligated under policy to verbally identify. If they refuse, ask for a supervisor. They are also obligated under policy to provide one. On the off chance they refuse this as well, evoke your 5th amendment right to remain silent. Speak only when necessary and never answer any of their questions.

    3: Ask if you are being detained. They should respond with a yes or no. If no, you are free to leave or stay. To freely move about as you please. If yes, say it is an unlawful detainment and ask for their RAS (reasonable articulable suspicion) that a crime has been, is being or will be committed. If they cannot articulate, then they have no justification and will be violating your constitutional rights. Most will argue you are being “suspicious”, however the Supreme Court has ruled suspicion is not a crime in and of itself and cannot be used to detain or arrest someone.

    The best way to protect yourself is by knowing your rights and recording, hold your public servants accountable for their actions. Flex those rights
  • Kara Bowman
    Anytime a confession is used as evidence the jury should be required to view the interrogation in full.
  • /O\
    "If we convict everyone we're bound to catch the real criminal, eventually" ~Basically the police.
  • Hipster_Cat_87
    When my 8th grade history teacher was going over the the 5th amendment, she told us that if we were to ever get arrested to never talk to the police, and always have a lawyer present. Most likely to protect us from the shady tactics of police, or because the chief of the police's daughter was in my class. Either way, it's stuck with me for as long as I can remeber and will invoke that right if I'm ever arrested.
  • Matthew Muir
    0:15 Interesting note regarding that clip from NCIS: that episode had the interrogator swing the axe at the table, and the result was the kid giving a false confession. The protagonist sees right through the false confession and tells his boss: the one who did that interrogation, not to press charges. Later, after actually talking to the kid, the protagonist is able to figure out who the real killer is. The whole episode is basically a condemnation of the interrogation system and the tactics used.
  • This is a huge problem in Japan also. I was arrested and held for 15 days on a false accusation and the police lied to me several times. They hold you hostage there until you confess. A lot of discrimination against foreigners there. No checks and balances in place. Angering and terrifying at the same time.
  • Jene Clyde
    This is significantly damaging to those who are Neudorivergent, where they use tactics to confuse you and pressure you into a confession. Which can send you into a meltdown or a PTSD episode, which can be dangerous because in those mental states - it's easier to influence and confuse you, to say, yes and no for things you aren't really truly aware you're agreeing to.
  • Gertrude Laronge
    According to the "Reid Technique", every Autistic person, and everyone with an Anxiety disorder is guilty as hell of what ever crime they're being accused of. Truly a no win situation for anyone that doesn't fit this extremely narrow definition of normal.

    This needs to change.
  • ActivelyVacant
    I think if a confession hinges on "You can't remember what you actually did," it almost certainly shouldn't be treated as evidence.