The Justice Department announced through a memo the reversal of a long-held policy against federal law enforcement agencies recording interrogations.
The reversal will officially go into effect on July 11 and will let the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives make recordings of interviews, according to The New York Times.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video message: “Creating an electronic record will ensure that we have an objective account of key investigations and interactions with people who are in federal custody.” Holder added, “It will allow us to document that detained individuals are afforded their constitutionally protected rights.”
However, while most recordings will be encouraged, there are exceptions, notes Reuters. Recordings will continue to be banned in instances where the interviewee wishes not to be taped or if there are national security or public safety concerns.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers president Jerry Cox applauded the move, noting that recording interviews with suspects helps against accusations of “police misconduct” and “protects law enforcement against false allegations.”