When it comes to videotaping interrogations, it is critical to ensure that investigators not only follow protocol during the interview, but that they also record in an equal-focus perspective. The goal of this is to reduce any bias that the court or jury that might otherwise surface during playback. Learn why at least one study shows that following these prescriptive methods doesn’t guarantee an equal or fair outcome for some demographics. Learn at least one possible root cause.
The Role of Racial Salience Bias
Depending on what demographic you are from, research continues to show that some groups are more likely to be a victim to strong stereotypes. For example, African Amercians continue to be linked with criminal behavior, while Chinese Americans continue to not be linked to such behavior.
Psychologists have harnessed camera perspective tools to investigate how participants randomly assigned to view mock police interrogations viewed interrogations between a male Caucasian detective and representatives from three other demographics: Caucasian, Chinese American and African American males
Using the equal focus perspective to record the interrogations, all suspects were asked about where they were at a given time and date. From these recordings, participants viewing the suspects were asked to provide voluntariness judgments—which varied as a function of the race of the suspect according to the findings.
Essentially, the participants viewing the Chinese American suspect and the African American suspect versions of the interrogation judged the suspect’s statements to be more voluntary than did those viewing the Caucasian suspect version. Both the African American suspect and the Chinese American suspect were judged to have a higher likelihood of guilt than the Caucasian suspect.
While we continue to seek justice for all and fairness regardless of race, one theme continues to be proven empirically, racial salience bias still exists and its root cause is deeper than we may want to admit.
Are You Using the Best Equipment to Capture Interrogations?
When it comes to capturing that equal-focus perspective, are you using the latest digital audio and video recording system from iRecord?