NACDL - Louisiana - Recording Interrogations Compendium

Louisiana - Recording Interrogations Compendium

Information on the policy and history of recording custodial interrogations in Louisiana.

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Summary

Louisiana has no statute or court rule requiring recording of custodial interrogations.

Supreme Court Ruling

State v. Hunt, 25 So. 3d 746, 749, 755 (La. 2009): Milton Hunt was charged with illegal possession of a stolen firearm, and the district court granted his motion to suppress evidence of his unrecorded custodial statement. The State of Louisiana sought review of the decision. The Supreme Court of Louisiana vacated the district court’s ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings. It held that electronically recording a custodial interview “is not a requisite under the law for the admissibility of a confession or incriminating statement,” because “testimony of an interviewing police officer alone may be sufficient to prove that [an] inculpatory statement was given freely and voluntarily.”

Miscellaneous

The New Orleans Police Department entered into a consent decree to end a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice, which among many other reforms, provides (par. 164):

All custodial interrogations that take place in a police facility, and all interrogations that involve suspected homicides or sexual assaults, shall be video and audio recorded. All recorded interrogations shall be recorded in their entirety.

Chapter 25 of the LA Revised Statutes provides:

Rights of Law Enforcement Officers while Under Investigation.

‘§ 2531.  Applicability; minimum standards during investigation; penalties for failure to comply.

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‘B.  Whenever a police employee or law enforcement officer is under investigation, the following minimum standards shall apply:

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‘(3) All interrogations of any police employee or law enforcement officer in connection with the investigation shall be recorded in full.  The police employee or law enforcement officer shall not be prohibited from obtaining a copy of the recording or transcript of the recording of his statements upon his written request.

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‘(5) No statement made by the police employee or law enforcement officer during the course of an administrative investigation shall be admissible in a criminal proceeding.

Departments we have identified that presently record:

Lafayette City Oak Grove Plaquemines Parish CS
Lake Charles New Orleans St. Tammany Parish CS