Police officers are not always honest with suspects, especially during interrogations. While some behaviors, such as physical coercion, are prohibited, deception is typically allowed.
Here are some of the ways that the police may try to manipulate you into confessing:
Saying they have evidence that they don’t
Maybe the police tell you a witness saw you, your friend confessed or they found your fingerprints on a weapon. They may have nothing of the sort, but the idea is to confuse you and introduce doubt into your mind when you are already vulnerable, stressed and confused. People have even confessed to murders they did not commit in such situations.
Displaying false sympathy
The police are skilled in making suspects feel understood. They may act sympathetically toward the suspect, telling them they know what they were going through when they “committed” the crime.
Accordingly, the suspect may be more motivated to open up, thinking the officer is on their side.
Offering false hope
A police officer can inform a suspect that they can make things easier by confessing and controlling the narrative when they tell the story. It can encourage someone to give the police valuable information or even confess to crimes they didn’t commit because the police officer made them believe talking would result in a better outcome.
Using alternative questions
Alternative questions are where the question allows you to choose between two or more answers. For example, “Did you do it alone? Or did someone force you to do it?”
While saying someone forced you may sound like a better alternative, it is still an admission of guilt, which is what the police are hoping to get by asking the question.
Learning more about your rights can help you avoid costly mistakes when facing police questioning.