Newly released video recorded late last year shows an NYPD detective’s attempt to question a teenage boy in Brooklyn.
Obtained by the Legal Aid Society, the clip is making the news now because of the allegedly deceptive practices the NYPD used to get the boy — who’s sitting next to his mother – to waive his Miranda rights, specifically the right to remain silent.
Moments later, the detective then pivots to the mother.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked the boy’s mother. “Do you want to ask him what’s going on? Why are you in this predicament? Do you want to ask him what happened?”
The mother then unwittingly asks her son what happened.
The boy then starts recalling his time in the store to buy food, before the clip went dark.
That encounter was the subject of a virtual rally held Thursday to launch “Right to Remain Silent,” a new statewide campaign launched by a coalition of juvenile justice groups.
The overall aim is to push for the passage of a languishing state bill that would require children under the age of 18 speak with an attorney before being questioned by police.
Marty Feinman, the director of juvenile justice training for the Legal Aid Society, said there’s no substitution for having a lawyer present in the interrogation room.
“I don’t think this was an isolated incident,” Feinman said. “The plan was to co-op the patent, take advantage of the parent, which goes to the the point that we’ve been making: that parents are not a sufficient force to level the playing field between the youth and the police.”
Bronx resident K’Juan Lanclos is talking about what happened to him 10 years ago, when he was just 13-years old.
He said he was rounded up from his courtyard at the Webster Avenue housing development and brought in for questioning.
“They put me in a couple of interrogation rooms,” Lanclos said. “They were trying to get me to confess to someone throwing a rock at their vehicle. They didn’t even know what it was, they just knew that they had a kid.”
When asked if, at the time, he asked the detectives to see his parents or a lawyer, Lanclos responded, “All day long. They could not get me to say a word. Not a word, because there was nothing I did wrong.
Lanclos said the police finally released him next morning.
He wants today’s teens to have more protection than he did: “Someone that can listen to the words that the cops are saying and understand what is being told to them.”