By: Bailey Myers February 25th, 2014
Tallahassee FL- Law Enforcement Agents may see some new restrictions on the way they identify suspects, but that’s only if the newly introduced Florida House Bill passes.
This is house bill 10-93 called the “Eyewitness Identification Reform Act” was filed by Florida Representative Darryl Rouson from Saint Petersburg. It’s purpose is to enforce new restrictions on the way police lineups are conducted.
We caught up with Tallahassee Police Department spokesmen, and they told us certain guidelines are already in place. Instructions are given to officers like– “No statements, clues, hints or unnecessary information is to be provided to the witness.” As well as “the witness is not to be told they have identified or misidentified the suspect.”
“I think people feel frightened or intimidated by dealing with law enforcement… but if it was somebody who was in plain clothes who was not law enforcement they might feel more comfortable talking,” said one Tallahassee resident Kim Watford.
H.B. 10-93 proposes an independent administrator be brought in to give the photographic lineup. It even suggests using a computer to give the lineup.
“I think it’s kind of strange since that’s part of the Police’s job. To identify the criminal. I think it’s weird,” Joy McKinney one Tallahassee resident told us.
Watford disagrees saying she thinks it’s a necessary step, “I think it would be a good thing to have people other than law enforcement doing the line up because the law enforcement try to coax people into what they should say.”
Florida’s Legislative Session will reconvene starting March 4th. House Bill 10-93 is expected to be up for discussion.