Defense attorney: ‘No harm, no foul’ to cameras being on 24/7 in SPD interrogation rooms
No harm, no foul. That’s what Dan Noll, a criminal defense attorney at Noll Law Office in Springfield said about the cameras in the Springfield Police Department’s interrogation rooms.
“Taking them at face value, it appears to be technical snafu,“ Noll said.
The new cameras were installed back in February of this year.
At the Springfield City Council meeting Tuesday, it was said that it’s possible confidential attorney-client conversations were recorded.
Noll said the news sounds bad, but if the recordings aren’t used, there is really no damage that can be done.
“Is the Springfield Police Department or the State’s Attorneys Office using any of the evidence against anybody?” Noll said. “If not, it kind of falls under the category of no harm, no foul.”
According to the Inspector General of the city of Springfield’s report, police didn’t know the recordings were even there.
“When the chief became aware of it, it was dealt with swiftly,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said. “We called in the vendor and took that corrective action.”
Noll added it’s rare confidential conversations ever happen in police interrogation rooms.
In his seven years practicing law, Noll said he’s only been in one, one or two times.
“It’s very, very rare for a person to have an attorney present at an interrogation,” Noll said.
According to the Inspector General’s report, Axon, which is the company who sells the cameras, apologized to the Springfield Police Department for being unaware of features that their product has.
“While all of our materials advertise the 24/7 buffer as a key product feature, we acknowledge that this feature was not communicated with enough detail to the Springfield Police Department. We have since made sure that our entire sales team and all parties are aware of this functionality. We are grateful to have worked this out with the City of Springfield and appreciate their cooperation in resolving this important matter.”
-Steve Tuttle, Vice President, Strategic Communications.