Austin police modify suspect lineup policy
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The Austin Police Department has made a change to the way it handles suspect lineups.
Until now, Austin police would arrange six people or six photographs in front of a witness, who would then identify the suspect.
Austin police recently participated in a study comparing that method with one in which only a single person or image is shown at a time.
Officer said that under that method, witnesses were significantly less likely to falsely identify a suspect.
"When someone's wrongfully charged and wrongfully convicted, it really has a negative impact on the trust between the community and the police department,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “More importantly, it means that the real criminal, the true criminal, is running around preying on our families, and preying on our neighbors and friends."
Chief Acevedo says the department also uses a double-blind approach to lineups, meaning the officer directing the lineup isn't allowed to know who the suspect is.
Acevedo says that prevents detectives from accidentally influencing a witness with subconscious body language.