Don’t Talk to Police – Law School Professor Talks About “Memory”

There are very few topics I shy away from here on Unfinished Man, but there are a few.

Generally I try and avoid politics and religion, as I have strong feelings on both, and anything related to law enforcement – as that ties into politics and government quite heavily. Having said that, I’ve broken my own rule a few times over the years, and today I’m going to do that once more by sharing a talk titled simply “Don’t Talk to Police” by a a law school professor and and former criminal defense attorney.

People have really, really bad memory…

Before you watch this talk, let’s talk about what this isn’t.

This isn’t a video suggesting that you act like a jerk towards the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us. It’s also not a specific guide to various legal issues you might be having. If you need specifics on your own legal situation, do some research online or – better yet – speak with a professional. I’m certain you’ll find a wealth of information, and worse case you can always hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to answer your questions.

No, instead what you’ll find is an interesting look at the fallibility of the human mind (especially in respect to memory), and how it’s just too easy for police to forget important details, or remember incorrectly. Pay particularly close attention to the little test that the professor does. I think you’ll find the results quite surprising.

Note: the talk is 48:00 minutes long, so get comfortable.

YouTube player

Pretty interesting, right? I found it especially interesting hearing from the police officer, and about all of his experiences.

As someone with a hilariously bad memory, I couldn’t help but shake my head after the fellow asked us to recall the details of the “gangland slaying”, and my mind immediately jumped to “shooting!”. Again, it’s truly a testament to our crappy memory, and an excellent reason to make sure that if we ever need to have a conversation with the police, that we request the interview be filmed. It ensures that the dialogue from both parties is accurately recorded, and that there are absolutely no mistakes.

Whatever the reason, whether you’ve had foul dealings with an angel investor, or simply witnessed someone being hit by a bike, make absolutely sure that the conversation is recorded.



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I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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