KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Department has a new policy in place and the department said it hopes it will help limit the number of people who are wrongfully identified by victims and people who witnesses crimes.
The department said it realized it needed a policy that recognized and addressed issues that have been identified as problems when it comes to eyewitness identifications.
KCPD said it developed the policy with help from the Midwest Innocence Project. The group works to bring awareness to people who have been wrongfully convicted. The Innocence Project said eyewitnesses identified the wrong suspect in about 69% of cases where DNA evidence has overturned convictions.
It includes defining terminology used during an investigation involving an eyewitness. The policy requires all eyewitness identification procedures to be recorded, in its entirety, whenever possible. If the recording is turned off, detectives are required to document the reason and notify a supervisor. The original copy of the identification will be included as evidence.
Multiple victims or witnesses will not be together during an identification. Detectives will also be trained on how to eliminate communication between witnesses during the identification process.
Every KCPD Detective will be trained on the new policy.
More than half of the states in the U.S. have similar policies in place.