Originally published in Brooklyn Paper on December 14, 2020.

A new law put forward by two Brooklyn legislators requires police to videotape all interrogations of minors to prevent cops from extracting false confessions. 

The new law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed on Nov. 27, is named after the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers that was infamously convicted of raping a Central Park jogger in 1989.

The five suspects, who were between the ages of 14 and 16, falsely confessed to the crime after police allegedly subjected them to seven-plus-hour interrogations that were often violent. All the suspects were convicted and sentenced to at least six years in prison.

Outgoing state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, who long represented Fort Greene and Bedford-Stuyvesant, said the new law will close the gap left by Cuomo’s 2018 criminal justice reforms. 

“Even though we passed Raise the Age, there are still so many corners of the juvenile justice system that need to be addressed,” said Montgomery, who introduced the bill in the state Senate. “These coercive situations are not uncommon. Our children should never find themselves in a room alone with law enforcement and no record of the interaction.”

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