Frank Touby –
The U.S. Army trained me to be an interrogator.
That was just prior to our official involvement in Vietnam and my assignment was to help indoctrinate 25th Infantry Division troops as part of their E&E training (escape and evasion from capture) how to keep from giving information to their captors.
We learned many of the interrogation methods, including the Reid Technique. It’s suddenly in the news in the light of the recent revelation of Peel police malfeasance interrogating a specific witness, Brian Cox, in a murder case where Eric Morgan was wrongly served up by police as the suspect.
After an 8-hour interrogation ordeal equivalent to torture by Peel dicks, Cox agreed to frame his friend Morgan whom he knew was innocent.
It is an odd twist to use criminal interrogation strategies to force answers from witnesses who aren’t at all implicated in the investigation.
In a battlefield setting, a soldier just has to keep from disclosing anything to an interrogator for a couple of hours. By then, the ground situation has changed and it’s unlikely any important information will be forthcoming.
But the strategy I’m going to share with you can help keep the police honest and you from perhaps a wrongful arrest or worse.
Tell them nothing.
You can ask if you’re under arrest and if the answer is “no,” then say, “I want to leave now.” Then leave.
If the answer is “yes,” or hedged in some way short of “no,” then say, “I want to speak to a lawyer before I answer any questions or say anything more.” And say nothing more no matter how reasonable they sound in trying to convince you that if you just answer a few questions this can be resolved and you can go on your way.
That may well be a strategic lie. It’s part of interrogation technique, which is based on tricking persons being interrogated into (rightly or wrongly) framing themselves.
I’m bringing this stuff up because we are in a policing crisis in Toronto and the rest of the nation.
Amateurism and thuggery taint police everywhere in North America and Canadian cops tend to look to the U.S. for examples.
That’s the worst thing because America has become a bona fide police state.
The trigger-happy epidemic among U.S. police has infected some of our cops as we have recently seen when mentally unstable people who really pose minimal threat to trained police are shot to death rather than dealt with in a professional manner.
It has recently happened in Toronto as you’re no doubt well aware.
It means we’re recruiting too many of the wrong types of persons to be cops.
Policing is a sacred trust endowed by society on what is expected to be worthy individuals.
Those special individuals who seek to truly serve and protect, not bully and punish, are the ones we must recruit and encourage.
The top brass must help in this urgent need. Here are what I think would be important, immediate fixes for Toronto police:
• Armed forces must not have labour unions or “professional associations”
• Armed forces have a commander-in-chief, not an advocate for the troops
• Eliminate those Nazi-esque black uniforms and return to police blue
• Limit firearms to specially trained officers and stress hand-to-hand training for all officers.
• Get rid of all Tasers.
•Dismiss cops who won’t meet professional, compassionate police standards of behaviour.
But may I be forgiven for making some sort of response, however feeble and ill informed to your column in which you say that police forces generally and ours in particular are subjecting themselves in thuggery?
You don’t seem to realise the police today have a problem. They are the victims of their own success. Crime is dropping. Things that used to be crimes aren’t any more and, despite the best efforts of the Harper government we haven’t really invented any new ones. Oh sure Ottawa has recycled a few old chestnut crimes, like buying sex but they really haven’t come up with anything an honest police force can get its teeth into.
These days its all white collar crime and everybody knows that depends entirely on whether it is successful to determine its legal. For example if you and I start printing money its called forgery, on the other hand if the banks do it its called quantitative easing. Or if I invent something that doesn’t exist and put it on ebay and collect the money it’s called fraud. If the Bay Street boys do it its called selling derivatives. So what’s a poor policeman to do?
May I suggest instead of lambasting them for a little harmless thuggery , you as a community leader have a little more sympathy for their plight. Every year they have to turn up at City Hall and admit that crime has once again fallen and again ask for massive increases to support those members of the force not already on the sunshine list from cash received sitting around in court listening to judges and lawyers prattle on.
Perhaps you could, instead of criticising them come up with something useful for them to do. For a start why not, instead of delivering all your newspapers neatly into my box and those of everybody else’s, leave them in piles on the street corner thereby creating the opportunity for a good old fashioned littering charge or two to be laid?
A policeman’s lot is not an easy one. We have a program in this province called adopt a road. This allows you to look after the road and satisfying as a portfolio of cateyes and tarmac might be to those who have accepted the challenge think of the greater rewards if we adopted our policemen and women.
Each policeman could be labeled ” sponsored by Ms McIntyre’s grade four class” or who ever. We could bring them cups of coffee or cocoa and donuts on their dreary rounds and invite them home for tea. Each member of the force could be auctioned off much the same as the fancy batchelors are auctioned and the highest bidder get the sponsorship for the year.
Christopher R. W. Wilson