Friday, April 14, 2006

LIAR!

Most people think that the police do not/ can not / will not lie to them. Nothing could be further from the truth! The police are allowed to lie, it is covered by statute. They lie to get confessions, and it is perfectly legal. They just can't make promises to coerce a confession. One of the things I used to do with a burglary suspect is leave the interview room and get some generic fingerprint lift cards from an unrelated crime scene. I would come back into the room, throw the fingerprint cards down on the table, and simply say, "Who do you think these prints belong to?" Then I would leave again. Of course suspects are NEVER alone while at the police station, and I would go into the next room and watch through the two-way mirror. Usually a guilty suspect couldn't help looking at the cards. He would pick up the cards to see how clear the print lifts were, and even look at his own fingers to see if they compared. It was funny, a game of cat and mouse. Another thing I used to do is play the "What if I told you" game. It works like this, I would say to the suspect - "What if I told you someone saw you in that neighborhood?" (note: I did not say that someone did actually see them) Of course these sneaky tactics were meant to solict a confession from the guilty or absolve the innocent. If you are ever in police custody, remember, everything you do and say CAN be held against you. So shut up! Remember your right to remain silent. Let the evidence show your guilt or innocence. Lucky for me, everyone always wanted to talk.

4 comments:

doubleknot said...

Gee it sounds a lot like what is on TV. Hopefully I will never have the occasion to be questioned by the police.
That is neat - the finger print card - niffy little tricks to get the bad guy to confess.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

My kids father was a policeman for years so I learned all of their tactics. I would not want to be in an interrogation room being questioned, but I will never put myself in that position.

jellyhead said...

I guess you have to be smart and have tricks to catch out the clever criminals. I love reading about your work, Tuff - it's always an eye-opener.

Eternally Curious said...

Thank you, Tuff, for shedding the light of truth on both sides of a story. The public is all too often unaware or uniformed, and it's great to see someone such as yourself with courage enough to explain not only the sometimes tricky tactics used by police, but also the need for them to use such tactics, given the slippery nature of modern day criminals. Bottom line: we need to be very aware and alert, on all fronts. It's our responsibility. Good job!