Archive for February, 2007

Police behaviour and the Picton trial, Re: Officer had to build ‘rapport’ with accused, National Post, February 1, 2007

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Staff Sergeant Fordy’s lying to Robert Picton in order to establish a rapport with him and/or manipulate him into confessing to murder is something that should seriously concern us all. I know Sergeant Fordy was entitled to mislead Mister Picton because he was a police officer interrogating a murder suspect, but nevertheless this was dead wrong. We don’t live in a police state in Canada and allowing officers to act like that puts us all on a very slippery slope. It gives police an inordinate amount of power and raises the possibility of police brutality. What’s next, allowing the police to torture people accused of certain crimes?

At the very least it places any possible future conviction in doubt because the veracity of any incriminating evidence elicited from Mr. Picton by the police has to be questioned. One might also question the reliability of any evidence presented by the police period. After all, if they could lie to Picton why couldn’t they lie to us?

If there is a mistrial, or if Mr. Picton is not convicted because of this, the police have only themselves to blame. Despite what Sergeant Fordy thinks there should always be a lawyer present when custodial suspects are interviewed
by police, for all our sakes.