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'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray

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  • 'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray



    Dan Janisse/Canwest News ServiceA spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers are trained on how to handle confrontation, and refusal to comply with a direct order is justification to use pepper spray.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Canadian traveller says demand for politeness met with use of force

    Matthew Coutts, National Post Published: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1351216

    A Canadian who demanded courtesy from a U.S. border security guard says he was pepper sprayed and held in custody for three hours for asking the disrespectful officer to "say please" when ordering him to turn his car off during a search.

    "I refused to turn off the car until he said please. He didn't. And he has the gun, I guess, so he sprayed me," said Desiderio Fortunato, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident who frequently crosses the border to visit his second home in the state of Washington. "Is that illegal in the United States, asking an officer to be polite?"

    The incident occurred on Monday at the Aldergrove border crossing, east of Vancouver, shortly after 12 p.m. Mr. Fortunato, a dance studio director, was travelling to his home in Blaine, Wash., to retrieve a wallet his wife had left during their most recent visit.

    He said he was questioned by a border officer who demanded he turn off his car and, when asked to make the request more politely, threatened to spray him with his pepper gun if he did not comply.

    "I just felt I should stand my ground about it. I should not be treated like that. No matter what kind of position you are in, if you want respect you have to show respect," he said yesterday. "I asked him three times and when I didn't turn the car off, because he didn't say please, he pepper sprayed me.... It was terrible. For half an hour or so I couldn't see anything."

    Mr. Fortunato said after he was sprayed he was forcefully taken into custody by several officers. He was held for three hours before he was released without being allowed entry into the United States. Mr. Fortunato says he was dismissed with a warning to be more cooperative in the future.

    A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers are trained on how to handle confrontation, and refusal to comply with a direct order is justification to use capsicum spray, also known as pepper spray, or other "soft techniques" such as physical holds.

    "The combination of training and experience is what our officers use to communicate with passenger on a day-today basis. Our officers will give direct orders or commands to passengers, especially in situations where there may be a safety concern. It is the obligation of the passenger to be compliant with those," said spokesperson Mike Milne.

    He added that officers order border passengers to turn of their vehicles when they want to take somebody from a car and, in such cases, further questioning would be conducted inside the building.

    While he could not comment on the specific case, Mr. Milne said the use of force at a border crossing is very rare, very serious and subject to immediate review.

    By his own admission, Mr. Fortunato is a stickler for courtesy and respect. The Portuguese native, who has lived in B.C. for 25 years and has owned his second home in Washington for three, pulled a similar stunt at the same border crossing about one year ago. In that case, he was ordered to wait hours to be questioned before being allowed to cross.

    Once, he said, he asked a Canadian border agent to be more polite when requesting documents, to which the agent responded with a sheepish "please."

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  • #2
    Originally posted by

    "I refused to turn off the car until he said please. He didn't. And he has the gun, I guess, so he sprayed me," said Desiderio Fortunato, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident who frequently crosses the border to visit his second home in the state of Washington. "Is that illegal in the United States, asking an officer to be polite?"
    Is it illegal not to comply with officers orders? YES.

    What an idiot. Wish he'd stay in his dance studio in Canada.

    Comment


    • #3
      Police have different ways of doing things up here than down there. I'd be surprised to have an officer give me an order in Canada and not say please. The use of pepper spray seems a bit excessive, if I were the officer I would've just said please and avoided the entire fiasco as well as the press nightmare for my department. But like I said, they have a different mentality in Canada than they do in America.
      "If you have to justify to yourself, or others why what you're doing isn't wrong; it is."

      Comment


      • #4
        He was sprayed because he didn't turn his car off, not because he asked the agent to say please
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkcX_5hZN6U



        http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          He should be banned from re-entry into the US for life.
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ateamer View Post
            He should be banned from re-entry into the US for life.
            Agreed. And kick him in the buttocks when he leaves.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lawless One View Post
              Police have different ways of doing things up here than down there. I'd be surprised to have an officer give me an order in Canada and not say please. The use of pepper spray seems a bit excessive, if I were the officer I would've just said please and avoided the entire fiasco as well as the press nightmare for my department. But like I said, they have a different mentality in Canada than they do in America.
              It may seem excessive to you because you have no idea how to be the pOlice.
              Airborne Cops are closer to God.
              Arms and legs are just extensions of flight controls.

              THESE BIG RED LETTERS HELP ME FIND MY POST.

              Comment


              • #8
                Aaaawwwww .... how cute. The sheep is showing the sheep dog how to be polite.
                Space for rent .........

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scratched13 View Post
                  Aaaawwwww .... how cute. The sheep is showing the sheep dog how to be polite.
                  +1

                  I love how he's trying to project the blame... "I asked him three times and when I didn't turn the car off, because he didn't say please, he pepper sprayed me."

                  Maybe he learned exactly who is in a position to make demands, and who is not. From reading his comments, though, he seems to be in a world of his own that completely revolves around him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The word "PLEASE" at the begining or end of a sentance would indicate a question.

                    For instance Please turn off your car? Turn off your car, please?

                    An order to comply is not a question. Turn off your car! Get out of the car! Place your hands on the car! all statements or orders.

                    Place your hand on the car, please? Invites more problems than solutions.

                    I'm just Sayin!

                    I say ban all Canadians and Uppers from entering the mother land!
                    It takes a Wolf.......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Munlaw
                      This guy sure knows how to push his luck, an international border is the not the place to starting acting silly...
                      EXACTLY. Pushing your luck with any police officer let alone with one that is burdened with the responsibility of monitoring a country's border is foolish. Just as this fruit loop found out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Once again someone who thinks they dont have to comply with orders. If an officer gives an order YOU FOLLOW IT (we are talking about a lawful order to turn of your vehicle....pretty simple). If after the contact you feel an officer was rude then you make a complaint. You dont disobey an order because you dont like how an officer spoke or the words they used.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          By his own admission, he refused to turn his car off, and tried to make the Officer phrase his command as a request, as a precondition of complying with the command, instead of promptly shutting his car off.

                          I've found that when I immediately comply with lawful commands, there is a tendency for subsequent commands to be phrased as requests, as a courtesy.

                          I think the OC spray was a nice way to say please in that situation.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Munlaw
                            Ha, Ha, Ha...

                            So are folks from the Upper Peninsula honourary Canadians, lol ?

                            This guy sure knows how to push his luck, an international border is the not the place to starting acting silly...
                            I think we could solve our budget problems here in the Great State of Michigan by selling the UP to Canada or Wisconsin.

                            I have problems with towns of 140 where everyone wears Mossy Oak!

                            I joke of course
                            It takes a Wolf.......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A quote from Edgar Allan Poe seems appropriate here:
                              The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.

                              Comment

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