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

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

This is a discussion on 'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; 'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray 'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray Canadian traveller says demand for politeness met ...

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

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    'Say please' at U. S. border nets pepper spray

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

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

    Canadian traveller says demand for politeness met with use of force

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

    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 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.

    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."
    Some hills are just not worth dying on, even if you are 'right.'
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Hmm, there's right and then there's dead right. In his case he was painfully right. Picked the wrong battle.

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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    "You're not in Canada, eh."
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

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    Crossing the Northern border a lot I have to admit that the US border guards are often rude.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Crossing the Northern border a lot I have to admit that the US border guards are often rude.
    They get polite really quick when I show them my ATF permits to cross into the US with firearms. Then again, I'm polite to them to start with too.
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    There's a border patrol guard who needs to be doing something else for a living.

    What a cruddy representative of our country.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

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    Senior Member Array Free American's Avatar
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    These guys have a job to do, they do not need every moron coming into OUR ocuntry telling them how to do it. A refusal to comply with any LEO could be seen as a stall tactic for upcoming use of force.

    Comply with the nice man (whether you think him rude or not) and then file a complaint.
    They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin


    Previously known as "cjm5874"

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    Member Array socuban's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    There's a border patrol guard who needs to be doing something else for a living.

    What a cruddy representative of our country.
    I agree. I travel often, mostly international. The majority of chest pounding, testosterone-infused attitude I come across are usually when clearing US customs.



    Way too much attitude

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    Member Array IssaquahWA19's Avatar
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    I have traveled into Canada a few times and I must say as polite as I was and compliant I was met with absolutely horrible disrespect; I complied with all orders and still was forced into questioning. They held me for several hours then forced me to pay a duty tax on a spare part I kept in my truck, "because they jsut know I am there to sell it" If I have no reason I will not be so kind as to visit Canada ever again for these reasons. I don't care if they have a job to do they can do it in a polite manner especially if the person is compliant and respectful such as I was on my crossing. I don't think I would have ever said anything like this guy did but I do feel is he right.

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    Crossing the border

    Quote Originally Posted by IssaquahWA19 View Post
    I have traveled into Canada a few times and I must say as polite as I was and compliant I was met with absolutely horrible disrespect;.
    On the Canadian side? That's not my experience. They have been really nice compared to our guys. I generally hate the return into the US from elsewhere, though I think things have improved based on my last couple of trips.

    Anyway, best way to deal with this stuff is go with the flo and not make waves.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
    There's a border patrol guard who needs to be doing something else for a living.

    What a cruddy representative of our country.
    I agree 100%. The border guard is an ambasador for our country. No one forced him to take a job where he must deal with people.
    I wouldn't let someone with that attitude work as a greeter in a wal-mart. People tend to remember their first impressions.

    Michael

  12. #12
    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Comply with order, then complain to the guys superior.... much better than a shot of pepper spray to the face.
    I agree with the posts that that Border Guard might not belong in a position where he has to deal with people.
    I believe that it is very important to be polite to everyone we meet, you tend to have a lot more good days that way. It's a basic duty to our fellow humans.

  13. #13
    Member Array chenemf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Anyway, best way to deal with this stuff is go with the flo and not make waves.
    Ditto! We go to Mexico a lot and always go with the flow. It never hurts to smile and cooperate. Never had any problems.

    We've been to Canada on occasion. When crossing into Canada with Texas plates, we always got questions about our weapons.

    Coming back from Canada one time, my wife was asked what country she was from. She promptly replied "Texas" and wasn't asked another question.

  14. #14
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Let me get this straight. The guy is attempting to enter the country and makes demands on the Border Patrol Agent? And then he doesn't comply with a lawful order? And some here think he was in the right and should make a complaint? Please.

    Congratulations to the BP agent that didn't put up with that nonsense.

    Perhaps the BP agent watched that videon of the moron on the southern border that abused his coworker. I wish she would have done EXACTLY what this man did. Now, THAT, would be a video worth seeing.

  15. #15
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    Now if I was a Border Patrol Officer...I would have said:
    "I shared my pepper spray with you and you didn't say...Thank You!"

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