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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community Comment

Say Please????

Photo Credit: National Post (The Spokesman-Review)
Photo Credit: National Post (The Spokesman-Review)
Good afternoon, Netizens…

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.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Desiderio Fortunato, a Coquitlam, B.C., resident who frequently crosses the border to visit his second home in the state of Washington asks, "Is that illegal in the United States, asking an officer to be polite?"

Well, as it turned out, apparently customs officials are trained to never take any gaffe from people attempting to enter or leave either side of the border. 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. Why, they can get downright abusive about it, if Mr. Fortunato’s tale is to be given any credence.

Look on the more positive side. They didn’t apply a choke hold or try to put a spit collar on him. It didn’t take six officers to subdue the man for asking they be polite and respectful, either. Rather they sprayed him with pepper spray and held him for four hours, before refusing him permission to enter the United States.  


Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.