The Reid Interrogation Technique
Continued from What Happens When You Get Busted?
Written by “Just Waiting”.
So, if you find yourself being interrogated and you feel you must defend yourself, at least try to minimize the damage.
First: As I’ve said before, DO NOT LIE TO LE! You will get caught. Lies change with every telling, but the truth remains a constant. LE are trained in detecting the smallest, subtlest change in your story and ripping it wide open. Dante himself did not imagine a torture in hell like what you will experience from LE if you get caught lying to them. Plus, you are now subject to arrest for new charges, usually, Lying to LE or Obstruction, indictable crimes, and you’ve done so on tape. This is how some of LE’s best snitches are made!
Second: If you can truthfully do so, DENY EVERYTHING. Do it simply and categorically. Don’t ramble and make excuses. Just say, “I didn’t do it,” “I’m innocent,” “That’s false.” As you’ll see below, they’ll do everything within their power to try to stop you from doing this. If you cannot honestly declare your innocence, then just say, “I want a lawyer.”
Third: If you feel you have to answer an incriminating question, qualify your answer. “I don’t think I was at…,” “I don’t recall seeing…,” and “I may have met…” are all appropriate qualifiers to prevent telling an outright lie.
LE has studied the meaning of every move, every movement, every facial expression, every question, every answer. They identify and exploit weaknesses you didn’t know you had. They watch and hear everything you do and say for meaning.
Repeat the question before answering? That answer is a lie.
Little or no direct eye contact? You’re evasive.
Too much direct eye contact? You’re cocky and/or confrontational.
Change from “is” to “was” or “a” to “the”? You’re changing your story to hide something.
Sit up straight, slouch, fold your arms in your lap, fold them across your chest? You’re scared, you’re cocky, you’re defensive. Every movement, posture and expression has a meaning to LE.
The surest way to know the Reid Technique is about to be used is the room they put you in after you’re arrested. You’ll know it when they open the door. And once they open that door, the ONLY WAY TO SAVE YOURSELF IS TO ASK FOR A LAWYER! Once the interrogation begins, LE won’t stop until you ask for a lawyer or they’ve gotten what they want. Remember, you can ask for a lawyer at any time during the interrogation, do not be afraid to do so!
Interrogation rooms are specially designed to make you as uncomfortable and out of your element as possible. Your chair is the hard one, in the corner, furthest from the door, and behind some type of barrier, like a desk. Your interrogators will take positions clearly letting you know that they are in total control, that you are in their world, and the only way out of the room is through them. You can’t get to the lights or thermostat. They’ll turn the heat up (I once knew an interrogator who wore a sweater and complained of a chill in a 90+ degree room, talk about psychological manipulation), brighten or darken the room, etc. They’ll create a physically intimidating presence without ever touching you. For maybe the first time in your life, your freedom is completely stripped away and you are confined. Control of every aspect of your physical condition has been stolen from you. When you are at your most vulnerable, the interrogators are ready to begin.
Reid is broken down into three parts, Factual Analysis, the Initial Behavioral Analysis Interview, and the Interrogation.
Factual Analysis is just what it says, an analysis of the facts in a case. Prior to talking to you, the LE tries to learn everything there is to know about the event leading to your arrest. They’ve gotten a story from a snitch. They know the date, time, how many people were there, some names, some physical descriptions, the drugs dealt or the damages caused.
Today, LE is on your Facebook page learning everything they can about you while developing their interrogation strategy. They’ll try to know as much about you as your best friend, and use it to try to be your friend. Your favorite band? The LEO saw them last tour. Have a cat, dog, fish? The cop is so sad, he just had to put down his 16-year-old catdogfish yesterday. His wife went to the same school as you, different years. Wow, so much in common, you two could be pals. Have a pic of you and your mom? Jackpot, he’ll use her later, in his interrogation.
The Initial Behavioral Analysis is supposed to weed out innocent suspects, but in reality this is where LE determines your susceptibility to further questioning and picks the strategy they will use against you. IBA starts the moment of your first contact with LE. The law-enforcement officer (LEO) asks simple, conversational, non-accusatory questions and listens to the way you frame your answers, watches your facial expressions, the way you stand. LEO has been trained in what every action and movement mean. Within the first 30 seconds, LEO knows whether you will be susceptible to questioning and if he’ll be able to get you to talk. If LEO asks if you know the time, remember that that’s a yes or no question. If you answer, “Yes, its 3:30,” you’ve shown a willingness to please and to give more information than is asked. You’re a perfect candidate for successful interrogation!
The official Reid Interrogation has nine steps, beginning with an accusation of guilt and ending with a confession. To LE, there are no other acceptable outcomes. If you were arrested as a result of a snitch, and took the advice of being arrested clean, LE has nothing more than the accusations the snitch has made. Remember, don’t lie, but if you can’t resist talking, at least DENY EVERYTHING! A good lawyer will rip a snitch apart and develop reasonable doubt in the eyes of a judge or jury. Snitching and witness credibility don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.
LE will invariably offer you a chance to “tell your side.” This is cop talk for “make a full confession.” Cops brag at parties about how fast they have gotten suspects to do it.
If you don’t start wailing and confess to everything, the next thing they’ll try is shifting blame. They’ll try to blame someone else and suggest that maybe you weren’t involved but just got caught up in things. They’ll give you scenarios in which to minimize your participation and guilt. They’ll try to make it somehow socially acceptable, suggesting it was a crime of passion rather than a premeditated event. LE calls it “developing a theme,” what they’re really doing is presenting options for you to pick from to confess to. React to any one of their scenarios or agree to anything they suggest here, and you’re not getting away until you sign a confession and give them the names and information they want.
All throughout, LE will do everything they can to keep you from denying your “guilt.” They will disrupt you mid-word, tell you to shut up, tell you it’s not your turn to talk, anything just to keep you from denying your guilt. They will try to talk over any claim of innocence so that denials are never clear on the recordings.
Why? Because opposing what LEO is saying builds self-confidence, something they’re working hard to strip from you.
And secondly (and maybe more importantly), if you continue to deny, dispute, deny for the first 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours of the interrogation, then confess to something in hour 5, a good lawyer will demonstrate coercive interrogation tactics were used and hopefully have your confession thrown out.
So qualify if you have to lie. Remember those “iffy” statements (“I don’t recall …”), but deny being there, deny any knowledge of events, deny knowing people, deny everything you honestly can.
If you haven’t asked for a lawyer and haven’t been denying, the interrogation moves on to the next steps. This is where a new LEO might come in. He understands your situation, he’s sympathetic, he’s your buddy, he doesn’t agree with the other LEO’s interrogation tactics, either. He’ll tell you he’s been watching and that to him, you don’t seem to be the kind of person who could do something like what you’re accused of. He’ll tell you he wants to help you. You’ve seen good cop/bad cop on TV, well, this is it in real life.
Good cop will appear to be sincerely caring about your predicament. He’ll talk quietly. He’ll lay out a bunch of different scenarios that minimize your guilt, all the while looking for the clue you give him that he’s hit on a winning theme to follow. And that clue is so subtle you don’t even know you’ve given it. But he does.
Good cop will give you acceptable justifications. He’ll give you two options, you planned what happened or it was just a one-time thing. With either option, you’re still making a confession. Good cop always leaves out option #3, you can DENY that you’re guilty at all!
Good cop wants to see your tears; he knows he has you when you cry.
Once you have been broken down and are ready to admit to anything (search on “Central Park Jogger case” for false confessions) LEO will attempt to get you to tell your story to his associates or write down and sign your story. All of your protest and denial has been for nothing once you confess.
So remember these three key points: 1) The police are not your friends and do not want to help you; 2) If you don’t trust yourself to remain silent, demand a lawyer (you can do so at any time); and 3) if you feel you just have to talk — don’t lie, qualify and especially if you’re innocent, deny, deny, deny.
Excerpted from Rats! Your guide to protecting yourself against snitches, informers, informants, agents provocateurs, narcs, finks, and similar vermin by Claire Wolf and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commerical-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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