A Virginia sheriff was publicly slammed by his colleagues this week for saying “nigger” several times during an interrogation. Responding to a video that mysteriously surfaced on Tuesday, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association and the Fraternal Order of Police have denounced Dinwiddie County Sheriff D.T. “Duck” Adams, who says he used the term as a bonding technique.
In the video, Adams questions white murder suspect Michael Edward Elmore, who says he does not want to provide details because he’ll get in trouble with “these niggers.” In response, Adams says, “No it’s not. We’re gonna protect you, man. We’re gonna protect you. These niggers are not going to get to you. … You’re not gonna be in no hot water with those niggers. Tell me what happened, man.”
Adams told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first broke the story, that he used the slur as a way to establish a partnership with the suspect. “I repeated what he said because any police officer knows that when you’re in an interrogation, you have to use their words in order to get on their level to get a confession,” he said.
But Adams’ peers have said that the sheriff was out of order for his remarks.
“Although you are trying as an interrogator to communicate with the same manner and on the same level as the suspect, you still have to hold yourself to a higher standard,” Virginia Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Carroll told the Times-Dispatch. “There is a difference between a curse word and a racial slur.”
Executive Director of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association John W. Jones shared a similar sentiment. “The Virginia Sheriffs’ Association is disappointed that one of its own members has chosen to display unprofessionalism during an interrogation,” he said.
Adam is currently campaigning for his re-election, and believes the Republican Party released the video because he is a Democrat. The video was released just a few weeks before Election Day, but the interrogation happened two years ago.
Watch it here:
Inform Player SuiteEdit descriptionlaunch.newsinc.com“I was able to get a confession, and the man is in the penitentiary now as a result of it. What more can I say about it? I just can’t believe they would resort to this,” Adams said, defending his actions.
Responding to the sheriff’s accusations, Dinwiddie Republican Committee Chairman Dean McCray countered, “There is no truth to that. The Republican Committee did not circulate that. We think he’s going to lose anyway.”
Reid’s attempt to appear friendly and establish a bond with the suspect is a common law enforcement tactic. Known as the Reid technique, cops will try to use psychology — rather than aggression — to illicit a confession. Officers capitalize on suspects’ anxiety and use it to manipulate the course of the conversation, rather than using physical force. In this case, Elmore did confess and was convicted for murder. But studies show that using psychological warfare in the interrogation room often leads to false confessions.