Ward’s Transcript: Good Cop, Bad Cop…and Homophobe Cop
Q: I don’t believe we’re getting the truth here.
A: Everyone keeps telling me that.
We’ve read transcripts of Joe Price and Victor Zaborsky’s ‘voluntary’ statements to the MPD the night of Robert Wone’s murder. Now we add 69 more pages to the record with Dylan Ward’s interview with, variously, Sgt. Daniel Wagner, and Detectives Norris, Waid, and at the end, Kasul.
More than the other statements, this one is not pretty. More so than Price and Zaborsky’s statements, this one is more than confrontational. We don’t do this for a living, but this transcript reads ugly. In part, and we wish this were otherwise, but it’s hard to read this transcript as, at least in part, a homophobic beat-down.
Page 2, line 6 – not even one minute into Dylan’s interview, and bad cop says, referring to Robert:
Q: This guy’s perfectly straight and he’s going to leave his wife for the night and come over to you all’s house?
A: Yeah, because —
Q: Then he’s not perfectly straight. That’s not something a straight guy would do.
A straight guy staying at a gay friend’s house? Memo to MPD: Welcome to 2006.
The transcript, until the arrival of Det. Kasul, is largely a document of homophobic browbeating. What may seem offensive here is that this goes beyond ‘good cop/bad cop’ set piece: it is an exercise in not listening to the suspect and instead imposing one’s own agenda from the start.
Imagine what could have been learned if the MPD were actually listening to Ward, and not trying to get him to confess to the crime which the police themselves were rather confused about. The agenda of the cops: Joe was interested in Robert (and/or vice versa), Joe and/or Victor killed him, and Dylan is covering up.
Perhaps this is why the MPD was not able to get the information they needed to solve this case: Sgt. Wagner and Det. Norris seem particularly focused on proving that Robert was gay…and/or that Joe was erotically fixated on Robert.
And they do this on the basis of what? Answer: Joe was wearing underwear.
The purpose for the government’s release of this document was to show that Ward was neither held or interrogated against his will. Is that proven here?
More, and the transcript after the jump.
First, we will try to ignore the consistent poor language by MPD officers employed throughout. Guys: perhaps this works with crack sellers, but really not so much with NW guppies. Sayin’…
At several points the MPD questioners try to pin Ward in to frankly preposterous statements. Example: page 22, line 17:
“You know, I’m just going to throw this out at you, and I’m not accusing you of anything, okay? You know that if one of you all did do it, eventually some (indiscernible) and somebody going to start feeling (indiscernible) the one thing that I don’t want to see happen — and if one of you all did do it, and say you didn’t do it, the one thing that I don’t want to happen is see you go down to accessory to murder because you want to try to protect your friend. “
And that’s not an accusation? Even for bad cop routine, this is lame.
Look, Ward had plenty of odd comments – that astute listeners would have pursued. Page 17, line 10:
Q: You saw the door unlocked, or did you see — when you (indiscernible) unlocked or was is it open?
A: I couldn’t tell if it was open or not. It was unlocked, because the latch, if it’s vertical, means that the dead bolt is unlocked, and it’s only a dead bolt there.
Given his other assertions that he hadn’t looked downstairs, and the distance from the stairs to the back door…is it not highly questionable that anyone in their right mind – let alone, having found a friend murdered in their house – could note such a small detail from so far away?
Even with this, and other curiosities, throughout Dylan seems fair in his recollections. His language reads clear, and there’s a sense of – pardon – honest recollection of the confused events of that night.
The MPD on the other hand…
“Q: I just find it odd for Robert all of a sudden — just comes over there and spend the night…”
(He didn’t. If you listened to the Victor and Joe you would know it was planned in advance.) Then there’s the “robe” discussion, starting on page 23, line 18:
Q: So does Joe normally walk around the house without his bathrobe?
A. He doesn’t normally walk around the house in his underwear, no.
Q. So why is he walking around in his underwear?
A: I assume because if he’s asleep, and he sleeps in his underwear then when it all happened, he rushed downstairs and he just never got his robe on.
Q: Why not take time just to put your robe on? Because you don’t know what’s going on….
This goes on. In short: pre-occupation with Joe as murderer.
There’s much more in this document. But what’s frustrating above and beyond all the details is the ham-handed approach taken by the MPD.
The details that might have been learned that night may have changed this case had the inquisitors taken a more thoughtful approach.
-posted by Doug