As a former detective commander for the New York City Police Department, I find the ineptitude of the Suffolk County homicide detectives, as depicted in "Evidence barred" [News, Oct. 17], to be absolutely mind-numbing.

Even a rookie police officer knows that the measure of an arrest is whether the person being detained is free to leave. There is no such thing as taking someone from his vehicle, handcuffing him and taking him to the precinct -- where he is not even free to use the bathroom without an escort -- and claiming with a straight face he is not under arrest.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

In this case, a man was taken to a precinct for questioning in the rape and fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old medical technician from Medford. Not advising the prisoner of his Miranda rights was likely a part of their charade, done simply so police could make the argument he was not under arrest.

The removal of evidence -- bloody clothes -- from the alleged perpetrator's residence without a warrant is so stupid it makes one wonder how the detectives ever got promoted in the first place.

All that was necessary was to leave one detective behind to guard the clothing while his partner went for a warrant.

William Plackenmeyer, Deer Park