Post details: Homeland Security Checkpoint Video Now Availale

2008-01-09

Permalink 00:33:00, Categories: Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, 685 words   English (EU)

Homeland Security Checkpoint Video Now Availale

Homeland Security Checkpoint Slideshow

This is an update to my earlier post regarding an internal Homeland Security checkpoint currently being operated on Southern Arizona's State Route 86 near Mile Post 146.

[More:]

I was stopped at the checkpoint while traveling back to Tucson late in the afternoon. I videotaped the encounter and have posted the 9MB wmv file online so others can experience a suspicionless federal checkpoint for themselves. It can also be accessed from YouTube:


It should be noted by those who live far from the border that internal suspicionless checkpoints are quickly becoming the norm while our fundamental right to travel unmolested absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing is being routinely trampled on. Keep in mind, this checkpoint did not take place on the border. It took place inside the country over 40 miles North of the border along a regularly traveled State highway that never intersects the border at any point.

After being stopped by a Border Patrol agent (who wasn't actually patrolling the border), the agent refused to identify herself or her badge number while at the same time demanding to know my citizenship. Unlike local or State police who have never given me a hard time about identifying themselves, just about every federal agent whose ever approached me in the field has refused to do so. At the last federal checkpoint I was stopped at along this route, I had to read their name tags to find out who they were. This time around, the agents weren't even wearing name tags.

To put it another way, Homeland Security agents are increasingly acting like secret police by hiding their identities from the very public they allegedly serve and protect. This attitude is also pervasive when requesting documentation from DHS. The department routinely redacts the names of its agents making it difficult to find out who they are, let alone hold them accountable for their actions. It's also extremely difficult to get any documentation out of the department in the first place. DHS routinely violates the Freedom of Information Act and the current waiting period for those few who receive responsive replies is several years long.

When I asked the stopping agent whether or not I was being detained, she indicated I wasn't. When I requested to leave however, she told me I couldn't until I answered her questions - quite a contradiction!

Legally, the agent can only hold an individual for a very limited amount of time absent reasonable suspicion. Her citizenship demands are nothing more than an attempt to create reasonable suspicion out of thin air based upon an individual's response along with their general appearance, mannerisms, skin color and other arbitrary profiling indicators used to build cases against individuals for further detention and investigation.

Make no mistake - these federal suspicionless checkpoints are nothing more than dragnet fishing expeditions designed to intimidate and harass the traveling public. They represent a fundamental violation of our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and shouldn't be suffered by a free people.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court created a 4th amendment loophole for immigration checkpoints over thirty years ago in United States vs. Martinez-Fuerte. This court case is now used as a blanket excuse for all manner of Homeland Security abuse and is helping to usher in the burgeoning American police state.

As my interaction with the federal agent continued, she eventually 'requested' that I pull my vehicle off to the side of the road and into a secondary inspection area. All the while claiming I wasn't being detained. I continued to challenge her contradiction however and was eventually given permission to go on my way. How very nice of her!

The checkpoint included high intensity lights with generators for night operation along with two personnel and equipment trailers. At least two additional uniformed Border Patrol agents were present along with one plainclothes individual.

Given the setup, I suspect the roadblock will be in operation for several more days. This means myself, along with countless other travelers, will be subjected to yet another attack on our right to be left alone in the very near future.

Welcome to Checkpoint USA.

Comments:

Comment from: Ian Bernard [Visitor] · http://freetalklive.com
Another excellent, instructional video. I highly suggest you create a YouTube channel and upload your videos there. It will instantaneously increase your views and also allow you to embed the video into your blog posts so people just have to click the play button instead of having to download them!
Permalink 2008-01-09 @ 12:23
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
A good suggestion. One that I will definitely look into.
Permalink 2008-01-11 @ 06:03
Comment from: bile [Visitor] · http://www.landofbile.com/blog
Any word on uploading them onto youtube?
Permalink 2008-01-17 @ 11:06
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
I haven't had time to look into it yet but I'll hopefully have the opportunity later this week.

In the meantime, I've changed the video link to:

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Uploads/024/Media/
DHSCheckpoint08JAN08.wmv

I did so because my website was getting swamped with video hits and I cross-posted the story to Freedom's Phoenix.

I'd also ask that anyone who posts (or has posted) the video link to another forum to instead post the link to this blog entry.

It seems that a lot of people are under the mistaken impression this Homeland Security checkpoint took place on the border and don't realize it's taking place over 40 miles North of the Border on a State highway (yes it's still active as of January 17th).

The blog entry provides the context for the incident that isn't readily apparent within the video itself.
Permalink 2008-01-17 @ 14:34
Comment from: Russell [Visitor]
i'm not too up to date on all this, just caught your link off a forum someone posted up. my question is where in the laws of our nation, states, counties or cities does it state that we have the right to be left alone?
Permalink 2008-01-19 @ 07:26
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
A fair enough question.

It should be noted for purposes of this response that I intertwine the concept of privacy with being 'left alone'. Because the topic is expansive, this response merely serves as an introduction to my thoughts on the subject.

It should also be noted that I consider the question somewhat backwards.

Governments have limited powers that We The People bestow upon them while Rights are reserved to individuals and encompass a much broader subject matter than the limited powers legitimately bestowed upon any particular government. If you don't know to what I refer, please reference the 9th and 10th Amendments to the federal Constitution.

By way of background, The Arizona State Constitution at Article 2, Section 1 states:
"Fundamental principles, recurrence to:

A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government."

More specifically, the AZ Constitution explicitly recognizes an individual Right To Privacy at Article 2, Section 8:
'Declaration of Rights: Right To Privacy"

"No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law."'

How does this apply to individuals engaging in private business on the public roads? Let's look to Title 13 of the Arizona Criminal Code and Title 28 of the Transportation Code.

13-3883B - Arrest by officer without warrant:
"A peace officer may stop and detain a person as is reasonably necessary to investigate an actual or suspected violation of any traffic law committed in the officer's presence..."

and

28-1594 - Authority to detain persons:
"A peace officer or duly authorized agent of a traffic enforcement agency may stop and detain a person as is reasonably necessary to investigate an actual or suspected violation of this title..."

In other words, enforcement officers in Arizona must have individualized reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing BEFORE they can legally stop any vehicle and interrogate the occupants. There is no provision within either the Arizona Constitution or Arizona Revised Statutes for suspicionless checkpoint or roadblock stops.

At the federal level, the 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th amendments are directly related to our individual right to privacy (or our right to be left alone as the case may be).

The 4th Amendment:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The 5th Amendment (in pertinent part):
"...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.."

The 9th Amendment:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

and finally, the 10th Amendment:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Given this background information regarding the limited scope of federal powers and the explicit Right To Privacy recognized in the Arizona State Constitution, coupled with Arizona law that only authorizes traffic stops based upon individualized reasonable suspicion, where in the laws of our nation does it state that individuals DON'T have the right to be left alone absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing? And if there is such a law, how do you reconcile it with the clear limitations on federal authority laid out in the bill of rights?

In the interests of brevity, I'm specifically referring to the case of federal agents stopping individuals absent reasonable suspicion on a State highway that's located nowhere near an international border.
Permalink 2008-01-19 @ 17:19
Comment from: Concerned Citizen [Visitor]
If you have a problem with the immigration checkpoint then maybe you should complain to congress. It was our elected officials that gave the Border Patrol the right to question any person at an immigration checkpoint as the officer in the video did. I think the officer in that video did an excellent job concidering your lack of compassion for their job. After all, it's brave people like them that allow cowards such as yourself to make such a stupid video and then post it on the web. I'm sure nobody goes to your place of employment and treats you like that. I bet your parents are proud.
Permalink 2008-01-21 @ 18:18
Comment from: e [Visitor]
get back in your mama's basment
Permalink 2008-01-22 @ 07:18
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
It was our elected officials that gave the Border Patrol the right to question any person at an immigration checkpoint

It would appear that 'Concerned Citizen' is somewhat confused about the difference between rights enjoyed by individuals versus limited powers that individuals bestow unto their government.
If you have a problem with the immigration checkpoint then maybe you should complain to congress.

Quite the contrary, if 'Concerned Citizen' has a problem with individuals exercising their right to free speech regarding the violation of their right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure than perhaps 'Concerned Citizen' should complain to Congress.

Who knows. With enough complaints, perhaps Congress could be moved to amend the Constitution to no longer recognize these individual rights instead of chipping away at them slowly under cover of darkness.
I'm sure nobody goes to your place of employment and treats you like that.

Well that's an interesting statement.

The last time I checked, the State of Arizona hadn't ceded Mile Post 146 along State Route 86 to the federal government. As such, the location of the checkpoint in question falls squarely under the jurisdiction of Pima County, Arizona - not a bunch of Border Patrol agents who can't seem to find the border they're being paid to patrol.
Permalink 2008-01-22 @ 22:33
Comment from: Concerned Citizen [Visitor]
I guess you are right, I am a little confused. The checkpoint IS there but yet you say it's illegal. How about calling the sheriff department and having them all arrested. Surely one phone call to your congressmen will have that checkpoint torn down. I guess those limited powers you talk of don't appear to be limited after all. I have no problem with free speech, as I said before, it's brave people like them that allow cowards, such as yourself, to make such a video and post it. How about putting up an information bio about yourself and what branch of service you proudly served. How about your criminal record(my guess...you probably have one). Oh well, I actually thought maybe you could run for public office and change the world but since criminals can't do that, I guess we'll have to wait for your children to grow up and be just like daddy. You really are a crazed person and thank GOD you are in the minority. When you see the martians coming and you're wearing your tin foil hat, make sure to post that on your web site so I can get a good laugh!
Permalink 2008-01-23 @ 09:00
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
The checkpoint IS there but yet you say it's illegal. How about calling the sheriff department and having them all arrested. Surely one phone call to your congressmen will have that checkpoint torn down.

Like many others, you confuse might with right. The county sheriff currently isn't interested in interrupting his federal homeland security block grant gravy train and Congress is well, Congress.
I have no problem with free speech, as I said before, it's brave people like them that allow cowards, such as yourself, to make such a video and post it.

Hmmm - that's the second time you've referred to me as a coward.

Webster's Dictionary defines a 'coward' as someone who shows a shameful lack of courage or fortitude. My resistance to unreasonable search and seizure at suspicionless checkpoints hardly represents an individual displaying a shameful lack of courage or fortitude. As such, my guess is that you either lack basic reading comprehension skills or calling someone a coward is the worst insult you can think of even though the actions in question are anything but cowardly.

So which is it?
How about putting up an information bio about yourself and what branch of service you proudly served. How about your criminal record(my guess...you probably have one)

You appear to be one of those individuals that when faced with an argument you can't logically rebut, instead concentrate on attacking the messenger.

Let me relieve you of a few misconceptions.

After five years of service to my country, my good conduct medal along with my DD-214 clearly show I was honorably discharged from that same service. Unlike others however, I actually took my oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, seriously.

As much as this may pain you, you'd also be surprised to learn that I have no criminal record. A few corrupt cops at a similar roadblock attempted to create one for me several years ago. The judge saw through the deception however and dismissed the charges against me 'with prejudice' based upon the unethical actions of the police throughout the prosecution.

Shortly thereafter, I turned around and sued them for their trespasses. You can read all about it in the main section of my website. The case is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

You see, I have first hand experience with the corruption and arrogance that grow out of enforcement agents will little in the way of accountability and who seek to dominate and intimidate the general public through police state actions like suspicionless checkpoints instead of serving and protecting. Unlike you however, I'm actually willing to do something about it.

While I'll do you the courtesy of not categorizing your inaction as cowardice, a courtesy you didn't show me, you may want to limit future responses to logical arguments against my conclusion that suspicionless checkpoints in the interior of the country are bad. This makes for far better discourse and understanding then attacking the character of the individual you disagree with.
Permalink 2008-01-25 @ 09:39
Comment from: armondo ellis [Visitor]
I don't have any sort of criminal record. I was in the border patrol for 2 years. I left because I thought the "work" was neither brave or ethical. I have a dd214 which includes ground combat service and an honorable discharge.

I completely and I emphasize completely agree with Checkpoint usa.

I think he or she is a person of courage and a patriot in the real sense.

It is sad that americans have become so degraded and debased in their understanding of freedom that his actions could be so insulted.
Permalink 2008-01-25 @ 11:07
Comment from: Charles Walker [Visitor]
The only thing changed on the border fence is the exits they are closed. You must have a card to get out. Most people on international departing flights are sneak attacked. As you turn a corner on the jetway just before you get on the plane you are questioned. like "how much cash do you have"... Hitlers parents were border patrol people they all have this Nationalist mentallity. I pray they will repent before they die. God will ask for their papers. Nope not getting in. What you do or did not do for the least of my bretheren you did to me. Charles Walker w2992@yahoo.com
Permalink 2008-01-25 @ 12:30
Comment from: garyintexas [Visitor]
Checkpoint USA is right in all he/she acertains. Concerned citizen would do well to study government and history at the college level and keep in mind that the very same mentality he/she supports and defends, is the same one Nazi henchmen used to commit and enforce their egregious transgressions against innocent people.
Permalink 2008-01-26 @ 07:21
Comment from: Fred [Visitor]
U have got to be kidding me ... do you have nothing better to do with your time than this???? I mean the border patrol in the above example asks a simple question and you cant answer it??? MOVE TO CANADA YOU ASSHOLE... If I was the agent I would have slapped your stupid ass
Permalink 2008-01-27 @ 17:14
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
If I was the agent I would have slapped your stupid ass

So you would invoke physical violence against an individual peacefully asserting his rights after being seized by federal agents along a State highway absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing?

How very un-American of you.
MOVE TO CANADA YOU ASSHOLE...

If you so despise the principles upon which this country was founded then perhaps you're the one who should consider moving to a different country.
Permalink 2008-01-27 @ 20:39

Comments are closed for this post.

Roadblock Revelations

Welcome to Checkpoint USA's blog. Here you'll find general information and discussions regarding growing threats to our right to privacy & travel.

While I refer to court cases along with state and federal law frequently in this blog, nothing written here should be construed as legal advice. I am not an attorney. Rather, I'm someone concerned about the growing disregard for individual rights present at all levels of government.

My conclusions are my own based upon personal experience and research. The law is made purposely complex however and varies significantly from place to place and circumstance to circumstance.

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