Post details: Border Patrol Enforcing Traffic Laws With Pennsylvania State Police?

2009-07-13

Permalink 23:39:13, Categories: News, Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, 623 words   English (EU)

Border Patrol Enforcing Traffic Laws With Pennsylvania State Police?

I've included an article below highlighting another disturbing trend in the continued careless intermingling of local and federal enforcement agencies.

It seems that the U.S. Border Patrol is now working closely with the Pennsylvania State Police, the Ohio State Patrol and the New York State Police in a crackdown on so-called aggressive driving, impaired driving and speeding.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear the U.S. Border Patrol has no authority to enforce state or local traffic laws, it's equally clear the Border Patrol will be using traffic stops initiated by local and state law enforcement as a pretext to enforce federal immigration and smuggling laws:

"Border Patrol agents have no part in enforcing laws that regulate highway use, and their activities have nothing to do with an inquiry whether motorists and their vehicles are entitled, by virtue of compliance with laws governing highway usage, to be upon the public highways." - U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce

[More:]

That's right, tomorrow morning you may be driving to work minding your own business along Interstate 90, 86, 80 or 79 in Pennsylvania and find yourself suddenly pulled over by the state police. An officer in gray, accompanied by an agent in green, may approach your vehicle and make the dubious claim that you were driving five miles over the speed limit or driving too 'aggressively', whatever that means.

At the same time, a Border Patrol agent who has no lawful authority to enforce local or state traffic regulations will take note of your slightly darker complexion or some other 'suspicious' characteristic associated with yourself or your vehicle and demand your citizenship along with access to your vehicle's trunk. If you refuse to answer the federal agent's questions, as is your right, the federal agent will most likely turn to the local police officer to force your compliance one way or the other.

While this joint action is one of the most blatant systematic examples of merging local, state and federal enforcement agencies I've heard about in a while, the trend has been ongoing for years. Indeed, I've experienced it first hand in Arizona on several occasions as has Steven Anderson.

This trend of local law enforcement working closely with federal agents during routine traffic operations also includes the U.S. military. See for example, a blog entry from last year highlighting sobriety checkpoints in California being co-managed by military police.

I am of course interested in any photographs or videos that individuals who witness this joint operation can provide. I'm also interested in the results of any public records requests that may divulge the details of this joint action along with how much federal Homeland Security grant money participating local and state law enforcement agencies have received over the past few years. I'm sure the results of any such document requests would be quite interesting.

The public announcement regarding the joint enforcement action appears below along with additional information here.

Traffic enforcement initiative planned for Wednesday

Published: July 13. 2009 10:15AM

State police will ramp up patrols of highways on Wednesday as a part of a tri-state traffic enforcement program.

Pennsylvania State Police, in a joint effort with the Ohio Highway Patrol, New York State Police and U.S. Border Patrol, will target aggressive driving, impaired driving and speeding during a 12-hour period.

In Pennsylvania, Interstates 90, 79, 80 and 86 will be heavily patrolled. Police will employ aerial speed enforcement along with motor carrier enforcement officers.

Wednesday's effort is the second in a series of planned initiatives for the summer.

The first phase of the program was conducted May 13. Police issued 419 traffic citations in all three states during a 12-hour period. Only two accidents occurred on targeted roads during the first initiative, said Sgt. Mark Zaleski, a state police spokesman.

Comments:

Comment from: Dan Galena [Visitor]
Government entities from dogcatcher to the Chief Executive of the United States have been destroying freedom in this country since the Declaration of Independence. Currently I'm embroiled in a 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech lawsuit against Erie County, PA government.

Citizens need to watchdog their elected and appointed officials. You have to be willing to pay any price to FIGHT for those freedoms we have remaining.

Sadly, the citizenry gladly bends over and grabs their ankles every election cycle as they re-elect the same old political hacks. It's evident to me that few citizens, if any, have the fortitude to oppose the growing tyranny of government. As long as the citizens take little interest in their Federal and state constitutions and re-elect the same old political hacks, the "democracy" of "mob-rule + 1" will continue to erode our freedoms.

Thank you for your website and your efforts to control ever encroaching government.

Dan Galena
E. Springfield, PA
Permalink 2009-07-21 @ 05:01
Comment from: gerry [Visitor]
This country is a shizo-paranoid,
and it has unfortunately turned into a police stste,if it was not one already.
Poeple ere terrorised, in order to give up personal freedoms,and it will only get worse.
Permalink 2009-07-26 @ 12:17
Comment from: Bill Wheaton [Visitor]
Thank you. You are a true American, and truly free.
Permalink 2009-07-31 @ 21:19
Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://www.sltrib.com/outdoors/ci_12851432
Federal Park Rangers operating drunk driving checkpoints.

See link next to my name above.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 20:32
Federal Park Rangers operate checkpoint to question visitors about poaching.

See ink next to my name above.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 20:35
Federal Park Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park operate a sobriety checkpoint in conjunction with the State of Colorado’s “HEAT IS ON” program.

"Park rangers will be cooperating with local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the weekend."

See link next to my name above.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 20:46
Proper link for Rocky Mountain National Park story next to my name above.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 20:48
Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://tinyurl.com/mfe8ke
One more time for Rocky Mountain National Park story.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 20:51
Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://www.nps.gov/yell/parknews/09030.htm
Visit your National Park and experience a "Safety Checkpoint" this summer.
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 21:08
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Thanks for the links Alex. The article regarding the 9th circuit upholding a hunting checkpoint within the boundaries of a national park is probably the most outrageous. The checkpoint obviously had nothing to do with public safety or an overwhelming/compelling government interest which is the criteria the Supreme Court used to justify sobriety and immigration checkpoints in the past.

Indeed, this type of checkpoint falls squarely within the category the Supreme Court warned us about in Indianapolis v Edmond after the court struck down drug checkpoints as unconstitutional:

"Securing the border and apprehending drunken drivers are law enforcement activities, and authorities employ arrests and criminal prosecutions to pursue these goals. But if this case were to rest at such a high level of generality, there would be little check on the authorities’ ability to construct roadblocks for almost any conceivable law enforcement purpose. The checkpoint program is also not justified by the severe and intractable nature of the drug problem. The gravity of the threat alone cannot be dispositive of questions concerning what means law enforcement may employ to pursue a given purpose. Rather, in determining whether individualized suspicion is required, the Court must consider the nature of the interests threatened and their connection to the particular law enforcement practices at issue."
Permalink 2009-08-09 @ 21:13
Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://tinyurl.com/ks4klq
Federal grant turns traffic enforcement into a "war on drugs" in Washington State.

See link from today's paper next to my name above.
Permalink 2009-09-09 @ 10:31

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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