Post details: Border Patrol Harass Military Field Grade Officer At Internal Checkpoint

2010-03-23

Permalink 22:51:40, Categories: Privacy, News, Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, Immigration, 375 words   English (EU)

Border Patrol Harass Military Field Grade Officer At Internal Checkpoint


I have about a half dozen blog entries in the queue that I haven't quite finished up yet due to a busy schedule but I couldn't let the video appearing above pass by unmentioned.

Posted by Veterans Against Police Abuse, it depicts a decorated military officer being harassed and lied to by vindictive Border Patrol agents at an internal checkpoint near Uvalde, Texas. The writeup associated with the YouTube video appears below:

[More:]

This video shows a fourth amendment violation, harassment, and intimidation by the Border Patrol in Uvalde, Texas. The driver is a military field grade officer, decorated for heroism, with more than two years of combat deployment time. He is driving from one American city to another and has crossed no borders.

In the video the BP detains him quickly and without cause later claiming he refused to answer questions concerning his citizenship. The video shows this is clearly not the case. This charge is repeated by the supervisor who then contacts his military superiors in an (unfortunately successful) attempt to leverage his military service against him.

He was detained for more than thirty minutes without cause. He was eventually told by the officers that they appreciated his cooperation and was released. The full footage was captured on five different cameras. The footage here is limited in length by upload requirements. Legal action is pending concerning this incident and several previous at the same checkpoint.

Fortunately the driver was not assaulted for his oath-required support and defense of the U.S. Constitution. That was not the case for Baptist pastor Steven Anderson who required eleven stitches and new windows for exercising his rights at a Border Patrol station.

As the driver in this video attests, despite having conducted hundreds of operational missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, his routine travels through this checkpoint in Uvalde Texas have given him the most concern for his personal safety.

If you are concerned about the erosion and ignoring of the very essence of freedom contained in the fourth amendment, please send this video to your Congressman with a request for an immediate investigation into this incident. To learn how you can protect yourself against such blatant abuses of law enforcement power through surveillance technology, please visit VeteransAgainstPoliceAbuse.Org.

Comments:

Comment from: charley hardman [Visitor]
a professional goon being professionally gooned. they deserve each other.
Permalink 2010-03-25 @ 20:19
Comment from: Jesse [Visitor]
that was awesome, keep up the good work, you are my hero.
Permalink 2010-04-01 @ 01:19
Comment from: John3334 [Visitor]
Thank you Veterans Against Police Abuse for annotating the video with the names of U.S. Border Patrol Agents J. Lands and Raul Perez. Hopefully this citizen can recover damages in civil suit against these rogue Agents for Constitutional Violations, and for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress by trying to jeopardize this citizens' military career. Hopefully these agents can be held individually liable for breach of Constitutional law.
This again demonstrates that you shouldn't tell police or government anything that is not required by law. Once they found out he was in the military they began thinking about how they could use that to damage him. Tell police nothing.
Permalink 2010-04-03 @ 10:59
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor] · http://warisaracket.org
I agree with John3334. The motorist went too far in offering information and papers which allowed the rogue BP agents to play him like a fish. Then he compounded the error by continually asking what he'd done wrong. Finally, he failed to get the name and address of the BP district chief agent so that he could communicate the details of his wrongful treatment.

1. The BP is authorized to inquire only into citizenship. According to Miranda the motorist doesn't have to answer -- but that's a personal decision.
2. Stay in control of the situation (to the extent that you can under the circumstances). Don't provide any further information. None.
3. Don't ask any questions about your guilt (again, a personal decision).
4. If you're detained w/o cause, get the name and address of the district chief agent so that you can communicate the details. I have done this. The chief agent responded positively and indicated that corrective action would be taken.
5. Again, attempt to stay in control. Last time I checked it's still our country.

The motorist in this case by not staying in control and initiating corrective action simply made it more difficult not only for himself but also for the rest of us by setting bad precedents. Let's all try to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Permalink 2010-04-04 @ 13:51
Comment from: VAPA [Visitor] · http://www.veteransagainstpoliceabuse.org
The motorist above stayed in control and behaved very well. The claim to the contrary by "checkpoint charlie" is puzzling to say the least.

The driver did not set bad precedent though it's true he did answer and comply more than was required by law. That may simply be the difference between a concerned citizen's approach and the approach of an activist. By refusing to exit the vehicle and by posting the video he still stood his ground in defense of the fourth amendment. He allowed for greater transparency which is a first step in corrective action and probably does more to chill poor behavior than filing a complaint with the agency. This is to say nothing of the future lawsuit that will come from this incident.
Permalink 2010-04-06 @ 14:18
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor] · http://www.warisaracket.org
The motorist ceded control to the agents and made it more difficult not only for himself but also for the rest of us by providing information gratuitously, trying and trying to please these rogue agents. That doesn't work, and we have it on tape. The BP is authorized only to inquire into citizenship -- filming him when he exceeds his authority only feeds his ego.

The provision of information and/or documents regarding profession and citizenship by this motorist make it more likely that these rogue agents will place similar demands upon other motorists, therefore he is part of the problem and not the solution by not standing his ground on the 4th amendment. I will never line up all my personal documents in the car window and you shouldn't either. I will never tell the agent who owns the vehicle, where I'm coming from, where I'm going, and what my profession is, and you shouldn't either.

The first step in corrective action is, as I noted above, to initiate corrective action and not to have blind faith that passively filming the encounter will actually improve anything.

VAPA, tell me more about this future lawsuit. I'm really interested. What will be the grounds? How was the motorist damaged (as opposed to inconvenienced) by this encounter?
Permalink 2010-04-06 @ 20:51
Comment from: VAPA [Visitor] · http://www.veteransagainstpoliceabuse.org
I think I see where you're coming from now Checkpoint Charlie.

You're saying that because the driver voluntarily gave up some/most information to the agents he sets a precedent where they expect others to do the same. That's a valid criticism. If he doesn't exercise his rights at the checkpoint then he is not fully supporting them in accordance with his oath as a military officer.

But your comment about lining up identification is a little different. I take that to mean you would not show identification and you would not answer a question about your citizenship (and probably not move to secondary). That's a perfectly fine activist stance to take. You may believe the existence of the checkpoints and the "limited scope" of the agents to determine immigration status is a fourth amendment violation in and of itself. That's a fine argument and perhaps the courts will reverse themselves and agree with you (as I do). But does that mean the driver must have that view? Is it prima facie an "unreasonable" seizure if the courts uphold these checkpoints as not violations of the fourth amendment if they act with the limited scope they are granted by the courts to determine immigration status? Personally I think an argument could be made that it's not unreasonable to allow a checkpoint that is so limited (I wouldn't agree with that argument personally as I think checkpoints are fourth amendment violations across the board). But I do think an argument can be made either way which, to me, means that the courts can exercise their Constitutional mandate to interpret the Constitution and it should be heeded as such. The judicial branch is granted this power by the Constitution so by definition their interpretation is Constitutional.

That doesn't mean they don't get it wrong...and they have a history of getting things very wrong. That's the system we have. But I'm not going to fault a driver who heeds their interpretation and complies with the "limited scope" of these checkpoints though I personally think the checkpoints are not in accordance with the fourth amendment. But not so clearly so that I would consider myself the Supreme Court in this instance.

I will fault the driver for not refusing to answer questions not related to this limited scope because he has taken an oath to support the Constitution and has failed to do so in the fullest. I'll also praise the driver for bringing the issue to light and for filing a lawsuit despite obvious risks to his career. Would I cite this as a negative example for the cause of liberty? Absolutely not.

The grounds of the lawsuit, I can't say. You'd have to talk to his lawyer. I would imagine it would have to do with the "further detention" and the stop being clearly outside the scope of an immigration status check. Damages? Who can tell from this video... but it would seem his military career might be one place to start.
Permalink 2010-04-08 @ 17:17
Comment from: checkpoint charlie [Visitor] · http://www.warisaracket.org
VAPA,
Thanks for responding.

The motorist made things more difficult for himself and for other motorists. There's a Supreme Court finding that once one starts offering information then all Miranda rights are waived, and the questioning can be endless. Is this your car? Where are you coming from? etc. I have consistently refused to answer these questions because I would be giving up all my rights, as well as encouraging these rogue agents to act similarly with other motorists.

The Supreme Court has authorized the BP to inquire into citizenship status, not to determine status. If this were the case we'd all have to carry passports just to go down the road. (I believe I'm correct on this -- I'm on the road right now and away from my files so I don't have the exact language.) Miranda, of course, allows us the right to remain silent. One BP agent asked: "State your citizenship." Sorry, Mac. I'm not a dog.

This has nothing to do with one's military oath.

This whole situation is a crime against the American people. One can drive throughout Europe, in and out of dozens of countries, and never see a checkpoint! Now there's freedom, something we are losing.

I wish the motorist well in court and I would be happy to support his cause financially should he need such support.
Permalink 2010-04-11 @ 18:21
Comment from: Catinthewall [Visitor]
The part of this video (And nearly every other video on this site) that makes me want to tear out my hair is their petty word game.

They say you're not being detained.
They say you're not free to go.
These are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE STATES OF EXISTENCE.
You need to ask them a wider variety of questions. Ask them if they are temporarily detaining you. Ask if you can proceed. Ask if you are being delayed.
Read them summaries such as the bits in the blue boxes in the videos. Ask them if they are complying with these rules. (not if they think they are, there's a difference.)

When asked about the purpose of the stop, if they say it's a general stop, cite the case law that prohibits the general stop. "Why is it a general stop? In 200x, Foo v. USA determined that border patrol checkpoints aren't allowed to do that."
If they say it's just about citizenship, ask about the dogs, if any. If they're drug/bomb sniffing dogs, same result.
Ask why they feel the need to play word games.
Ask questions that aren't Boolean.

If they say they're not detaining you, ask in what way is it not a detention.

Don't catch their lies after the fact, have the list of rules laid down by the court, reference them, and ask why they are refusing to follow the court's directives.

Don't just sit there and be in a paradoxical legal state.

de·tain
tr.v. de·tained, de·tain·ing, de·tains
1. To keep from proceeding; delay or retard.
2. To keep in custody or temporary confinement
Permalink 2010-04-12 @ 06:48
Comment from: Ann P. [Visitor]
You've likely seen it, but this is going to make it even more difficult:

http://www.aolnews.com/article/arizona-house-oks-toughest-anti-illegal-immigrant-law/19439257
Permalink 2010-04-14 @ 11:15
Comment from: IBMMuseum [Visitor]
Fantastic video! I do want to say that a military ID is not proof of U.S. citizenship. A Legal Permanent Resident can, and do, serve in the U.S. military.

This brave man deserves another medal for his protections of American freedom...
Permalink 2010-05-10 @ 16:07
Comment from: James [Visitor]
"I do want to say that a military ID is not proof of U.S. citizenship. A Legal Permanent Resident can, and do, serve in the U.S. military."

Legal Permanent Residents are...obviously...in the country legally, so a military ID is perfectly acceptable to satisfy any inquiry the Border Patrol is allowed to make into one's immigration status. It makes the citizenship question moot.
Permalink 2010-07-05 @ 14:04
Comment from: RBrown [Visitor]
Ex AF officer and I had my run-in with the Tx BP this past weekend. Not as bad as this incident but BP didn't make any new friends with their behavior. What really got me was that the agent basically instructed me to leave my car unattended with other civilians around. I declined until the supervisor came over, gave me a partial run-down of what was happening. I had no problem with an exterior search of the car by the K9 but did not give permission for an inside search. The response - why do you have something illegal inside the vehicle you don't want us to know about ... followed by the we don't require a warrant since we already have probable cause (purported K9 alert). The BP states they have cameras, but how do I know what areas are covered and whether my vehicle is sitting in a blind spot. Someone walks by tosses something in, I'm toast. Long story short - K9 & handler circles the vehicle 4 times - no alert. Then they put the dog in the car - nothing. Then 4 agents perform a search removing all portable items (clothes, cds) from the car - nothing! K9 & handler circle vehicle 2 more times - nothing. My guess is that the K9 alerted on the pepperoni & pineapple Dominoes pizza that was sitting on the backseat as I drove thru the checkpoint. I won't even talk about the young BP agent's attempt to catch me in a "lie". Had to set youngster straight on the difference between the questioned he asked and the questioned his partner asked. Tsk! Tsk! 30 minutes of my life wasted, I'm pissed and my car is a friggin mess.
Permalink 2010-07-05 @ 17:23
Comment from: Checkpoint USA [Member]
Sorry to hear about your encounter with the Border Patrol at an internal suspicionless checkpoint this past weekend RBrown. Unfortunately, your experience is not uncommon. The Border Patrol is increasingly using internal immigration checkpoints as a pretext to conduct illegal drug searches, etc in violation of Supreme Court rulings such as City of Indianapolis V Edmond.

One link where I discuss this issue in greater detail can be found at:

https://www.checkpointusa.org/blog/index.php/2008/07/04/p94

Also, you may find these links and embedded videos interesting:

https://www.checkpointusa.org/blog/index.php/2010/05/22/p216

If you could tell us which checkpoint you had your run-in at, that would be appreciated. Additionally, if you could talk about the attempt by the Border Patrol agent to catch you in a lie, that would also be appreciated. It's good for folks to understand how these agents operate, what their intent is and why it's usually best not to answer their questions.
Permalink 2010-07-05 @ 18:07
Comment from: RBrown [Visitor]
It was the station outside of Piedras Negras.

As I'm watching the inspection from about 20 yards away, there is a BP agent standing about 3 feet away in front of me - I presume normal standard practice in case the situation goes bad. In any event, young BP Agent1 asks if I'm visiting South Texas (the area not a person). My reply is YES. He also asks how often and I reply as I have no problems with the question.

Young BP Agent2 arrives a few minutes later and "casually" asks if I am visiting anyone in South Texas (a person not the area). My reply is NO. BP Agent1 immediately attempts to jump into the situation and pretty vehemently states that previously I had answered the question YES and now I am stating NO, so which answer is it. I stood my ground, looked directly at both agents and informed him that I am a former intelligence officer and this reminds me of something straight from an episode of cops (I shouldn't have went there but oh well). I pointed out the distinction between the 2 questions asked and how each was answered. I stated that there was no contradiction in my answers and don't attempt to twist my words. All questions ceased at that point.

In the future, I will only answer questions that pertain to the reason for my "detention" and I will clearly state so. It goes against human nature as generally we all want to be helpful, however, people need to understand that you are the only individual there at the time looking out for your own best interest. The BP agents have a job to do which is to "protect the US border" - your rights may be tossed aside if you allow them to be.

Also, never let your vehicle out of someone's (yours or the BP agent) positive control if at all possible. Document the state of your vehicle (take pics with a cellphone or camera) prior to being removed from the area. Today I noticed there were scratches in the finish and that the Honda symbol was sheared off the trunk by either one of the agents or the K9 - thankfully the car is 9 yrs old.
Permalink 2010-07-06 @ 01:32
Comment from: VAPA [Visitor]
Interesting new info on this incident: http://www.veteransagainstpoliceabuse.org/TotheBorderPatrol.aspx
Permalink 2011-01-29 @ 17:11

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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