[Newspaper article highlighting the opening of the new Uvalde, TX Border Patrol checkpoint]
As a followup to my earlier post titled, Border Patrol Harass Military Field Grade Officer At Internal Checkpoint, additional video footage regarding the Uvalde Border Patrol checkpoint incident has been released. This footage appears below in four sections and shows the entirety of the checkpoint encounter.
What should be noted here and I can't stress enough is that the U.S. Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that internal checkpoint seizures such as this one must be very limited in scope and very brief in the absence of consent or probable cause.
It should be clear from the video that the agents had neither consent nor probable cause to believe the driver was in violation of any immigration law enforced by U.S. Border Patrol agents. As such, the extended detention was most likely illegal. Additionally, the actions of the Border Patrol agents clearly rose to the level of harassment and intimidation. Especially after the agents contacted the driver's military command regarding the encounter.
What you see happening in this video is one of the reasons I opt not to go to secondary during checkpoint encounters. Once an agent gets you in secondary, they have all day to mess with you. By staying in the lane of traffic, you force them to make a probable cause determination within a reasonable time frame. If they take action against you for not going to secondary when they don't have probable cause (or even reasonable suspicion in most cases), you have a clear cut civil rights violation ripe for the courts to hear.
I've included several pertinent U.S. Supreme Court quotes below along with links back to the cases in question. The video segments from the checkpoint incident follow these quotes:
"It is agreed that checkpoint stops are 'seizures' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment." - U.S. v Martinez-Fuerte
"The Fourth Amendment applies to all seizures of the person, including seizures that involve only a brief detention short of traditional arrest." - U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce
"Our prior cases have limited significantly the reach of this congressional authorization, requiring probable cause for any vehicle search in the interior and reasonable suspicion for inquiry stops by roving patrols. Our holding today, approving routine stops for brief questioning is confined to permanent checkpoints. We understand, of course, that neither longstanding congressional authorization nor widely prevailing practice justifies a constitutional violation" - U.S. v Martinez-Fuerte
“The Fourth Amendment held to forbid Border Patrol officers, in the absence of consent or probable cause, to search private vehicles at traffic checkpoints removed from the border and its functional equivalents, and for this purpose there is no difference between a checkpoint and a roving patrol.” - U.S. v Ortiz
"...We have held that checkpoint searches are constitutional only if justified by consent or probable cause to search....And our holding today is limited to the type of stops described in this opinion. -'[A]ny further detention...must be based on consent or probable cause.'" - U.S. v Martinez-Fuerte
Uvalde Checkpoint Incident Part 2:
Uvalde Checkpoint Incident Part 3:
Uvalde Checkpoint Incident Part 4:
"He was disciplined by his command, which cleary displays that even they knew he was wrong."
"He conducted himself in a VERY unprofessional manner, and being prior military myself, I was quite frankly embarassed."
"The BP has the authority to move your car for you should you refuse to go to secondary"
"You have the right to remain silent, just like they have the authority to detain you until you satisfy the officer that you are in the US legally."
"...We have held that checkpoint searches are constitutional only if justified by consent or probable cause to search....And our holding today is limited to the type of stops described in this opinion. -'[A]ny further detention...must be based on consent or probable cause.'(U.S. vs. Brignoni-Ponce)"
"an officer, whose observations lead him reasonably to suspect that a particular vehicle may contain aliens who are illegally in the country, may stop the car briefly, question the driver & passengers about their citizenship and immigration status, & ask them to explain suspicious circumstances; but any further detention or search must be based on consent or probable cause.”
"Terry encounters must be brief; the suspect must not be moved or asked to move more than a short distance; physical searches are permitted only to the extent necessary to protect the police officers involved during the encounter; and, most importantly, the suspect must be free to leave after a short time and to decline to answer the questions put to him."
"This man did not hand over the documents(he placed them on the inside of his window until later)"
"would not roll down his window:
"and outright refused cooperation with law enforcement"
"As military members, we are held to a higher standard and he did not meet muster for that standard and was disciplined for that."
"Checkpointusa claims to know the law and writes about civil rights lawsuits etc...ask him how many cases he has won. The answer is 0. As him how many courts have outright refused to hear his case. The answer is many. He is one of those who THINKS he knows the law and really hasn't a clue."
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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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