Post details: Support Phillip Mocek During His Upcoming Albuqurque TSA Checkpoint Trial

2010-12-08

Permalink 21:31:32, Categories: Privacy, News, Right to Travel, Homeland Security?, Checkpoints, TSA, 1311 words   English (EU)

Support Phillip Mocek During His Upcoming Albuqurque TSA Checkpoint Trial

Update: According to the Identity Project, Mr. Mocek's trial has been delayed yet again due to the prosecutor being unprepared. An update on the case can been accessed here.

Reprinted below, is an article recently published by The Identity Project regarding the upcoming trial of Phillip Mocek in Albuqurque, New Mexico. Mr. Mocek's trial will begin this Tuesday, December 7, 2010.

According to the Identity Project's faq on the case, he was arrested by Albuqurque police at a TSA checkpoint on November 15, 2009 while attempting to board his flight with a valid ticket. The arrest and charges stem from Mr. Mocek's desire to travel by air without showing ID, without answering questions regarding his trip & for recording his encounter to protect himself legally.

[More:]

He was charged with criminal trespass even though he had a valid airline ticket. He was charged with concealing his identity even though there is no law or regulation requiring individuals to show ID to fly. He was charged with disorderly conduct & resisting/obstruction even though he remained peaceful, calm & polite at all times & did little more than exercise his right to remain silent while being interrogated by government agents.

Being the first case of its kind in the United States, the stakes are high for air travelers across the country. Please lend your support to the efforts of Mr. Mocek in whatever form you are able.

Trial to begin December 7th in TSA checkpoint case

“Opting out” of TSA demands or questioning and photographing the TSA is not a crime!

We’ve reported before on the arrest of Phillip Mocek just over a year ago at a TSA checkpoint at the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and his prosecution by local authorities on trumped-up criminal charges.

Now, after several postponements, Phil Mocek’s trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Tuesday morning, December 7th, 2010, in Albuquerque. The trial is expected to last 2-3 days. There’s more information here.

(The trial has been postponed several times, and might be postponed again, but this date appears to be for real, and Mr. Mocek is making firm travel plans — by land, not by air — to be in Albuquerque.)

We encourage everyone who opposes the TSA’s lawless assault on our liberties to support Mr. Mocek. Spread the word about this case, especially to people you know in New Mexico. Contribute to Mr. Mocek’s legal defense. (He had to hire private lawyers to defend himself.) Come to the trial in Albuquerque if you can. Pass out a leaflet. Speak out and stand up to the TSA yourself.

This is the first TSA checkpoint resistance case to come to trial, and this trial comes during an unprecedented and spontaneous explosion of grassroots resistance to the TSA’s claim to unlimited authority. The outcome of Mr. Mocek’s trial will be critical to whether that resistance continues to snowball, or whether the TSA and its allies in authoritarianism can terrorize and intimidate law-abiding travelers into submission to their illegitimate authority.

There are no laws or published regulations defining what the TSA is allowed to do. In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Mr. Mocek, the TSA has refused to release its secret procedures and directives for airport checkpoints. And the DHS Privacy office has ordered the TSA not respond to our request for these documents without approval from the DHS “front office”, which apparently has never been given.

In these circumstances, only the courts can define the limits of TSA authority to search, interrogate, x-ray, and grope innocent travelers who are not suspected of any crime. So far as we know, Mr. Mocek’s case is the first time someone in the USA has been brought to trial on criminal charges for attempting to exercise their right to travel by air without showing ID or answering questions about themselves or their trip, or for photography or audio or video recording at a TSA checkpoint.

Very few TSA employees are sworn law enforcement officers or have police powers. At some airports including San Francisco (SFO) and Kansas City (MCI), the people with the “TSA” badges on their epaulets are really just rent-a-cops contractors. At any airport, TSA employees or contractors who threaten, touch, detain, or force travelers to move risk personal liability for crimes and torts including assault, sexual assault, battery, sexual battery, false arrest, and kidnapping. And the last thing the TSA wants is to have the Federal courts review its sweeping claims to limitless administrative discretion and extra-judicial authority.

TSA policy is to call the local police if they want someone detained, arrested, or forced to comply with their (often illegal) demands. So any challenges to the TSA’s practices at airport checkpoints are likely to end up in cases like Mr. Moceks’s, in local courts under state and local law. The TSA isn’t officially a party to this case, and the TSA’s practices aren’t officially at issue. But the TSA is the “real party in interest” in Mr. Mocek’s prosecution, if not in the strict legal sense of that phrase. What happens to Mr. Mocek will be critical to whether the TSA can terrorize and intimidate law-abiding travelers into submission to its illegal orders.

If you’ve had problems at a checkpoint yourself, the ACLU and EPIC are both collecting reports and complaints about what happens at TSA checkpoints, and EFF has information on how to complain to the TSA and DHS. You may also want to talk to a lawyer about bringing a criminal complaint or civil lawsuit against TSA employees or contractors who act illegally against you. We have more suggestions for action in our recent article on, “What is to be done about TSA?

None of the charges against Mr. Mocek are supported by any of the evidence we’ve seen, including the checkpoint videos and police radio recordings released to Mr. Mocek in response to his requests under New Mexico’s public records laws.

So far as we can tell, the only reason for the local prosecutor to continue to press these charges would be to provide an excuse for the improper actions of the TSA and local police in arresting Mr. Mocek, and/or to retaliate against him for exercising his right to decline to consent to search or other TSA demands, to remain silent or ask his own questions in response to TSA interrogation, and to photograph and record his interactions with the TSA and police.

Of course, the seriousness of the bogus charges being pressed against Mr. Mocek shows why it’s so important for travelers to be able, for their own protection, to photograph and record exactly what happens at TSA checkpoints.

To be clear, we don’t represent or speak for Mr. Mocek or his attorneys. As of now, while serious if entirely unfounded criminal charges are pending, neither Mr. Mocek (on his attorneys’ advice) nor his lawyers are commenting publicly on the case. But we fully support Mr. Mocek’s actions in standing up to the TSA, and his right to opt out of providing ID or “consent” to search, to ask his own questions at the checkpoint, and to photograph and record what the TSA and police said and did to him.

Standing up to the TSA is not a crime. Phil Mocek is not a criminal. Drop the charges!

We’ll be in Albuquerque ourselves to observe and report on Mr. Mocek’s trial, to help explain the issues it raises, and to support Mr. Mocek’s rights (1) to travel without showing ID credentials or answering questions from the TSA or police and (2) to photograph and record his interactions with TSA and police officers. Contact us for more information or if you’d like to arrange for an interview or speaker from the Identity Project.

Comments:

Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
The Constitution prohibits search and seizure without Probable Cause and a Warrant. The Constitution doesn't say anything about this not applying at the Airport or at Police checkpoints. My friends who say they support the Constitution think these "exceptions" are OK because we "need them." Their view of Constitutional provisions is messed up with their politics (a bunch of right wing Republicans). Essentially, in helping to maintain a free society, they're useless. Their drivel about supporting liberty is meaningless. People want to go on about America being something special - but it doesn't look that special to me. Americans are sheep and they like living in a fascist police state. A useless people for the most part. Yet they like disparaging the Taliban and others who actually fight for their liberty. I don't know any Taliban, and maybe I wouldn't like them, but I sure don't want to hate them because my government tells me to. I don't really like our government that much. To tell you the truth, I'm not real impressed by the American people either. Look at them and decide on an objective basis. Most Americans LIKE the police state. They are a bunch of Democrats and Republicans. It's dangerous, really, for a society to be such a bunch of government boot lickers. I think there's something wrong with them. Maybe they are influenced by the government propaganda. I think the rest of the world sees America for what it really is. Americans are delusional, and they're not very worldly or smart.
Permalink 2010-12-18 @ 13:52
Comment from: Charlie [Visitor]
He's been equited! Justice has been served, now I hope he sues the crap out of the TSA and the police for Malicious Prosecution.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/433918_tsa.html
Permalink 2011-01-21 @ 23:06
Comment from: Alex [Visitor] · http://tinyurl.com/FourthEstate
Very happy to hear that peaceably taking a stand for liberty and individual rights was validated in court.

Video of the incident here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc5DBUK1K8M&feature=player_embedded
Permalink 2011-01-23 @ 12:42
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
I'm happy for Mr. Mocek that the jury found him not guilty. However, I suspect Mr. Mocek was subjected to considerable stress and expense in being arrested and facing trial.
In contrast, there is no downside for the TSA agents and local police involved. They violated the Bill of Rights with impunity. There is no downside for them. TSA and the cops are free to do it again. At present I don't think I've seen the names the the TSA Agents and police officers. They are not even identified (are they?). Obama calls on everyone to be more "civil" in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. So when is the government going to become more "civil?" The treatment of Mr. Mocek by the government was most uncivil.
The jury acquitted Mr. Mocek, but that's unusual in America. In America - "juries convict." Americans mostly don't care about their rights and have no interest in defending their Constitution. You can't count on an American jury doing the right thing. Most Americans are eager to lick government boots.
Mr. Mocek's acquittal is a victory - but nothing has changed. We still live in a Police State, and the U.S. Government is an illegal, occupying force that has overturned the Constitution and the replaced the rule of law with government directed terrorism, of the sort we saw directed against Mr. Mocek.
Sieg Heil fellow Amerikans.
Permalink 2011-01-23 @ 22:31
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
I got these names off infowars.com.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/seattle-activist-wins-case-against-tsa.html
It's good to post the names of the traitors who undermine our Constitution and destroy our liberty as Americans. Too often the names of the traitors are not known.
Here's the names of the thugs who attempted to destroy Mr. Mocek, a patriot.
Albuquerque Airport Police Department officers Robert F. “Bobby” Dilley (badge number 116), Landrow “Wiggy” Wiggins (badge number 137), and Julio A. De La Peña (badge number 135), and TSA staff LTSO Jonathon Breedon, TSM Gerald Romero, STSO Anthony M. Schreiner, Greg Martinez, and BDO Laura Moots
Permalink 2011-01-27 @ 22:37
Comment from: Doug [Visitor]
I got these names off infowars.com.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/seattle-activist-wins-case-against-tsa.html
It's good to post the names of traitors who undermine our Constitution and destroy our liberty. Too often the names of the traitors are not known or not widely distributed.
Here's the names of the thugs who attempted to destroy Mr. Mocek.
___________________________________
Albuquerque Airport Police Department officers Robert F. “Bobby” Dilley (badge number 116), Landrow “Wiggy” Wiggins (badge number 137), and Julio A. De La Peña (badge number 135), and TSA staff LTSO Jonathon Breedon, TSM Gerald Romero, STSO Anthony M. Schreiner, Greg Martinez, and BDO Laura Moots
Permalink 2011-01-27 @ 22:41

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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