The video above depicts the actions of a violent street gang that's been operating with impunity in Southern Texas for quite some time now. The street gang, also known as the Green Monster (U.S. Border Patrol), physically attacked a truck driver without just cause at a suspicionless internal Homeland Security roadblock near Falfurrias, Tx in early November of this year:
[CBP Roadblock - Falfurrias, TX: Latitude: 27.025054, Longitude: -98.138415]
As regular readers of this blog know, on April 30, 2014 I was illegally detained in the lane of traffic at a suspicionless DHS roadblock by Border Patrol Agent J. Tackett near mile marker 146.5 along SR86 in Southern Arizona. Agent J. Tackett threw a spike strip down in front of my vehicle within about 30 seconds of the stop for daring to ask him a few questions. Tackett's unlawful detention was furthered by his supervisor G. Serrano who continued the detention while dispatching another agent to call over Pima County Sheriff Deputy Avila under the false pretense that I was blocking traffic while failing to inform him that Agent Tackett's spike strip & detention were the actual cause of the blockage.
[Update: Friday's hearing lasted about an hour at Pima County Justice Court with hearing officer Holguin. Deputy Avila showed up in person & testified for about five minutes or so. I cross-examined him for about twenty minutes and then testified for another twenty to twenty five minutes with a 14 page written statement and ten exhibits. Hearing Officer Holguin allowed my testimony & entered my exhibits into the record despite objections from Deputy Avila. Holguin hasn't ruled yet but will sometime in the next few weeks]
Yep, you read that correctly. On April 30, 2014 I was ticketed by a Pima County Sheriff's Deputy for beeping my horn at the CBP checkpoint after a CBP agent threw a spike strip down in front of my vehicle. I was stopped at primary and I asked the agent what his name was since his name tag was obscured by a tactical vest. The agent told me that he was the one asking questions, not me. When I pointed out that I was asking questions as well that's when the hot headed agent spiked the roadway in front of my tires.
Joe Williams, an Atlanta, Georgia resident I've written about before, will be in court this Friday the 13th regarding an illegal arrest and several bogus charges stemming from an encounter at a so-called dui checkpoint in Atlanta, Georgia on January 13th, 2014.
The videos appearing below contain part of the audio footage from the encounter where the cops try to justify the checkpoint on grounds that it deters crime in the area. This despite the fact that general crime control checkpoints have been ruled illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Indianapolis V Edmond. Further, after the cops allow Joe to go on his way without charging him at the end of the checkpoint encounter, they track him down several hours later and arrest him on trumped up charges making it clear the unlawful arrest and harassment was premeditated:
[Supervising Agent Rosalinda Huey & two of her minions harassing roadblock monitors near Arivaca, AZ in March 2014]
Back in March, I wrote a short blog entry regarding residents of Arivaca and Amado in Southern Arizona who have come together to form People Helping People In The Border Zone. After suffering years of harassment, intimidation and overtly illegal acts by U.S. Border Patrol agents operating several suspicionless internal roadblocks in the area, residents formed the organization in order to seek answers to their questions, research the effectiveness of the roadblocks for their alleged 'lawful' purpose and ultimately to hold the Border Patrol accountable for the actions of its agents.
After two years of letter writing and petitioning got them no where (something I'm quite familiar with), the organization decided to take a more active role and gather the data they were seeking by directly monitoring checkpoint operations themselves. Quite expectantly, the Border Patrol responded by harassing the monitors, illegally threatening them & illegally interfering with their first amendment protected activities.
Looks like I'm not the only Arizonan fed up with armed Border Patrol agents seizing folks absent suspicion along public roads inside the country to interrogate, search and generally harass them absent individualized suspicion of wrongdoing.
On January 15, 2014, the ACLU of Southern Arizona filed formal complaints with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General and Office For Civil Rights and Civil Liberties regarding CBP's conduct of internal checkpoints in Southern Arizona. In the complaint, the ACLU details a dozen incidents of gross Border Patrol abuse at these checkpoints over the past fifteen months or so.
Having experienced first hand the harassment of Border Patrol agents at these types of checkpoints over the past six years, none of the abuses highlighted came as a surprise to me. Indeed, several themes appear to be repeated over and over again. First, many of the incidents described by the ACLU are ones where Border Patrol agents never even bother to ask the vehicle occupants their immigration status even though immigration is the sole 'legitimate' purpose of the roadblocks. Second, the number of false or falsified drug dog alerts described in the complaint should be eye opening. Third, many of the Border Patrol agents described in the complaint are equal opportunity abusers. It doesn't matter to them if the person they're abusing is male or female, six years old or seventy seven. Everyone daring to use the public roads these federal roadblocks have been setup along are fair game. Everyone is a target.
My thanks go out to the ACLU for helping to shed additional light on the true nature of these federal roadblocks and the so-called public servants who operate them.
Appearing in Reason Magazine's January 2014 edition is an article written by Wes Kimbell titled:
Refuseniks fight back against feds demanding paper
As you might imagine, Checkpoint USA is figured prominently in the article. It's well worth the read so if you have the time, please check it out on Reason's website. If for some reason it's not available on their website, the article appears in its entirety at the end of this blog post.
The first part of Mr. Kimbell's article highlights a violent encounter Steven Anderson had at the hands of Arizona DPS Officers and Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint near Yuma, AZ several years ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the story and the legal aftermath, I've written extensively about it here. From the link, you'll also find various videos of Mr. Anderson's legal proceedings and his assault and tazering at the hands of those who are supposed to serve & protect us.
A reader recently forwarded me the link from Reason appearing below:
It appears that police near Des Moines, Iowa are setting up suspicionless checkpoints in the area tonight and the Iowa Republican party has sent out bulletins warning drivers to be on the lookout for them and to be ready to assert their rights as necessary.
My hat's off to the Iowa Republican party for doing what political parties across the country should be doing. Educating & assisting individuals in asserting their rights against intrusive and over-reaching government operations.
In followup to my earlier article. on July 1, 2013 at Pima County's Consolidated Justice Court, hearing officer Chris Holguin dismissed the single charge of "stopping unnecessarily in the highway" levied against me by Pima County Sheriff Deputy Thomas Audetat after he decided he needed to be someplace else other than the hearing he was responsible for creating in the first place.
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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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