This is an interesting video.
Anyone with a lick of historical understanding of the law is aware that police checkpoints, the pulling of people over at random without probable cause, is an obvious violation of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution and takes the idea of “limited government” and tosses it right out the window. The fact that some courts have allowed this is nothing more than another example of how judges are often just another government bureaucrat who doesn’t respect the limits imposed by the Constitution nor do they recognize the limits of their office.
So the local activists filmed the policed while they explained to them that these checkpoints condition the police to pull people over without cause because their boss tells them its ok. So what comes next? When asked if they felt good about what they were doing an officer said “yes we are saving lives”… and I am sure if they were asked to round-up firearms from American citizens they would say the same thing. I am also sure that secret police around the world and in times past told themselves the same thing.
[Disagree? Do you actually believe for one moment that Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, Patrick Henry etc etc would approve of police checkpoints and warrant-less searches outside of war time invasion? If you do than you are totally unaware how the British abused the warrant process and how the king granted British troops the power to write their own warrants without the authority of a magistrate.]
The activists also made a sign and stood 100 yards up from the checkpoint warning drivers of the checkpoint so they could turn off ahead of time.
While the rhetoric that some of the activists used in the video is poorly chosen, on the grand scheme of things they are correct. What they need is a lawyer and a smart public relations pro to help them to get their rhetoric down to where it is smart and effective.
What is more entertaining is when the police detain the man holding the sign while they try to dream up something to charge him with, and seem frustrated when they cannot figure out a way to prevent the man from exercising his First Amendment rights.
It is important to point out that not all police believe checkpoints are moral or constitutional. I know some police who are opposed to the entire idea of checkpoints. I am reporting on this story for two reasons, one because it is interesting and different, and two because I am pro-police. Police have better things to do and have real crime to fight.
UPDATE – This man went to federal court court to stop unlawful detainments by police at checkpoints and he won.
Now the same man is on a crusade to stop unlawful detainments at federal checkpoints:
On November 26th, I was stopped & seized for about the 50th time since the beginning of 2008. The seizure took place at an internal suspicionless Homeland Security checkpoint along Southern Arizona’s SR86 near mile post 146. SR86 is an East-West public highway located over 40 miles North of the border and never intersects the border at any point.
During the stop, Agent Gilmore admitted he knew who I was & all three agents told me I wasn’t being detained. Nonetheless, these facts didn’t stop the agents from refusing to allow me to go about my lawful business, choosing instead to escalate the encounter by requesting that I move to secondary inspection for more intensive scrutiny absent my consent or any articuable suspicion.
While continuing to deny that I was being detained and refusing to allow me to leave, the agents threatened me with arrest for impeding their operations.
After close to eight minutes of being unlawfully detained, a Border Patrol supervisor eventually arrives on-scene and wastes no time in telling me that I’m free to go with no further scrutiny.
Given the circumstances surrounding this extended non-detention, the only reasonable explanation that can be attributed to the agent’s behavior is a desire to train the traveling public to be obedient to the whims of any federal agent with a shiny badge & a gun.
What is interesting is that Agent Gilmore admits in this 50th traffic encounter that he knows who the citizen is, thus he knows full well that the citizen is legal, and choses to detain him anyway… big mistake. They keep asking him to state his citizenship, but that is after they admitted that they know who the citizen is, and they should after 50 detainments. Obviously the citizen is trying to get the agents to take the illegal detainment one step further to an illegal arrest, which would give him cause to sue for monetary damages. Once again I am not reporting this because we are pro or anti immigration police. This is just an interesting story.