Another American Radicalized

A far-right, Barack Obama-hating Baptist preacher had a bad encounter with the Border Patrol and made a video about it: Baptist pastor beaten & tazed by Border patrol – 11 stitches.

Maybe the guys who who beat and tased him were operating under advice of counsel? (But seriously, I bet it's only a matter of time before Fox or someone says this is proof that Obama is Hitler or something.)

Don't use this as a model with how to deal with a traffic stop: If law enforcement tell you you're under arrest — which must have happened at some point, although when isn't clear — one should get out of the car if told to. Or even if told to before arrest. Sue them later. (It's ok to ask if one is required to do so or if one is free to go. But if the officer says you're required to comply, do so — and get their name.)

And, even absent arrest, if there's probable cause for a search — like a dog alert — then law enforcement have the right under current law to search the car. Problem here is that there's a fairly credible allegation that the 'dog alert' may have been a fake. As the law stands, however, that doesn't give one a right to resist arrest. It sure sounds like it would have been wiser to get out of the car one the police showed up, at the latest. But it also sounds like despite the Pastor's charming belief that the 4th amendment applied, or would have protected him even if it did, there were several unjustified acts that could serve well for claims of police brutality.

Why do the “Border Patrol” get to set up checkpoints 75 miles from the border? Because in United States vs. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 (1976), the Supreme Court said they could go up to 100 miles from the border. Which includes pretty the entire state of Florida, since most of it is within 100 miles of the coast!

Click for a bigger picture.

It's not just a Florida problem. Here's the ACLU:

Much of U.S. population affected

  • Many Americans and Washington policymakers believe that this is a problem confined to the San Diego-Tijuana border or the dusty sands of Arizona or Texas, but these powers stretch far inland across the United States.
  • To calculate what proportion of the U.S. population is affected by these powers, the ACLU created a map and spreadsheet showing the population and population centers that lie within 100 miles of any “external boundary” of the United States.
  • The population estimates were calculated by examining the most recent US census numbers for all counties within 100 miles of these borders. Using numbers from the Population Distribution Branch of the US Census Bureau, we were able to estimate both the total number and a state-by-state population breakdown. The custom map was created with help from a map expert at World Sites Atlas.
  • What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United States’ population lives within this Constitution-free or Constitution-lite Zone. That’s 197.4 million people who live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.
  • Nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas as determined by the 2000 census, fall within the Constitution-free Zone. (The only exception is #9, Dallas-Fort Worth.) Some states are considered to lie completely within the zone: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
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2 Responses to Another American Radicalized

  1. George says:

    He seems to have a problem with authority

  2. This guy has a point, yeah maybe if he had nothing to hide he should have just let him search his car and be done with it, but tazing him? Come on. Ask anyone these days and they will tell you the first thought that comes in their head as soon as they see a cop in the rear view whether they are breaking the law or not is, “oh Crap.” Add that to the fact that there is practically no crime in my town, and like 5 billion cops, they are just waiting to cause trouble for normal law abiding citizens.

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