May ’07 photos of ‘The Gauntlet’ in Southern Arizona

sr868

As part of my ongoing, “Who Watches the Watchers” series, I’ve finished posting May ’07 police state photos from Southern Arizona’s State Route 86 (SR86).

Many of the slide show photos depict Homeland Security agents with Customs and Border Protection. Additionally, I’m starting to see a rise in the number of local/state agents patrolling the highway. These agents are most likely state sponsored homeland security detachments – a recent trend in these parts.

SR86 is a favorite hangout for these agents even though it’s located over 40 miles North of our Southern Border. In many of the photos, federal agents can be observed engaging in suspicionless profiling of the traveling public. If you fit the profile, you’ll more likely than not be pulled over for interrogation.

Things Homeland Security agents look for while you drive by include whether or not:

  1. You make too much eye contact…
  2. You don’t make enough eye contact..
  3. You appear rigid or nervous…
  4. You have a disheveled/low hygiene appearance…
  5. You drive a make or model vehicle that has a higher statistical probability than average of being used in drug crimes…
  6. You drive a vehicle that appears overloaded…
  7. You drive while brown…

If you think I’m making this up, check out my writeup regarding a meeting I had with the Tucson Sector Special Operations Border Patrol Supervisor in 2003.

Homeland Security officials like to assure the public they’re not engaging in racial profiling (they call it behavioral profiling). Unfortunately the Border Patrol doesn’t keep records of stops made which don’t result in an arrest. As such, there’s no way to do a statistical analysis on the agency’s stopping patterns. Convenient for them. Not so convenient for us.

Of course none of this would be an issue if the agency patrolled the border like they’re supposed to instead of harassing travelers in the interior of the country. On the border they wouldn’t have to guess who was entering the country illegally…

Leave a Reply