Late last year, four Tohono O’odham tribal police officers and one federal agent were deposed in my civil rights lawsuit stemming from an illegal joint task force roadblock over four years ago. I spent most of 2003 successfully defending myself against various trumped-up charges. After the charges were prejudicially dismissed by a judge in December 2003, I filed a lawsuit against the tribal officers which resulted in the deposition of ICE Agent William Dreeland late last year. For those unfamiliar with this fifty-five month legal saga, a comprehensive overview is available here.
Some time ago, I came across the story of a Minnesota bicyclist who was tazed by airport police while riding home from the Minnesota airport after a recent trip. By all accounts the bicycle rider, Stephan Orsak, was in compliance with all pertinent airport regulations and Minnesota law at the time he was stopped by airport police.
During the encounter, the police were rude, hostile and gave conflicting orders to Mr. Orsak regarding his perfectly legal bike riding activities. When Mr. Orsak questioned the police regarding their behavior and confusing orders, the police became more belligerent and ultimately tazed Mr. Orsak and stomped on his glasses.
After the encounter, the police charged Mr. Orsak with multiple criminal misdeamenors to cover up their own egregious behaviour. They also posted no bike riding signs after the fact in strategic locations and erased footage from airport surveillance cameras that could have been used as evidence to exonerate Mr. Orsak of the charges levied against him.
Mr. Orsak has documented the incident, including legal documentation associated with his case on his blog.
Tomorrow, Mr. Orsak is scheduled to appear in court where several motions will be heard and jury selection for the trial will begin.
I encourage those who are interested in this case to checkout Mr. Orsak’s blog and lend him your support if you feel it’s justified.
On July 5th, the Arizona Daily Star reported that CBP, Customs and Border Protection – an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, has chosen a location for an interim permanent roadblock in Southern Arizona (see article below). This roadblock, to be located near kilometer post 50 on Interstate 19 just North of Arivaca, will be the first of its kind to sully Arizona’s highways in the State’s history.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department will be helping us remember what Independence Day is all about by improving on the historical excesses of the writ of assistance as used against the colonists prior to the revolutionary war.
The Sheriff’s Department will be conducting sobriety roadblocks on July 4th and 6th of this year while augmenting roadblocks with saturation patrols throughout the upcoming weekend. The department will be conducting these roadblocks absent any reasonable suspicion, general warrant or writ of assistance – hence the ‘improvement’ over the old British system where agents of the state were burdened with carrying a piece of paper authorizing their excesses.