While I have much to say about Rick Rynearson’s treatment at the hands of jack-booted Border Patrol thugs at internal suspicionless roadblocks and black-robed judicial thugs in the judicial system, I’ll let Rick speak for himself….
Evan Bernick | 17 March 2016
It is an issue that affects millions of American motorists: Can border patrol agents detain you simply because they believe you are being difficult? Last year, a federal court concluded that it was “reasonable” for border patrol agents performing citizenship checks to detain Richard Rynearson at an immigration checkpoint for 23 minutes after he offered the agents both his military and personal passports, without any suspicion of criminal activity. In rejecting Rynearson’s Fourth Amendment claims, the court brushed aside compelling evidence—captured on video—that the agents deliberately prolonged Rynearson’s detention because he dared to question the propriety of some of their questions and instructions.
I recently received an email from Joe Williams regarding his ongoing legal battles over suspicionless roadblocks in Atlanta, Georgia. Joe sends word that he will be in court on Wednesday February 10, 2016 over bogus charges filed against him by Atlanta checkpoint cops who prefer policing for profit.over protecting and serving.
For past posts regarding Joe’s principled stands at suspicionless checkpoints, follow this link.
For current information regarding the state of policing for profit in Atlanta Georgia along with Joe’s status, read his recent update below and consider supporting him in court along with his efforts in general however you can:
On March 18, 2010 Major Richard Rynearson, an active duty air force pilot, was illegally detained for over 34 minutes at an internal immigration checkpoint near Uvalde, Texas despite answering all immigration related questions and showing multiple forms of identification to Border Patrol agents. Agents who were far more interested in harassing Mr. Rynearson than verifying his immigration status. Instead of disciplining his subordinates for violating Border Patrol legal guidance, violating the law and violating Mr. Rynearson’s rights, Chief Patrol Agent Robert Harris (depicted below) doubled down by writing a letter to Rynearson’s command complaining about Rynearson actually exercising some of those rights Harris is responsible for protecting.
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.
As previously indicated, the state charge against me for honking my horn at a federal Border Patrol checkpoint setup along a state highway inside the country while being illegally detained in the lane of traffic by federal agents has been dismissed in Pima County Justice Court after an hour-long hearing on July 11, 2014.
As part of my testimony during the hearing, I read from a fourteen page written statement along with ten supporting exhibits. That statement and the exhibits have been re-created below. Additionally, I’ve requested a copy of the audio record of the hearing from the court and will post it once it becomes available. I’m also planning on uploading video footage of the encounter in the near future.
Below appears the text of the written statement I read in court along with applicable links. For those who follow the checkpoint issue closely, you’ll probably find several of the exhibits I presented in court interesting. These would include recent ACLU complaints and a FOIA lawsuit regarding internal Border Patrol checkpoints, information regarding Operation Stonegarden where local cops collect overtime pay for assisting Border Patrol agents in the field and a recent Border Patrol law bulletin informing agents they can’t legally detain people for not answering questions or because they don’t like their attitude.
Good news regarding Major Richard Rynearson’s lawsuit against the Border Patrol has recently surfaced. After having his case dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Del Rio in September of last year, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to review the case and hear oral argument sometime in the next few months.
[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.
[A law bulletin issued to Border Patrol agents in 2012 but largely ignored]
For years it’s been obvious to me that federal Border Patrol agents are operating well outside the law at internal Border Patrol checkpoints and via roving patrol. Indeed, my Roadblock Revelations blog and videos have been largely dedicated to exposing this lawlessness through first hand experiences and research that I’ve been slowly piecing together and sharing online. I’ve also submitted quite a few FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests over the years regarding official USCBP policies and procedures. The purpose being to compare the way agents are actually conducting roadblock operations to how they’re supposed to be conducted according to official agency policy.
All of my FOIA requests have resulted in the Border Patrol further violating the law by either refusing to respond at all or failing to provide any sort of meaningful reply (the most recent examples of this will be posted in the near future). The reason for this has also been obvious to me over the years. Border Patrol top brass & supervisors know their agents are violating the law while operating outside agency policy but don’t want irrefutable evidence of this fact to see the light of day.