Brett Darrow is one of those individuals who believe in police accountability and doesn’t take kindly to police officers who abuse their authority while hiding behind a gun and a badge. To protect himself from such abuse, Darrow outfitted his vehicle with an in-car camera system several years ago after learning first-hand how some cops have no qualms with fabricating falsehoods to justify otherwise illegal enforcement actions.
Over the past year, there’s been a marked increase in the number of local and state police officers working with federal Homeland Security agents along state highways. Perhaps this has always been the case and I never noticed (doubtful). More likely, it’s the logical result of a Department of Homeland Security policy of throwing money at local and state enforcement agencies in the form of Homeland Security grants.
These federal grants are, of course, designed to buy more than just overtime pay for local police and new equipment for state agencies. They’re designed to buy loyalty. Specifically, loyalty to federal handlers and policies at the expense of local communities and individual rights.
It seems that the U.S. Border Patrol is now working closely with the Pennsylvania State Police, the Ohio State Patrol and the New York State Police in a crackdown on so-called aggressive driving, impaired driving and speeding.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear the U.S. Border Patrol has no authority to enforce state or local traffic laws, it’s equally clear the Border Patrol will be using traffic stops initiated by local and state law enforcement as a pretext to enforce federal immigration and smuggling laws:
“Border Patrol agents have no part in enforcing laws that regulate highway use, and their activities have nothing to do with an inquiry whether motorists and their vehicles are entitled, by virtue of compliance with laws governing highway usage, to be upon the public highways.” – U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce
Freedom’s Phoenix Senior Editor Powell Gammill traveled down to Tucson from Phoenix yesterday to observe and take notes on my trial regarding impeding traffic.
Powell’s article regarding the trial appears below and can be accessed in its original form here:
This is just a brief update regarding today’s events in Pima County Justice Court related to this incident. Checkpoint USA won without uttering a word.
Tribal police officer Robert Carrasco arrived in court and presented his case in about five minutes or so. Normally, the defendant is then allowed to respond to the allegations but before I was allowed to speak, the judge dismissed the single charge of impeding traffic against me stating that the statute didn’t apply.
On February 5, 2009, Arizona House Representative Jerry Weiers ignored his oath of office and responsibility to the people of Arizona by introducing HB 2380 for its first reading by the Committee on Military Affairs and Public Safety. Since then, the bill has been read a second time and received five yes votes during a committee vote. No one voted against the bill although three lawmakers were absent during the vote. Additionally, the bill appears to have cleared the Rules Committee and is currently awaiting a full vote on the House floor.
Over at Freedom’s Phoenix, Barry Hess has written a good commentary on HB2380, an onerous bill working its way through the Arizona legislature. If passed into law, this bill will amend ARS 13-2401 and allow cops, prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys to interfere with freedom of speech, freedom of the press and equal protection by unilaterally deciding what personal information about themselves can be posted online.
If passed into law, this bill will amend ARS 13-2401 to allow current and retired ‘peace officers’ along with other protected classes to decide what ‘personal information’, including photos, can be posted about them online and to bring felony charges against those who fail to remove posted information after the protected individual has ordered them to do so.
This is a quick update regarding the December 20, 2008 U.S. Border Patrol/tribal police encounter I previously discussed here.
Tribal police officer Robert Carrasco, Badge #166, with the Tohono O’odham Police Department worked closely with U.S. Border Patrol Agents to maliciously cite me for impeding traffic while I was being seized by armed federal agents in front of two stop signs at a Homeland Security checkpoint.
Officer Carrasco appears to the right in the photo above while the two Border Patrol agents who left their checkpoint posts to assist Officer Carrasco with impeding my right to travel after waving me through the DHS checkpoint appear to the left.
Not to be disappointed on the 6 year anniversary of an illegal joint task force roadblock I ran afoul of on December 20, 2002, I was molested by the same agencies yet again six years later under slightly different circumstances.
In 2002, the U.S. Border Patrol (and U.S. Customs) assisted the Tohono O’odham Police Department with conducting an illegal dragnet roadblock masquerading as a sobriety checkpoint inside the reservation along a state highway. After being stopped at the roadblock in 2002 while driving home from work, I was deemed to be insufficiently submissive and was promptly arrested and maliciously prosecuted.
After defeating the charges in court a year later, I filed a lawsuit which is still ongoing today. Whether or not this history has anything to do with tribal police involvement in the incident described below remains to be seen. A review of the lawsuit’s discovery documentation however reveals that TOPD Officer R. Carrasco, badge #166, the tribal officer who engaged in joint action with the Border Patrol below, also participated in the 2002 roadblock that’s currently being litigated in the 9th Circuit.