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.
Continue reading Law Enforcement Unchecked – By Evan Bernick
I haven’t had much time to look into this story yet but it appears that Washington D.C. police will be targeting specific neighborhoods in the D.C. area for military-style checkpoints designed to shutdown the targeted neighborhoods to unapproved vehicle traffic while forcing individuals to identify themselves along with the purpose for their travels.
The following quote from a Washington Post article sums up this police state operation nicely:
“In certain areas, we need to go beyond the normal methods of policing,” Fenty (D) said at a news conference announcing the action. “We’re going to go into an area and completely shut it down to prevent shootings and the sale of drugs.”
The checkpoint will stop vehicles approaching the 1400 block of Montello Avenue NE, a section of the Trinidad neighborhood that has been plagued with homicides and other violence. Police will search cars if they suspect the presence of guns or drugs, and will arrest people who do not cooperate, under a charge of failure to obey a police officer, officials said.
Thanks to everyone who emailed me links to this developing story. If these police state checkpoint enforcement operations aren’t challenged and squashed early on, expect to see them appear in every major community across America in the next five to ten years.
Links to additional related articles appear below along with text from two of them:
Continue reading D.C. Neighborhoods Being Targeted for Military-style Police Checkpoints
A reader recently brought to my attention a radio show by American Radio host David Champion. The show centered around a discussion of a fireworks checkpoint conducted in San Bernardino County, California in June of this year. Since this was the first time I had heard of police checkpoints being premised on the interdiction of fireworks, I did a little digging to gather background information.
Continue reading California Conducts Illegal Fireworks Checkpoint
It appears that illegal multi-jurisdictional dragnet roadblocks are no longer just a phenomena of Southwestern Arizona. These intrusive suspicionless enforcement operations continue to proliferate in communities across America at an alarming rate. Worse yet, many are being paid for in full by so-called ‘Homeland Security’ grants designed more to commandeer local law enforcement for federal purposes than safeguard local communities.
Continue reading Maine Cops Conduct Illegal Roadblock With Federal Funds
In follow-up to my May 19th post, it appears the city council in Boulder City, Nevada is reviewing the police department’s checkpoint guidelines and policy regarding the use of checkpoints to conduct child safety seat inspections. Unlike other child safety seat programs conducted around the country, the Boulder City Police decided to make their checkpoint program mandatory and physically enter stopped vehicles absent reasonable suspicion or a warrant in order to inspect child safety seats without a parent’s consent.
Continue reading Car-seat Inspection Policy Under Review
A little over a year ago, I was contacted by Matt Ragan of Boulder City, Nevada regarding a suspicionless checkpoint regime being operated in the city by local police. Matt was concerned about the civil rights implications of the roadblocks along with their general intrusiveness on the traveling public. Publicly, the police claimed the purpose of the bi-annual checkpoint was to educate parents regarding the proper installation of child safety seats. A little digging by Matt however revealed a slightly different story
Continue reading Boulder City Police Using Child Safety As Pretext For Suspicionless Dragnet Roadblock Ops