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:
Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school. Every time their parents take them to Tucson shopping. Every time they go to a friends house in Amado, or to Karate in Sahuarita. Men carry guns, dogs bark, lights flash. - Reason
On the weekend of May 27, 2015, a significant percentage of residents from Amado and Arivaca, AZ assembled at one of several federal CBP roadblocks that have been seizing local traffic entering and exiting their communities for the past eight years. During the assembly, residents staged a sit-in in order to draw attention to their long-standing petition for redress of grievances against the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) & its parent agency Customs & Border Protection (CBP). A petition that has been all but ignored by the powers that be:
Proving itself to be an equal opportunity harasser regardless of what border it operates near, Border Patrol agents stationed near Canada were recently caught on tape illegally detaining, physically assaulting and tasering 21 year old Jessica Cooke near Waddington, New York. The incident occurred on May 7, 2015 and the agents primarily responsible for the assault can be seen above as well as in the video below:
On Monday February 9, 2015, Channel 13 News in Tucson, AZ (KOLD) published the above video and an investigative report on internal CBP checkpoints:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –
“There’s growing concern surrounding southern Arizona’s Border Patrol checkpoints. An increasing number of complaints are now coming from United States citizens who believe they’re wrongfully being questioned and sometimes detained by agents without probable cause….”
The complete report and video can be found on KOLD’s website at:
The video above depicts Border Patrol agent Michael Flanders acknowledging the right of individuals to not answer questions while being seized at internal Border Patrol roadblocks. For daring to do his duty in a professional, friendly and lawful manner, Agent Flanders is now facing termination from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
I initially wrote about Agent Flanders back in March of 2014. I hadn’t heard much more about him since then however until this most recent video. As part of the video posting, Agent Flanders also provided the following description:
The video above depicts the actions of a violent street gang that’s been operating with impunity in Southern Texas for quite some time now. The street gang, also known as the Green Monster (U.S. Border Patrol), physically attacked a truck driver without just cause at a suspicionless internal Homeland Security roadblock near Falfurrias, TX in early November of this year:
While being seized & detained at the roadblock for peacefully & lawfully exercising his right to not answer investigatory questions, the trucker’s window was busted out by U.S. Border Patrol Field Supervisor Lial. Lial then had his lackeys drag the trucker out against his will. After the trucker was removed from his vehicle, Lial rushed in and seized the video camera that had recorded the assault.
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.
[Update: The show is now available online here. Another version of the story has also been released on latinousa.org]
Beginning Friday November 21, 2014, the public radio show This American Life will air a segment on internal Border Patrol checkpoints. I was interviewed last month by the show regarding my history & experiences at some of these checkpoints.
For those who want to listen to the show when it airs, you can find out what station it will be available on in your area along with dates and times here. Otherwise, the show should be archived and available online here
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.