Border Patrol Agents Tase Woman For Refusing To Cooperate With Their Bogus Search

from the the-question-that-has-no-real-answer dept

Jessica Cooke, a New York native who had recently applied for a position with Customs and Border Protection, asked the only question that needed to be asked after being tased by CBP agents for asserting her rights: “What the fuck is wrong with you?!?”

Cooke was driving from Norfolk to her boyfriend’s house in Ogdensburg, the northern border of which is the St. Lawrence River. If you cross the river, you are in Canada, but Cooke was not crossing the river. She nevertheless became subject to the arbitrary orders of CBP agents by driving through one of the country’s many internal immigration checkpoints, which can be located anywhere within 100 miles of the border (a zone that includes two-thirds of the U.S. population). For some mysterious reason, she was instructed to pull into a secondary inspection area, where she used her cellphone to record a five-minute video of the stop (below). [Language possibly NSFW]



These CBP agents — like too many other law enforcement officers — had no idea how to react when their authority was challenged. They only saw one route to take: escalation.

Cooke knew the CBP agents needed something in the way of reasonable suspicion to continue to detain her. But they had nothing. The only thing offered in the way of explanation as they ordered her to return to her detained vehicle was that she appeared “nervous” during her prior interaction with the female CBP agent. This threadbare assertion of “reasonable suspicion” is law enforcement’s blank check — one it writes itself and cashes with impunity.

The CBP supervisor then stated he’d be bringing in a drug dog to search her vehicle — another violation of Cooke’s rights. The Supreme Court very recently ruled that law enforcement cannot unnecessarily prolong routine stops in order to perform additional searches unrelated to the stop’s objective.

If the purpose of CBP is to secure borders and regulate immigration, then this stop had very little to do with the agency’s objectives. Cooke is an American citizen and had not crossed a border. If the CBP’s objective is to do whatever it wants within x number of miles of the border, then it’s apparently free to perform suspicionless searches. In this case, the CBP was operating in drug enforcement mode, but even so, it still hadn’t offered anything more than Cooke’s alleged “nervousness” to justify the search and detainment. Additionally, the CBP’s decision to bring in a drug dog raised the bar for justification.

While nervousness alone might be deemed enough for reasonable suspicion, SUNY Buffalo immigration law professor Rick Su told the local NPR station, “it is not sufficient” to justify a vehicle search, which requires probable cause to believe the vehicle contains evidence of a crime.

Things escalated when Cooke refused to return to her vehicle and wait passively for the CBP to perform its questionable search. Cooke told the officers she would leave if the search wasn’t performed within 20 minutes. The supervisor told her she could leave, but her car couldn’t and if she tried, spike strips would be deployed.

Shortly thereafter, this exchange occurred:

CBP agent: I’m going to tell you one more time, and then I’m going to move you.
Cooke: If you touch me, I will sue your ass. Do you understand me?
CBP agent: Go for it.
Cooke: Touch me then.
CBP agent: Move over there.
Cooke: Go ahead. Touch me.
CBP agent: I’m telling you to move over there.

Cue said “touching,” followed almost immediately by screams of pain and swearing as Cooke is tased. Before the recording end, you can hear the CBP agent claiming Cooke “assaulted a federal officer.” (As one does…)

And for all the hassle, the CBP came up with nothing.

During an exterior inspection of her vehicle by the unit, nothing was found, Ms. Cooke said. She said agents then opened the car doors, got her keys and opened the trunk.

Again, nothing was found, Ms. Cooke said, adding that agents did a second search of the vehicle with the K-9 unit, but found nothing.

There will always be those who feel citizens who refuse to meet law enforcement instructions with anything but meek obedience deserve whatever happens to them. “It’s tough being in law enforcement,” they claim. And it is. But considering the job contains the constant threat of injury or death, a little mouthiness or stubbornness shouldn’t be met with this level of force.

Things are slowly changing, though. Law enforcement officers can no longer rely on the belief that citizens know less about their rights than they do. They will need to do more to justify searches and seizures in the future, instead of just making vague claims about perceived nervousness. Otherwise, their unconstitutional search attempts are either going to rely heavily on ensuring compliance through inapproriate use of force, or head to the other end of the spectrum, where they won’t even get a chance to take a look. [Language possibly NSFW]

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Comments on “Border Patrol Agents Tase Woman For Refusing To Cooperate With Their Bogus Search”

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134 Comments
Davidsays:

Wrong again.

Things are slowly changing, though. Law enforcement officers can no longer rely on the belief that citizens know less about their rights than they do. They will need to do more to justify searches and seizures in the future, instead of just making vague claims about perceived nervousness.

As long as the public foots any bill from civil right lawsuits and there are no consequences or drawbacks to the officers overstepping any line of reasonability, law enforcement officers will be able to continue doing searches and seizures without any rational justification.

Any right that can be breached without adverse consequences for the person breaching it is non-existent. The Fourth Amendment in particular is given the standing of a bad joke.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Wrong again.

This is why sueing to break qualified immunity and then individually sueing the jackasses in civil court is important. Make it clear that the public finds their behavior indefensible and make them find their own lawyers and word will get around to knock it off.

Or departments will see budget shortfalls due to lawsuit costs and seize stuff to cover the gap, whichever seems more likely.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Cops were confrontational? Yeah let’s not let them do their jobs.

Cops were aggressive? Where? You mustn’t have watched the right video.

Cops were asses? As one would be when being confronted by an impatient aggressive confrontational person brandishing a video camera in their faces.

There’s procedures to deal with these problems, and sticking a video camera in their faces and being a dick is not one of them.

I love how this site went from a tech site to a blindly anti-cop site…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

No sense trying to argue against the flow here. This site and its readers are so rabidly anti-establishment that they won’t listen to any arguments outside their own. I completely agree with you. Regardless of any questions on constitutionality, the cops showed a great deal of patience with this woman. There are much more effective ways to fight for your rights than the example she sets. It was like watching a five-year-old throw a tantrum when her parents were trying to put her to bed.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Much more effective ways to fight for her rights?

Please elaborate…what should she have done?

– File a report, and let them investigate themselves? I can’t imagine how that would work out…
– Let them defy the Supreme Court ruling, and just let us all know after the fact? So that folks like you can still defend their actions?

Please, please, please elaborate as to what else she could have done that would be more effective?

Because right now, I’m betting that she’s lawyered up, and it’s going to cost us taxpayers some money. And personally, I’m sick of paying for ham-fisted actions like this, that do nothing to improve public safety (try to remember that NO DRUGS were taken off the street, so we’re not any more safe from the boogeyman than we were before).

Bensays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So, I’m wondering what you think she should have done?

She is a US Citizen, driving in the US. She is stopped at a security checkpoint (and I already hear echos of “papers please”…). They tell her to pull over and then just have her sit there (while they surreptitiously are calling for a drug dog).

She has a right to go about her (legal) business without interference. Security checkpoint, somewhat OK (I have other problems with that, but the courts seem to think they are OK so long as they stop EVERYONE). Unless they have probable cause to detain her they should have let her go on her way immediately.

She knew her rights. She objected. They tazed her. She had the foresight to record the encounter; it didn’t seem “in their face” to me — and THEY are the professionals. They are supposed to know the law, and how to apply it. They f*cked up, and you are blaming the victim.

Pull your head out of your ass.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Hey, if you want to get your ass kicked or worse, be my guest. I just stated that if you feel like putting your head in harms way, keep talking.

You may be injured or killed, but I guess the settlement you win in court (or your family) will be bigger. Me, I personally don’t try to piss people off who may or may not end up shooting me.

Am I saying it is right what the border patrol did? Nope, they violated the law. It shouldn’t have happened. I just tend not to want to poke sticks at tigers. I would let lawyers do that in a court of law.

Jeremy Lymansays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Then you should be thanking this woman for doing what you, and probably I, are too cowardly to do. Assert her rights in the face of acts that violate our constitution and way of life. Without people standing against unlawful exhibitions of power, there will be no impetus to change these illegal policies and practices.

JoeCoolsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You have it totally wrong. Ghandi’s peaceful resistance didn’t mean “do whatever they tell you and then later complain”, it was just what SHE DID – stand up for your rights without fighting, knowing that they will probably hurt you for doing so. She could have been a little more polite in her peaceful resistance, but she was completely right in how she went about it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Did you actually watch the video? After a short conversation, the supervisor decides he wants her to wait in her car or leave on foot and when she rightly says she doesn’t have to, he pushes her and the female agent tazes her. Where was the patience? The fact that it took an hour for the drug dog to arrive rather than having already been there means that there’s no disregarding of constitutionality questions. It was clearly in violation of the recent Supreme Court ruling. No amount of talking back to a cop negates your rights under the Constitution or gives cops probable cause to detain you, much less assault you. You say she’s acting like a five year old, but the cops are acting like authoritative, abusive parents who say, “because I said so” as their justification for everything and smack a child when its not doing anything wrong just to show it who’s in charge. Wanting cops to act like human beings instead of macho pack animals is no more anti-establishment than wanting parents not to beat their children because the parents have god complexes and anger issues is being anti-parent.

JamesFsays:

Re: Re: Re:

Its not their job to be confrontational. Its their job to deal with confrontation. Professionally.

Tazing someone who isn’t presenting an active threat isn’t aggressive?

Hang on, its ok to be an ass if someone else is an ass first? Seeing as a stop and search without reasonable cause violates your constitution, I’d say they started it.

Finally, criticizing cops for doing things they are explicitly NOT allowed to do is not blindly anti-cop, its perfectly justifiably anti-THESE-cops

Rekrulsays:

Re: Re: Re:

Cops were confrontational? Yeah let’s not let them do their jobs.

The job of Customs and Border Patrol is to protect the borders of the United States. How is it their job to perform suspicionless searching of people who aren’t crossing the border?

Cops were aggressive? Where? You mustn’t have watched the right video.

Yes, they were aggressive. She wasn’t bothering anyone by standing there, but they still felt the need to physically grab her and shove her back towards her vehicle.

Cops were asses? As one would be when being confronted by an impatient aggressive confrontational person brandishing a video camera in their faces.

So if a person isn’t being 100% friendly and obedient to the cops, it’s perfectly OK for them to brutalize and tase that person? Can you please cite the relevant law that allows them to do this? Because if there’s no law saying that they can do that, then what they did was illegal.

There’s procedures to deal with these problems, and sticking a video camera in their faces and being a dick is not one of them.

In other words, just bend over and take it up the ass, then let the courts sort it out after your rights have been violated?

Uriel-238says:

They can be polite all they want, but they're still subjecting the woman to an illegal search.

And since the context of the whole conversation is that they were subjecting her to an illegal search, her irate demeanor is justified.

If your bank was arbitrarily service-charging you for no good reason, the politeness of its customer service agent would be cold comfort while she was denying you a reversal or an explanation.

Davidsays:

Re:

She was confrontational, aggressive, and generally an ass. Sure, that doesn’t warrant being tazed,

They should have just kicked and shot her dead. Questioning authority has no place in the Land of the Free. Where uppity “citizens” like her come into play, rule by police and rule by law diverge and our country has to show its true colors.

And those true colors are ugly and nobody wants to see them. So the sooner people like her are eradicated, the better for everyone else.

Uh-oh say can you see by the dawn’s early light which so prudently we buried at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

It’s so easy to blame the dog. If she had just realized that its nature was that of fear and violence, she wouldn’t have gotten bitten. She was out in the neighborhood taking a walk and putting herself at risk. Sure, that doesn’t warrant being bitten, but in this day and age, if you encounter a wild dog that is by nature unable to think calmly and rationally in a tense moment, don’t expect anything less from a wild dog.

Unless the cops aren’t human beings with compassion, level-headed judgment, control of their own emotions, and strict training in the rights if citizens, then yes, it is very easy to blame them and they shouldn’t be given authority and responsibilities that they can’t handle when faces with opposition to their overreaches.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

Sure, that doesn’t warrant being tazed, but in this day and age if you act like this, don’t expect anything less from LEO.

So you’re admitting that the cop acted out of process, but you’re defending his actions anyway?

This is what I find wrong with the argument of you people who defend cops unconditionally – you admit the cops are out of line, but it doesn’t matter because reasons.

I wonder how much of our tax dollars will pay for his incompetence.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Easy to blame

It’s also very easy to blame the CITIZEN. The LEO also has a legal obligation to obey the law. The LEO doesn’t get to make up reasons to stop people, nor does the LEO get to randomly search vehicles FOR NO REASON. The LEO should act like a professional and not taz people who are not attacking them.

The LEO is not my master, the LEO is supposed to a public servant. Maybe if the LEO didn’t go around violating the RIGHTS of CITIZENS, they would get more cooperation. Until then, they deserve none.

Davidsays:

Re: Re: Easy to blame

The LEO also has a legal obligation to obey the law. The LEO doesn’t get to make up reasons to stop people, nor does the LEO get to randomly search vehicles FOR NO REASON. The LEO should act like a professional and not taz people who are not attacking them.

Why should he? It’s not like he is going to suffer any adverse consequences. Any settlement is not going to come out of his pockets. And he is likely to get promoted in consequence of his actions so that he looks better before judge and jury. Standard procedure. So why should he heed the law? The tax payers shoulder any bill resulting from his actions, and he is likely to get promoted as a routine consequence of being caught breaking the law.

bollockssays:

Re:

“It’s so easy to blame the cops. If she would have just obeyed then she wouldn’t have been tazed. She was confrontational, aggressive, and generally an ass. Sure, that doesn’t warrant being tazed, but in this day and age if you act like this, don’t expect anything less from LEO.”

If following your recommended behaviour you are saying let Law Enforcement (great word ENFORCEMENT EH?) have their own way.

everyone should stand up to these Law ENFORCEMENT morons and stop voting for the corrupt Puppets that are the Government

Colin Cromwellsays:

Re:

“If she would have just obeyed…” “If you don’t act like this…”

That’s just great. It doesn’t matter that they were acting well outside their bounds, detaining and searching illegally. We should just always comply with authority regardless of it’s veracity, is that what you’re saying? She’s got every right to be upset and to question her detention. Cops should not be able to simply say ‘I thought you looked nervous so I’m going to violate your rights.’ Have you never gotten nervous around a cop despite not being guilty of anything? Most people do, it’s normal. They’ve got a baton, taser, and gun and the states blessing to use them with almost no fear of retribution.

Zonkersays:

Re: Re:

Number of people killed by police in the US average 1,000 per year. Number of US citizens killed worldwide by terrorism in 2010 was 8, and in 2011 that total was 17 US citizens worldwide.

A sensible person in the US would be far more nervous around police than they would about terrorist attacks as they are about 100 times more likely to die that way.

Anonymoussays:

with this sort of thing happening on an almost daily basis, why the hell has no one in Congress tried to change things? i can only assume it’s because they are all behind the transformation of the USA into a total Police State! what else can it be when things like this carry on with nothing brought up by those who actually make the laws?

Rekrulsays:

Re:

with this sort of thing happening on an almost daily basis, why the hell has no one in Congress tried to change things? i can only assume it’s because they are all behind the transformation of the USA into a total Police State! what else can it be when things like this carry on with nothing brought up by those who actually make the laws?

They’re happy with the way things are. It makes the population easier to control.

383bigblocksays:

Systemic Problem

There was a time when I would tell my son that no matter what do what officers tell you to do. There is no reason to question their intent or motives they’re just doing their job. Thank god for smart-phones. I no longer believe that the majority of cops a good. I think the majority of cops start out good and then get corrupted by the intoxication of power and what they can do to you and get away with. For every smart-phone video where the cops get caught just imagine how many peoples civil rights they violate that are not caught of film. This is the tip of the iceberg, these are not isolated occurrences these are Standard Operating procedures that include the solidarity of the blue wall to protect them from accountability.
Truly we are seeing 1% of these violations. Welcome to the new world order of the U.S. Police State. I don’t think it was this bad or rampant in East Germany during their heyday of civilian rights violations. Something has to change.

PRMansays:

Re: Systemic Problem

I agree with you that we are probably seeing about 1% of these violations. But that means that well over 90% of cops are good people just doing a good job.

I’ve worked with law enforcement and there are a few bad apples, just like in any job. Where I was working (with about 10 officers) they all knew who would be the one to be eventually fired for something like this (and I agreed with them), but since he hadn’t done anything yet, there really isn’t anything they can do to him.

Rekrulsays:

Re: Re: Systemic Problem

I’ve worked with law enforcement and there are a few bad apples, just like in any job. Where I was working (with about 10 officers) they all knew who would be the one to be eventually fired for something like this (and I agreed with them), but since he hadn’t done anything yet, there really isn’t anything they can do to him.

The real problem is that the “good” cops won’t stand up and out the bad cops. They have to do something truly horrible for even a single cop to stand up against them.

Sure, they know that Bob has an anger problem and they know that the guy he just put into the hospital didn’t actually assault him or do anything to warrant the beating that Bob gave him, but when it comes time to give their reports, every last one of them will swear that they saw the guy take a swing at Bob.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Systemic Problem

I don’t know if you guys watched Better Call Saul, the other character that was in Breaking Bad is there too and he’s an ex-cop and he says that what cops fear the most is to be put in prison with all the people they put in there.

That’s the sad truth at to why the good ones won’t stand up to the pieces of shit…

Anonymoussays:

Acting that belligerently to virtually any cop will draw the same kind of treatment — or worse. She was asked to step away from her car (or get back inside) more than once. She kept refusing, then got into a shoving match. Many cops would have fired their tasers much sooner.

I once had a cop pull a gun on me for doing far less. I have little sympathy for people like her who are basically “asking for it.”

The situation, of course, is one of a police state. The southern border is much worse, like the infamous Sierra Blanca “immigration” checkpoint in the Constitution-free zone outside El Paso, which has been a cash cow for law enforcement for decades. But the northern U.S. border has never been a major conduit for illegal immigrant (or even drug) smuggling, so what’s the pressing need of this checkpoint anyway?

As culturally, financially, and militarity close as the US and Canada are, why does there even need to be a tightly-secure border between them? In fact, why the need for a “border” at all between the US and Canada? The border crossing between Northern (UK) Ireland and Ireland was until a few years ago one of the most militarized and privacy-invasive borders in the world. But it no longer exists, and people can now walk or drive across that same border with only a “welcome” sign to remind them they’ve crossed into a different country. How long do we need to wait before the US/Canada border is the same way?

VonFluffingtonsays:

Re:

You have no sympathy for someone fighting to defend their rights then go on a tirade about how we need the right to cross over the border freely. I’m sure we’ll get the things you want by no one standing up to LEO abusing their powers, right? They’ll just give us what they want?

People like you are the problem.

tqksays:

Re:

… and people can now walk or drive across that same border with only a “welcome” sign to remind them they’ve crossed into a different country. How long do we need to wait before the US/Canada border is the same way?

About thirty years ago, I heard stories about the Canada – US border was mined with geophones. They dropped them from planes in Vietnam all along the DMZ. They can tell the difference between a fox or bear or horse or human, and track them.

Bensays:

Re:

Huh? There is a disconnect in what you said:

She kept refusing, then got into a shoving match. Many cops would have fired their tasers much sooner.

What I heard is her say that if the cop touched her she would sue his ass. What happens then is out of camera frame, but she gets tazed. That’s not a shoving match. That’s bringing a cannon to a pillow fight.

PRMansays:

Re:

Actually, we’ve gone the other way. When I was a kid you could just drive across the border no problem. And you only had to show a driver’s license to get back in (or answer a few questions about the length of your stay).

But once terrorism started ramping up, we secured the border. Good thing, too, since a couple legitimate terrorist plots were already stopped by terrorists trying to get into easier Canada first. (2000 Millenium Plot and 2013 Rail Plot).

Rekrulsays:

Re:

Acting that belligerently to virtually any cop will draw the same kind of treatment — or worse. She was asked to step away from her car (or get back inside) more than once. She kept refusing, then got into a shoving match. Many cops would have fired their tasers much sooner.

They had no legal justification to stop her in the first place. She wasn’t crossing the border and they had no reason to suspect that she had or was about to commit a crime. They’re still law enforcement and they still have to follow the rules. These border patrol checkpoints have the legal authority to stop people and briefly question them, although US citizens are not legally required to present ID or answer questions about their status as a US citizen. A search of the vehicle can only be performed when Agents have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. Being nervous is not enough justification for a search.

The woman in this video was simply defending her rights, which sadly too many Americans today have given up.

Uriel-238says:

Acting that belligerently to virtually any cop will draw the same kind of treatment

Maybe it shouldn’t.

It’s one of those corrupt politicians sorts of things. We expect politicians to be corrupt, but that’s not to say they ought to be.

Law enforcement officers should be able to not resort to

And if I recall, it was the officer, not the suspect, who initiated the shoving match. As a civilian who is used to de-escalating matters, my response to her would be You can stand anywhere you like. You can even hang out with us while we wait for the K-9 team, though I doubt you’ll find our company much comfort.

If you cannot mete out force with care and reservation, maybe you shouldn’t have the authority to mete out force at all.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

The US/Canadian border was, until just after 9-11 a short, brief and very friendly stopover. US Customs would ask if we were bringing anything into the US, Cdn Customs would ask if we were bringing anything into Canada. There was no request for passports or anything more intrusive than checking your driver’s license and/or sobriety.

This all changed after 9-11 with the US side requiring that Canadians show a passport and adequate reason for going to the US. A lot of Canadians used to going across the border for shopping or just to go drinking after the bars closed. Those activities have been severely curtailed by Homeland’s propensity to be assholes and thieves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8MjcksHSgo

Uriel-238says:

Also the sudden interest by law enforcement in possession of pirated media

It seems our law enforcement gets its cues from big media such as the MPAA and RIAA, or have ever since the Dotcom bust. But this is the primary reason why they take an interest in your electronics at the border, going so far as to confiscate them or withhold them for hours while they transfer all your data for analysis.

Hope there was nothing private on there. Expect any cheesecake shots to be shared around the precinct.

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I think we should completely disarm police. They’re torturing, beating, raping, maiming, crippling and killing way too many people.

Yes, this might mean that some of them get killed — but after all, they’re only servants. They’re expendable. Better a thousand dead cops than one dead citizen.

Eponymous Cowardsays:

Re:

Nope. Reacting firmly and, if need be, aggressively, to police overreach lets them know right up front that the interaction isn’t going to be dictated by them.

Let the civil servants be civil. A person who is within their rights and doesn’t want to be bothered should be commended for giving overreach the finger.

I will commend the police in the second video for doing their jobs properly and not acting like I completely expected them to.

Ninjasays:

Re: Re:

You can be firm while being polite. The guy was an ass. Within his rights but an ass. And the police did nothing more than they should in the first place. It doesn’t deserve any ‘commending’ either.

What I’m saying is that even though everything is right in that video the guy COULD have been more polite.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:

“You can be firm while being polite.”

This. Police are trained in doing this, and you can see it happen in most police encounters. Watch that first video again. Even though the cops are abusing their authority and violating that woman’s rights — even to the point of tasing her — they were pretty polite while they were doing it.

There’s no reason why ordinary citizens can’t do the same.

Anonymoussays:

Lets cut out this bullshit about how citizens shouldn’t be doing these kinds of things. Citizens are not required to be polite or to even know the law. LEO’s are, they are held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

That being said, directly challenging LEO’s can result in putting yourself in harms way. If they violate your rights (and break the law) what is another violation (by tuning you up) going to mean? Best to record and explain what they are doing is illegal and then go along with their orders (even though you have explained that what they are doing is illegal, violates your rights and you will take future action.)

John Fendersonsays:

Re:

“Lets cut out this bullshit about how citizens shouldn’t be doing these kinds of things.”

Indeed. I’ll take this a step further: it’s every citizen’s duty to stand up for their rights in the face of authority.

“Citizens are not required to be polite”

True, however it’s a very good idea for a whole bunch of reasons. Don’t mistake the idea of being polite with the idea of being weak or acquiescing. You can be immovable and polite at the same time.

Anonymoussays:

"courage" vs. "nervous"

I imagine this will be replayed as a training video down the line. The instructions for her to move was an attempt to put her in the frame of mind of being compliant by forcing her to comply with something trivial and unrelated. They were just messing with her head.

After watching the video it is pretty obvious that she was scared. What they are calling “nervous”, is the girl trying to act rightly, even in the face of her own fear. That is called “courage”, not “nervous”.

While she was acting in defense of her rights, her failed compliance to the order to move reflected an unlawful act. Fortunately for her, any jury seeing this video isn’t going to care. All they are going to see is a scared stressed out girl trying to act respectfully, and getting assaulted by federal agents.

It is tough to be smart and act smart at the same time. Especially when your about to get Rodney Kinged. Both parties failed in this situation, but the feds failed by a larger margin.

Anonymoussays:

Re: "courage" vs. "nervous"

“her failed compliance to the order to move reflected an unlawful act.”

You are not required to obey an unlawful order. Since the cops lacked probable cause and the duration of the stop violates the recent Supreme Court ruling, any order thereafter relating to the detainment is unlawful.

There are certainly consequences to not obeying unlawful orders because the cops will assert an argument (or fabricate a narrative) that will “justify” their behavior and make it sound lawful (because it’s their job to know the law, so they know the keywords to say to make it sound like they’re acting within the law). It’s why you hear cops on videos beating (sometimes unconscious) people while yelling “stop resisting.”

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: "courage" vs. "nervous"

While the stop may not have been lawful, the order to get in her car was not necessarily related to the stop. They may have been instructing her to get in her car for any number of reasons. (Safety for example.) Though the subsequent taze would seem to negate that particular argument.

As the thread began, it was probably either a head game, or optionally they wanted to confine her in order to give them some breathing room to figure themselves out. (just as likely) Either way, zapping her was excessive force, because they were already exceeding their authority when they did it.

However, there was an opportunity to deescalate on her part without forfeiting her rights.There is a good chance she would have driven away with dry knickers and without being searched if she had complied with the order to get back in her car. She wasn’t tazed for defending her rights on the stop, she was tazed for refusing the order to move.

Under stress it is unlikely that she grokked the nuance. Most people wouldn’t under those circumstances. Which is why all the posts suggesting the cops were ignorant of the law are wrong. They knew exactly what they were doing when they shifted angle. It doesn’t make it right, but it does create plausible culpability on the part of the girl. So in court, she COULD loose. Not likely, but possible.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: "courage" vs. "nervous"

I disagree. The order to move was part and parcel with their unlawful detainment of her. She wouldn’t have been there and would have been glad to get back in her car if she wasn’t being detained unlawfully. They told her to move because they were telling her to stop standing up for her rights. Moving would have been forfeiting her rights. You lose any rights you don’t assert.

The cops created the situation that led to them ordering her to move, just like the cops who tell protesters to step onto the street during a protest and then arrest them for walking in the street. You can’t create the situation in which someone breaks the law and be justified in enforcing the law because of that situation you created.

It isn’t the responsibility of the woman to deescalate if the cops weren’t unlawfully detaining her. She has freedom of speech to say what she likes. She shouldn’t have been detained, so she can stand where she likes as it doesn’t interfere with police actions, which she wasn’t intending to do because she shouldn’t have been there. The cop pushed her when she said she’d sue him. He escalated the situation. She was just filming and verbally asserting her rights. He never asserted any argument about safety or any other reasoning. He was telling her to shut up and get in her car because he was illegally detaining her and didn’t want her to assert her rights.

Uriel-238says:

"You lose any rights you don't assert."

This is a problem, given most people are rarely in circumstances where they need to assert rights, hence the rights of people are not confirmed by regular testing, rather are only conspicuous when those rights are absent in circumstances that they should be there, and this is made public.

The sensors by which we detect problems with our rights are passive, but that encourages law enforcement to hack the system to stealth rights violations so they continue to go undetected.

Some thoughts for the next society, I guess.

Anonymoussays:

Just do what the cops say...

To all of those that believe this.

Go and read the Declaration of Independence. 1st 2 paragraphs will be enough.

Not only do you have the right, but a DUTY, to throw off despotic government activity. Saying that you just need to do what they say is the same as saying that Rosa Parks should have just moved her ass to the back of the bus.

There is only 1 way to tear down tyranny… and we all know what it is… you have to fight against it and doing what you are told is not exactly what I would call fighting.

America, your first defeat was believing that authority was deserving any any respect or trust.

Never respect the authority of a person, only respect the result of their Actions, never trust a person in authority… EVER for when you are not looking they are not only sure to abuse it, they would not waste a moments hesitation to do so!

Government, while necessary to be instituted among men, have always been and will ever be the single greatest threat to freedom. Governments have destroyed more lives than all wars combined ever or will ever be. Government have visited more evil upon their citizens than any wars combined or will ever be.

Any institution created and established by mankind must always be rigorously and vigilantly guarded against corruption. Every action taken by those in power must be continuously scrutinized, and should you dare to look away… then blame yourself, for you should have seen it coming.

Anonymoussays:

A lawsuit may be filed against the law enforcement officer in a case where the officer made an arrest without probable cause for arrest or carried out an illegal search of property, or in a case of malicious prosecution, in which the officer violates the 14th amendment right to due process or equal protection.

There you go, people start filing lawsuits against individual people, guess what will happen?

Anonymoussays:

Pretty much all oaths taken prior to joining any branch of the military, police force or public office begin with “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

There it is, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Period, full stop, drop the mike. This is what we have gotten away from, politicians, the NSA, CIA, local police. Violating civil rights goes against the Constitution of the United States.

Don’t like those rights? Fuck you, then change the Constitution. Until then, shut the fuck up and uphold the Constitution.

Rekrulsays:

Watching videos like this makes my blood boil. Not only because of how the agent acted like a thug and violated this woman’s rights, but also for the fact that the courts turn a blind eye to this kind of abuse.

She’ll sue (at least I hope she sues), get a settlement and nothing will change. There’s not even the hope that this can be taken to the Supreme Court because they’ve already ruled that these checkpoints are legal and it would take an act of Congress to overturn that. And we all know that that’s never going to happen.

It royally pisses me off that police and federal agents can treat people this way and you basically have no legal right whatsoever to protect yourself. Sure, the law might have a vague concept of resisting illegal orders, but try it in real life and the reality is that you’ll be charged with a string of felonies.

Anonymoussays:

These two “law enforcement personnel” need to be criminally prosecuted and sent to jail for the maximum sentence allowed by law. This disgusting abuse of supposed authority, really criminal assault and battery, must be stomped out and it must be done with harsh penalties for those who abuse special trust and power granted to them for the performance of a job that exists to serve and protect the citizens of this country. No immunity of any sort for them, hard time in a prison – they are violent criminals.

Anonymoussays:

Anyone who’s been through customs multiple times in the past few years has good reason to be nervous.

Honestly the majority of CBP agents I’ve dealt with were friendly or simply professional, I have gotten hollered at for what seems to be random things, like my son using his cell phone in the car during the border crossing “PUT THAT THING DOWN NOW! YOU COULD BE SETTING OFF A BOMB”

So maybe I’m a little nervous when dealing with CBP, so is my wife, son, daughter, and her husband. The consequences of our mistakes or their hallucinations go much worse for us than them.

Anonymoussays:

This thread is probably dead, but here is the deal, here is the fact.

There are two dead NYC cops who were assassinated by a wack job from Baltimore because of the actions of other NYC police when they put a New Yorker in a choke hold who died and then was not found that they committed a crime by a grand jury.

Without that happening, those two cops probably would still be alive. When cops act like they did in the video, or fail to get rid of bad cops, more and more cops will be murdered by the many wack jobs out there.

When will they learn that violating rights, abusing citizens will end up coming back to bite them?

Uriel238 who is still adapting to his new tabletsays:

Retaliatory attacks against Law Enforcement

This is the natural process. The police have demonstrated a disregard for civilian lives and are beginning to be regarded as an enemy of the people. Reprisal was only a matter of time.

And yes, law enforcement are thought of as an insular institution, not as individuals. But they act as such.

I recall a program in the 19th century by a late Jacob Marley to instill sympathy and forward thinking into people in positions of power and affluence. Sadly, we dont have any effective programs today to promote such awareness.

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