Border patrol alleged to have beat up and tazed pastor, smashed his car, on US soil, because he insisted on 4th Amendment rights

Darren sez, "A pastor (of all people) gets pulled over in Arizona at an internal anti-terrorism checkpoint and refuses to submit to a vehicular search (as per his fourth amendment rights). Hilarity ensues as authorities break his car windows with hammers and shoot him with a taser."

Baptist pastor beaten + tazed by Border patrol - 11 stitches (Thanks, Darren!)


  1. You go man! Thank God someone still stands up for their right against illegal search and seizure.

    Oh, by the way, “he deserved it” comments in 1…2…3…

  2. To be followed shortly thereafter by “welcome to the fascist Obama nation) in 4…5…6…

  3. Zero.

    If he had simply let them look, they would have found nothing, possibly apologized for the inconvenience, and let him move leave. However, he chose to act like the smarmy jerk that he comes off as being, and he paid the consequences. If you are polite to people doing their job, they are likely to be polite to you.

  4. Mr Garrison, I have to say, you are retarded. People should NOT be punished for asserting their 4th amendment rights. People who give up their rights to privacy for protection deserve neither. Good day sir.

  5. Can Arizona and Texas Secede already? We may lose NM in the mix, but I am willing to sacrifice. I think that would solve the illegal immigration problem to have a buffer country that was full of retirees and right wing nut jobs. And a fence could then serve a dual purpose.

  6. Oh Mr Garrison, you must be kidding.
    When the people who are, by oath, suppose to hold up the law, do not seem to know, observe, or worst yet willfully disregard it then it is they who are the criminals.
    There is indeed a disease that seems to have rooted itself in law enforcement. The “You will do what I say regardless of what you think your rights are” syndrome. Its a bully mentality and no it does not belong to any political party. But let me be clear that these are the exception to the rule and I believe strongly that 90% of law enforcement is actually trying to “Protect and Serve” the public interest.

  7. That is just too scary. It will be very interesting to see what the fallout from this is, especially as names have been named and video footage (unless it’s already been erased) exists. I’ll bet this blows up big time on the networks etc.

  8. #3

    “Doing their job” != beating someone up and destroying their property in retaliation for doing nothing that breaks the law.

  9. His background:

    Pastor Steven Anderson started Faithful Word Baptist Church on December 25, 2005.

    Pastor Anderson holds no college degree

    We believe that life begins at conception (fertilization) and reject all forms of abortion including surgical abortion, “morning-after” pills, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), birth control pills, and all other processes that end life after conception.

    We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.

    We oppose worldliness, modernism, formalism, and liberalism.

    So, I’m not saying he deserved it.

    But I will say the guy is a bigot.

  10. @3, yes, by all means let the cops “search” and when they plant–er, “find” something then what?

    We all have to be proven guilty in the eyes of the law–that IS the law and a right of every American. He needs a lawyer. Forget that–the cops will need a good attorney if they want to keep their jobs.

  11. hey darren, fck y! the same thing happened to me several years ago at a station just outside las cruces as i was travelling to cali from fl. they pulled my friend and i from the car, searched it twice, found nada, then went medieval on us trying to get us to confess to shit we didn’t do! finally after about 2 hours of this shit they finally let us go. i took i-40 home. the border patrol are out of control.

  12. I’m not totally with #3 but I see his point.

    I think that yes, this guy was unreasonably tased and subject to total horseshit.

    But, from the video he presents his case in a really over-the-top way. “Not a square centimeter of my face was not covered in blood” “bloody pulp” etc. Just the way he sensationalizes it almost makes him lose some credibility in my mind. Granted, what he was saying could have been completely true. But the way he presents himself is also telling of how he’d be speaking with the officers, and he was probably being a real prick about it.

    But he was standing up for his principles, even if he was a prick. And he did have a right not to be searched. So although he could have easily avoided this, it was more to make a point.

  13. Guy has a right not to be searched. And certainly a right not to be beaten, even if he is “smarmy”. Maybe that’s *you* next time, Darren! And you’ll have no-one to turn to but people like yourself.

    Good Luck!

  14. “If he had simply let them look, they would have found nothing”

    ..if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear?

    Darren your missing the point.

    4th amendment
    Do we want to live in a police state? just stand in line show your reciept before you are allowed to leave the store, show your id just because someone with a bit of authority wants to stop you.

    So when they come to your front door and want to search you and your house you’ll have no problem with that?

    I’ve been stopped along the freeway for one of these searches (yes, in AZ) was ~100 miles in from the boarder, they saw the white faces and waved us on. Creepy.

    It is possible to be polite, but assert your rights (violating the bill of rights is, by definition, not part of their job)

  15. unfortunately this guys “not guilty” plea will be worthless..C. Diaz and the other nazis will all come up with a nice story about how he resisted, about how he refused to cooperate with simple commands, about how they had no other choice but to act the way they did…you know, for our security.

    his only hope is that this video is seen by a lot more people. Otherwise, it wouldn’t surprise me if he is convicted of a crime

  16. So are we to believe that these officers were all hired, trained and assigned in the past 10 weeks?

  17. well, I’m please to hear a bigot got thrashed – but that’s a minor, incidental benefit. If he isn’t safe, you aren’t safe.

    “Yes, I smelled something. Absolutely. It was drugs. Or a person in the back seat…I mean in the trunk…yes, it was drugs in the trunk…no, a person in the trunk…not drugs. But it might’ve been drugs, too. Absolutely.”

  19. Alleged. Alleged alleged alleged.

    His other videos border on militant libertarianism, so I wonder what he did to antagonize our masters.

  20. @ 3: ugh.

    There’s a girl in the news recently that just had her face busted up by her boyfriend. You know, if she hadn’t been so smarmy to him she wouldn’t have been beaten, so you could say she got what she deserved.

    uh, Darren Garrison:

  21. Funny how authoritarian jackasses use their ‘common sense’ to tell us that if we just ‘Obey’ teh authorities, then all will be well…

    f’n cop jock sniffers.

  22. Look, maybe he’s a bigot. There’s nothing that I can do about that. I still agree that he has a right to defend his rights without being beaten. You can have an idiotic ideology in this country and still be protected by the Constitution, as least that’s the ideal.

  23. Of all people I prefer this happen to a pastor if anyone.

    If people will drop the mindless bigotry against entire states in comments (see #6 here or most of the Betty Brown thread) I will drop mine against the clergy.

  24. #16 posted by Anonymous, April 16, 2009 10:50 AM

    “Maybe that’s *you* next time, Darren! And you’ll have no-one to turn to but people like yourself.”

    Nope, it will never be me, because I’m NOT an asshole. I would never think to be rude to someone just doing their job. You complain about policy to those who make policies, not be an asshole to the people who are simply doing their job enforcing it.

  25. Darren Garrison says: “If he had simply let them look, they would have found nothing, possibly apologized for the inconvenience, and let him move leave.”

    Never, ever forget that the sole purpose of a officer questioning you or asking to search you, your home or vehicle is to incriminate you.

    Worse, in this particular case the officers demonstrated a willingness to falsify the discovery of incriminating evidence in his trunk.

    I disagree strongly with the extremist beliefs of people like this “pastor”. But he appears to be the only actor in this sordid little drama who didn’t commit a crime.

  26. Whatever you think of the man posting the video, he was perfectly within his rights to assert his 4th Amendment Right:

    * Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    They needed a warrant to search his car. And to get that warrant they needed probable cause and the particulars of what they suspected. In writing. Like “Duke the drug hound #4160 smelled the presence of marijuana in the trunk of the car with license plate….etc etc” You get the picture.

    Without due process in an autitable system you have despotic anarchy.

    No one deserves the treatment he is claiming he received, innocent or guilty.

  27. This guy’s a bozo. First, cops don’t need a warrant to search a car, if they have probable cause.
    Second, you have no right to refuse to allow a search. You have the right to refuse to consent to a search. Once a cop says we are going to search and you make it clear you are not consenting, you better get out of the car and cooperate. Expect not to have a good time if you don’t do as they say.

  28. if cops don’t forget your rights then no-one has to be ‘smarmy’ and remind them

    they’ve obviously done that trick with the dog before. Probable cause on tap

  29. @14

    I’m with you! What exactly is an “internal terrorism checkpoint?” Who gets to run them? What can they search for?

    I have heard that our courts have allowed extensive searches of people entering the US regardless of citizenship, but I have never heard that “internal terrorism checkpoints” are 4th amendment-free zones.




    Yeah, everyone who ever was beaten, tortured, harmed and abused by authorities had it coming to them, ’cause they were assholes.

  31. The law allows limited searches within a specified distance from the border, but it does not allow for assault, pretend probable cause or false arrest.

    Time to contact ACLU or a good lawyer.

  32. where’s that video of the fast talker that refused an illegal search by the border gestapo? It was on BB a while back.

  33. Darren: When the person’s job is not only illegal, but injure you for informing them what they’re trying to do is illegal, I think you’re earned a modicum of smarminess. Moreover, since when is a fair punishment for “acting like a smarmy jerk” multiple stitches and a damaged vehicle? Even if your argument had merit, which it doesn’t, it falls apart at this step.

  34. Arizona is the home of some phenomenal political thinking. This is a state that re-elected a man indicted for real estate fraud in his first term. It’s a state where living there for 3 months out of year makes you a “native” and gives you the right to treat the people who live there year-round like dirt because they don’t speak your language. Sadly, it’s the state where I was born and raised.

    And the whole border issue brings out some of the most ignorant, violent, bigoted people on this earth. People come from all over the country to join militias that patrol the border, and the official border patrol competes with these militias for quotas of people caught.

    You can think what you want about this man personally, but nobody deserves to be beaten for demanding his rights. It doesn’t matter who it is that’s claiming them.

  35. “Yeah, everyone who ever was beaten, tortured, harmed and abused by authorities had it coming to them, ’cause they were assholes.”

    I’m not talking about “everyone”. I’m talking about this guy. And yes, he exudes asshollery from every pore.

    I, for one, am very thankful that we have police officers to attempt to protect us from crime. Yes, there are occasional bad eggs. But for the most part, police officers do NOT deserve the shit they get from anarchist idiots. You think the world is bad with police? Try living in a world without them.

  36. marty: you’re a bozo. What do you think not consenting to a search means if it doesn’t make a difference? why would it be such a big deal?

    of course cops don’t need a warrant if they have probable cause, but these guys didn’t. The dog thing was a ruse. The pastor knew this because he knew there was nothing in his trunk. He knew the cops were lying and inventing their probable cause. At what point when cops are lying and ignoring your rights do you decide to resist them? For this guy, it was at the 4th ammendment, and I think that’s cool, even if he is a crazy bigot in other respects.

  37. You’re right, Mr. London – people who are bigoted, old fashioned, narrow-minded, and who just plain disagree with you, don’t deserve to have their rights respected. Instead of just beating him up when he refused to be illegally searched, they should have first had him take the libertarian “quadrant” quiz, and then beaten him only if he was too far out from the center.

    I know that wasn’t your point. I just don’t know what your point was – that’s the only conclusion I can draw from what you’re saying, and it’s clearly absurd…

  38. So-called ‘nut cases’ have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. Character assassination based on this gentleman’s beliefs should only serve to remind all of us of that fact: it doesn’t matter what he believes, this country was created to allow us all the same rights and liberties. I would agree that he took a strong stand on his rights and I can admire that. It is worth having people of integrity try to stand up for their rights to keep the country strong.

    I am not a fan of violent civil disobedience but passive – as he describes it, I wasn’t there ! – seems like a worthwhile stance.

    I would like to hear the official response on this: they had a lot of opportunity to gather actual evidence about the event (NOT ‘eyewitness testimony’ or ‘officer testimony’; both are completely unreliable) and it may provide us with some transparency into the event. Cheers.

  39. agreed, godwin in 4 is impressive.

    and the only thing accomplished by letting the officers break the law to make your life easier is the erosion of your rights when you really need them. They are a necessary evil, but it is more necessary to put checks on them and have them work.

    sue the paints off the officers and give all the money to charities. (the man could possibly be a bigot, it’s his right. at least he is not a goon with a club, a gun, and legal authority to terrorize citizenry if they get up on the wrong side of the bed, who could also be a bigot and do more damage).

    As my Constitutional Law prof told the whole class (and he was a former ADA from SF), cops ALWAYS lie.

  40. @10 Darren,

    And those are the things that make him a good choice to bring this to a trial in Texas…


    The government’s broad right to perform border searches has been upheld as late as the 70s. I’m at work and can’t listen to nutjob’s video, but assuming he was on I-10 before I-8 splits off from it to head to Sand Diego, he was within 100 miles of the border, the reasonable-ish region in which the federal government conducts border searches.

    It still kinda sucks, but if you want to avoid border patrol searches, take I-40.

  42. Acting “smarmy,” holding revolting opinions or bigoted beliefs never justifies the kind of violence to person and property described in the video.

    As a side note, “probable cause” is a carefully defined legal term and not a gloss for “nodding police canine.”

    My own hope is that American Christians continue to stand up for Consitutional rights as this pastor has done. I am a priest in the Episcopal Church and go nowhere without my metal Bill of Rights tucked into my wallet. I haven’t been called upon to make the witness that this pastor did, but I’d like to think I’ve got what it takes when the time comes.

  43. @DARREN

    I’m not an anarchist, nor am I an idiot. Nor am I talking about removing every cop from the streets when I talk about all us standing up for our rights to own property and not be treated like criminals by driving down the road, using public transportation and carrying bags.

    You have set up a great deal of straw men that you magically extrapolated from my argument. Congratulations. You won your grand battle with them.

  44. Ah the land of opportunity where both left and right are being crushed under the juggernaut of Homeland Security.

    It seems to me most of his outrage comes from it happening to him. However, it may have a useful knock off benefit. Perhaps he’s had his Niemoller moment.

    When they detained the Immigrants,
    I remained silent;
    I was not an Immigrant…..

  45. darren: you know what a false dichotomy is? it’s like when someone gives two options for a situation where there are many alternatives. for instance, if they insist the only alternative to police who bully and ignore the rights of citizens is no police at all. But actually, you could have police who take human rights seriously and don’t need to be reminded of them because, as officers of the law, the rights that the law gives to every person are in the forefront of their mind, rather than, say, beating up people who disagree with them.

  46. When I crossed through a similar checkpoint from California to Arizona in 2001, I was with a Hispanic actor affecting his best “Sierra Madre” accent and his martial arts instructor friend (also Hispanic and toting a backseat full of weapons). All of us were under 25, haggard, exhausted, and looking about as sketchy as could be.

    We were waved right on through.

  47. Mr. Mitchell,
    Not consenting to a search means refusing to give permission to search. It does not mean, nor has it ever meant, physically resisting. That is not a constitutional right.

    And as for probable cause, you may be right in this case that they did not have it. But the dopey reverend STILL should cooperate with the cops once they ordered him to get out. I think the right reverend probably left that part out, although he hints at it.

  48. Yeah, I’ve got to agree. Personally, I find this guy to be a reprehensible human being, but once we start making exceptions to the bill of rights for people we don’t like, we might as well just wipe our asses with it (of course the Justice Department and Homeland Security have been pretty much doing this for the last eight years). Regardless of who this guy is, he did not deserve this to happen to him.

    As for Steven Anderson being a pastor, one might hope he would take this opportunity to reflect on the Book of Job or the suffering of Jesus and the concepts of forgiveness and tolerance. Happy late Easter, dude.

  49. Gutierrez, great catch, but all U.S. border searches take place on U.S. soil, some distance inside the geographic border.

    I would therefore expect that the “border search exemption” to the 4th Amendment requires that it take place in proximity to the border.

    I’m surprised that these clowns apparently knew that, but didn’t know not to fake probable cause.

  50. Surprise to those who are white enough to have never had a real run-in with the law. There is a law more important than the constitution, common law, or statutory law….

    The law of the attitude test.

    I was well informed by personal acquaintance with police officers of the consequences citizens faced when they would violate this most sacred of laws.

    It goes like this you shall fear and respect the man with the badge and gun and the ability to radio in a whole nation of brainwashed team players with more guns.

    Police services worldwide tend to be populated by at least 50% abusive power hungry personalties and are too irresponsible to run around with weapons of any kind or the ability to use violence, they are supposed to be peace officers but they act as occupiers.

  51. “#34 POSTED BY MARTY, APRIL 16, 2009 11:03 AM
    This guy’s a bozo. First, cops don’t need a warrant to search a car, if they have probable cause.”

    Yes, but they didn’t, which is why, if the pastor is to be believed, they asked for consent and, failing that, pretended to get an alert from their dog. From the account, there was no probable cause. But, as others have pointed out, the Bush Police state machinery declared a constitution-free zone everywhere within 100 miles of the US border where the border patrol can stop and search anybody without probable cause. This guy’s not guilty plea will need heavy legal muscle from an impact litigation organization.

    And, BTW, from his website he does sound like a rightwing religious whack job, but if he’s right on the merits of this case then he’s right.

  52. marty, sorry for calling you a bozo… maybe you meant something different to what it appeared. You mean that this guy resisted the search physically? How can he be punished for resisting a search that they had no permission or probable cause to carry out?

  53. I don’t care for the guy’s opinions, but he’s entitled to think whatever he wants. Nothing excuses the conduct of these so-called authorities.

    This is a disgrace, and LE everywhere aught to be ashamed.

  54. I don’t care if he’s a bigot, he still has rights. I don’t know if you noticed, but murderers also have Constitutional rights. He’s enough of a wingnut to try to assert his 4th Amendment rights solely on principle, which says a bit, but he still has them to assert.

    A warrant is not required for the search of a vehicle, but probable cause must be specific and documented.

    I’m really pleased with the recent surge in video footage of what absolute dicks cops are all the time. I’m a tiny white female, and I’ve never had a cop be anything other than completely rude and unnecessarily threatening toward me for things like minor speeding infractions.

  55. It is possible to be polite but assert your RIGHTS. For those that say if there is nothing to hide then what are you worried about Miss the entire point of why we fought to have the Country we all live in.

  56. yes, he exudes asshollery from every pore.

    Probably someone feels the same about you.

    If you don’t like your rights, there are plenty of countries that don’t guarantee them, don’t let the border guards tase you on the way out.

    Here in America, we have the right to act like jerks, even to cops and politicians and rich folks, whether guys like you like it or not.

  57. This has actually already been said earlier, but some people have been saying the opposite, so I’m going to reiterate it.

    Having “probable cause” does not allow you to legally conduct a search of, for example, someone’s trunk. A warrant allows you to legally conduct a search. “Probable cause” is what you use to argue to a judge that you should be given a warrant.

    There are only four legal types of searches: 1) a search allowed by a warrant 2) pat-down/immediate area search during an arrest 3) search in exigent circumstances 4) border search

    For type 2, when a person is being arrested, the police may search that person and their immediate surroundings to ensure that they don’t have access to a weapon in order for the officer to protected themselves. For type 3, the officer has to believe that there is either an immediate danger to a person or that the suspect is about to destroy the evidence of a crime.

    Type 2 could be used as justification for breaking the windows, but not for searching the trunk afterwards. Type 3 is not applicable because there was no reason why they could not wait for a search warrant. Type 4 is right out because even though they are border patrol agents, this was not a border checkpoint.

    The pastor makes no reference to the police or border agents ever showing him a warrant. It is possible that they showed him one and he did not mention it, but I doubt it. Most likely, this was an illegal warrantless search. Assuming that that is the case, then there was no cause to arrest him to begin with, thus invalidating the justification of the smashing the windows unless he committed some other crime which is not mentioned in his account.

    Assuming we take his word at face value, here are the crimes or civil torts committed:
    Pastor: resisting arrest (in most states, even if an arrest is illegal, you must submit to it. He resisted arrest by refusing to leave his car when the officers informed him that he was under arrest)
    Officers: false arrest (arrest without probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime or witnessing a crime first-hand, civil tort in most states), assault and battery (multiple counts, felony), assault with a deadly weapon (taser, felony), illegal search (constitutional rights violation, civil tort)

    Even if he was the biggest dick in the world to the officers that doesn’t justify assault or false arrest.

    Now, there is some possibility that he is not being truthful about what happened. Hopefully, he will quickly get a lawyer and file motions to require the border patrol to preserve all related tapes, and that way we can know for certain.

  58. Between stuff like this and that hokey DHS report this week about the vague threat posed by “fundamentalist right-wingers” it’s been kind of amusing to watch the other side learn how it feels to have one’s civil liberties trampled in the fight against “terrorism.”

    This could be a moment for the nation to come together and realize that fear-mongering and invasion of privacy is wrong no matter what the political views, religion, or skin color of the victim. But I kind of doubt it.

  59. Remember, folks: In the New America, you have no rights except what society gives you. Inn’t that right, Mr. Garrison?

    No, texas can’t secede. there’s no way to do it legally and I don’t want to be stuck in the midst of an armed conflict.

  60. It doesn’t matter whether the thug has a badge or not. When someone with a gun and low intelligence tells you to do something, you do it – whether it’s to fill the bag full of cash or open the door for an unreasonable search or be taken as a hostage in the high seas. You let the bully win that particular battle and live to fight another day whether that means killing them or taking them to court for civil rights violation. Every moment has a winner and loser and if you are not capable of defeating your enemy at a particular moment, you have to back down and comply, only so you can attack later. It is nature’s law and when you’re out there, the concept of God, Democracy, and your sense of righteousness are not effective weapons to get your way.

  61. @ “Darren Garrison” and GregLondon
    I almost can’t believe you’re not deliberately trolling, but just in case:

    “If you don’t defend the liberty of people you despise, then you don’t really believe in liberty at all”

    While I haven’t read your links, I’m willing to believe that they paint this guy as a bigot. Fair enough, maybe I vehemently disagree with everything that he stands for but he still has rights. Quite apart from respect for constitutional rights, if you’ll allow the police to abuse people that you dislike, who’ll stand up for you when it’s your turn?

    Attack the man’s position and beliefs, but don’t sanction violence against him unless he starts the fight. That’s just pathetic.

    1. The fact that he’s a homophobe might give me the moral right to clean his clock, but it doesn’t give the Border Patrol the legal right to do it. The BP is not my friend. The BP is more likely to detain me for having gay literature in my car than to detain him for having homophobic literature.

      And all – stick to the 4th Amendment, please.

  62. @60 BULLSEYE. this guy had the wrong attitude and the officers showed him EXACTLY what they could do to him for it.

  63. Obama fascist nation, lol!

    These things were happening long before Obama entered, like under the ‘quiet dictatorship’ of W., for example.

    Back then, they would just have to deal with the smart ass informed citizens and send them on their way. Apparently, they are finding creative (albeit tried and true) ways to circumvent the 4th ammendment. Probable Cause. What a load of garbage!

    If you think this is bad, wait until they get rid of Posse Commititus!

    Ze papez Pleaze!

  64. can anyone make an educated guess on exactly what charge he will be pleading “not guilty” to on Friday? resisting?

  65. Who cares if the person involved is a fucktard, he still has rights. I can be a pain in the ass but I think i deserve the use of the Bill of Rights.

    “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”-Voltaire

  66. 1) To answer the preacher’s question of “Why is this happening in America?” Answer: because people like George W Bush get elected and permeate the executive branch at all levels with this sort of attitude. Plus the majority of people in the law enforcement area are conservative bastards who think that everyone is guilty. The great irony of all this? The ACLU would defend this guy in a second even though you can be sure he despises them.

    2) What is the other side of the story? Why should this guy be believed on only his testimony? Remember the “Don’t tase me, bro” incident? This smells a little like a stage incident. I have no doubt that this happens ALL the time (See the bike riding incidents in new york, the brit cops beating the innocent guy trying to walk home who dies of a heart attack, etc.) But something about this guy is a little hinky.

    3) That said, and in answer to many posters here, one of the ONLY things that makes our system of government different from almost every other country are things like the fourth amendment. It was and continues to be a revolutionary idea that the govt. can’t just search you and interrogate you for a fishing expedition. Combine that with the rest of the Bill of Rights and you find the pinnacle of humanity’s political science achievement. The “if you have nothing to hide, then answer the question” misses the point by a country mile.

  67. Nobody seems to have picked up on it yet, but this is the same dude who had the hilarious “pisseth against the wall” sermon that got forwarded around last year.

  68. I’ve got a better place for you to direct your anger. The good minister had no 4th Amendment rights. No right to a warrant before search, no right to probable cause, or reasonable suspicion, or any objectively identifiable individualized suspicion at all. He was caught in a dragnet the Supreme Court has and would find to be completely constitutional. (Until the police started kicking his ass of course.)

    Everything he says he said to the Border Patrol about his rights was wrong.

    First, the police don’t need a warrant to search your car pretty much regardless of where it is. Although they do need reasonable suspicion that they can later explain to a judge. Carroll v. United States, 267 U. S. 132 (1925)(, Pennsylvania v. Labron 518 U.S. 938 (1996) (

    And at an immigration checkpoint you have virtually no 4th Amendment rights. The law enforcement agency running the checkpoint can stop you at the road block without any suspicion at all, and they can send you to a secondary inspection area and “no particularized reason need exist to justify it.” United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, 428 U.S. 543 (1976) (

    Once you’re in that secondary screening area, your rights do slowly increase based on the intrusiveness of the search (much more individualized suspicions required to do damage to the vehicle during the search, or to strip search you), but this gets complicated.

  69. haha..I guess you’ll have to ask the cops that one Takuan. I was just agreeing with #60 that this pastor got his ass kicked because he didn’t pass the “law of attitude test”..

    i guess the correct attitude in their eyes is unmitigated compliance..?

  70. First of all, before everyone gets all “righteous”, find out all the facts. If he was at a border crossing or (for those of you who do not keep up with constitutional law) what is called the Functional Equivalent of the Border (FEB), they had every legal right (upheld all the way to the Supremes, repeatedly, over the last 200+ years) to search his car and his person without worrying much about the fourth amendment and to use force (appropriate force) if necesary to carry this out.

    Understand this: You do NOT generally have any fourth amendment rights at a border crossing (or the legal equivalent, which could be Kansas City and three days after you entered the country depending on how you got there and whether you had been under constant surveillance during that time).

    Getting shirty with border officials here or anywherre is a really Stupid Idea.

    I don’t work for the Border Patrol (would refuse a job offer from them for various reasons) but I do have over 25 years experience with Customs.

    None of this is to say they may not have done wrong things, I’ve not seen the videos, I’ve not read any reports and without the *full* facts (both sides can lie you know) rushing to judgement is simply idiotic.

  71. @#31

    “Nope, it will never be me, because I’m NOT an asshole. I would never think to be rude to someone just doing their job. You complain about policy to those who make policies, not be an asshole to the people who are simply doing their job enforcing it. ”

    A local woman in washington state had her car windows broken in and was tazed and forcibly arrested when she didn’t respond to police commands. They claimed to smell alcohol coming from the vehicle for their probable cause (she was involved in an accident that was slow enough to not damage her car but block traffic), turned out she was suffering from diabetic shock. Good thing they tazed her in hew new kidney and thrashed her car though right? Maybe next time she’ll learn to not be an asshole.

  72. Standing up for your rights doesn’t involve confronting officers directly nor ignoring their instructions. If they instructed him he was being detained, that he must exit his vehicle, etc. then he should have complied.

    He doesn’t have to consent verbally to an illegal search but physically I think he does, for his own personal safety, a fact born out by the result of his yadda yadda refusal.

    He should’ve made a note of the officers names, inquired as to the name of their superior, asked to speak to their superior, etc. and finally filed a complaint. All verbal, nothing physical.

    That being said, there’s no excuse for the excessive force displayed other than a “might makes right” attitude on the part of the officers, which ironically this guy is complicit in because of the tyranny he perpetuates through the irrationality of his religion.

  73. “If you don’t defend the liberty of people you despise, then you don’t really believe in liberty at all”

    It isn’t about his beliefs– it is about evidence of his personality. I’m 100% convinced, based on his videos and essays, that he acted like an asshole to the agents, and paid the consequences. He had two choices– let them take a few moments to conduct a search which would have done no harm to him, or act like a prick. He chose to act like a prick, and paid the price.

    I 100% support zealous protection of the border. Of course, I’m 100% in favor of putting drug dealers in small cages for the rest of their lives (and they were probably searching for drugs) while I know many of you here are strongly pro-drug.

  74. So, wait. That video that Takuan posted is the same guy, from another incident. I’m not saying the guy had it coming or anything. He’s a jerk for sure, and those border patrol guys in that video were a bunch of small in the pants douchebags, but this new video is kinda suspicious. Where was his video camera before they started beating him? You’d think he’d have it on him still.

  75. to those accusing this guy of being a bigot – so fucking what? you seem not to understand ‘rights’ at all. they aren’t privileges given only to well adjusted humans that you agree with. they are for everybody. period.

  76. @#93

    I can’t speak for EVERYONE here, but: We aren’t pro-drug – we’re anti-oppression. Anti-drug just means you believe the government owns my body and mind more than i do.

    He’s well within his rights to act like an asshole.

    “It isn’t about his beliefs– it is about evidence of his personality.”

    Neither are relevant to a discussion of rights. he could be a baby raping klan member and it makes no difference.

    Please, at your earliest convenience, get the fuck out of my country.

  77. What if a progressive blogger you knew was beaten by the cops and someone looked up his blog and said something like “well he believes in killing unborn babies so I guess this time we’ll let the beating slide”? I guess if you don’t believe in the fourth amendment, there’s no good reason to believe in the first!

    Also, it’s not like his controversial views were the immediate cause of his beating. If it were the case that he was mocking the sexuality of one of the offices, or their take on the immaculate conception, directly before the beating took place then those views might actually have something to do with the current discussion.

    Several people have already made some good points about whether or not the search really was in violation of his rights, so I’ll try to make another point. It seems that the force used was unnecessary and perhaps without proper warning.

    In most cases people understand, at least approximately, when they are committing a crime and what the likely penalty is for doing so. Even if he was resisting arrest because he was confused about the law, they still have the moral responsibility to notify him of the consequences of his actions if he chooses to resist.

    I think most people would choose to move the fight to court if they were literally told “if you do not get out of the car we will destroy your property, step on your face and taser the crap out of you.” Plus, even if they warned him, it isn’t at all clear that what he experienced is justified when dealing with a confused, unarmed citizen who poses no immediate threat.

  78. @92:

    An illegal instruction by an officer does not have to be obeyed. if you are walking along the street and a police officer walks up and says “Let me see your ID” what should you do? Answer: Keep on walking. A cop has no right to do something like that. (Google the NYC bicycle runs where the cops fucked up the people who refused to give ID and let those that gave it up walk away.)

    We can NOT abide a system where cops are allowed to harass people who simply live by the rules (i.e. their rights) and reward people who agree to surrender their rights out of fear of police retaliation.

    Don’t get me wrong: I WANT to enjoy this ass getting the shit kicked out of him. On his website and blog he 1) says that people should not go to college because the bible doesn’t say you have to, 2) says people should not give their kids vaccinations, 3) says that gays will burn in hell and are an abomination, 4) that is is a sin to be a male gynecologist, 5) other Christian denominations are going to hell, especially the Catholics, etc etc etc.


    I would LOVE to see this guy suffer for all of teh suffering he is inflicting on the young and gullible people in his congregation. but this is not how it should be done. I would be happy to defend him in court any day against these gorillas from the executive branch.

  79. Zealous? Why?

    Like the other great wall, the great wall of Southern America is failing, consuming vast resources,choking trade, and criminalizing it’s own citizens.

    Drugs, and migrant workers flow across regardless.
    Is it really worth sacrificing your civil liberties to push the price of Cocaine over $40,000 a kilo?

  80. PS: When I said I would love to see this guy suffer, I meant in a non physical way. I do not condone such behavior. I would rather see him fall from grace like Ted Haggard did.

  81. I, for one, am thankful that our diligent police forces are protecting us from these Godless (oops, I mean Godly) border-crossing terrorists.

  82. Gee, Darren, you’re really not that smart, are you? As if ‘100%’ in either of those cases is realistic, practical or even affordable. You were probably out teabagging the border yesterday, yet it never occurred to you how much money this country wastes on ineffective solutions like the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

    Oh, yeah, your earlier advice about always being nice to the authorities because they’re ‘just doing their job’ didn’t work so well for the prisoners in the Nazi death camps, did it? Of course, it didn’t work out so well for the Nazi helpers after the war, either.


  83. Don’t you give certain consent to searches simply for the privilege of driving a car? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen such notices on DMV forms.

    This is definitely misconduct, but I have witnessed much worse examples of cops abusing their authority and violating 4th amendment rights. There was definitely some provocation on the detainee’s part. There’s a fine line between protesting and not heeding the instructions of a law officer.

    PS Anyone trying to associate the incident with the Obama administration should probably research when these officers were trained and when the policies they were enacting were set.

  84. My official stance on the “making their job easier” line (formatted for effect):

    My personal rights are not conditional on making someone else’s job easier

    Aside from the fact that the pastor is an asshole, gaybashing scum bag, doesn’t mean he loses his rights either.

  85. When the Border Patrol came for the homophobes,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a homophobe.

    Then they locked up the Pro-Lifers,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a Pro-Lifer.

    Then they came for the NRA members,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a NRA member.

    Etc, etc.

  86. Takuan: Hilarious point in that video:
    “what’s your name, p. saw-gez-nee, how do you pronounce that name? p. shaughnessy”

    thanks for the laughs

  87. #110

    “Don’t you give certain consent to searches simply for the privilege of driving a car? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen such notices on DMV forms.”

    Even if it DID say that on the forms, the Constitution supersedes anything like that. And actually what the DMV form says is that your license may be suspended or revoked if you do not comply with lawful requests by a police officer, such as submitting to an alcohol/sobriety test.

    You don’t forfeit your rights by signing that document, you’re just agreeing that if you don’t comply with the terms of the document your license can be taken away.

  88. “We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”

    Weird, my gaydar went nuts when he started talking.

    I hope he sues and wins. I also hope next person in such a situatin whips out cellphone and calls lawyer while on the spot. Cops would hesitate to do what they did with lawyer listening in (one would hope).

  89. @ most people in this thread:
    dude’s a libertarian homophobic prick and he’s still allowed to not have his car searched. it’s not just a douchey “i know my rights!” thing, it’s pretty terrible to falsify evidence under any circumstances, especially when there’s a chorus of people going “the cops were just doing their job” when in reality their job is pretty much specifically to not break the law.

    this happens waaaay more to black and hispanic people though.

  90. @ Darren, 98
    “He had two choices– let them take a few moments to conduct a search which would have done no harm to him, or act like a prick. He chose to act like a prick, and paid the price.”

    I don’t care what his attitude was. A person shouldn’t lose their rights just because they’re being an asshole. If he got physically or verbally abusive enough to be a crime then sure, arrest hime for that. But people I dislike — whether because I disagree with their beliefs or dislike their behaviour — should still be afforded all their rights under the law.

    A person’s rights shouldn’t be contingent on having an attitude of “yes sir, whatever you say sir” to the police: the very reason that our rights are codified in law is to protect us from law enforcement with grudges.

  91. I was once confronted by a rabid she-cop who demanded my ID out of nowhere. I was sitting on a curb with my friend. Doing nothing.

    I argued with her, and she threatened to arrest us. I would have allowed myself to be taken in, but alas, I had an ounce of hallucinogenic mushrooms in my pocket.

    Another time, I had found a car on fire out in the woods, with no one around. I called the cops. Cops showed up. Wanted my ID. Again, I was screwed as I was driving my grandmas car and where it was pulled over, it would have been towed while I was detained.

    Life is a bitch. The whole system is set up to twist your arm into never being able to contest violations of your rights without pretty much dooming your entire life. My employer won’t care that I’m in jail unlawfully – they just care that I’m unable to show up for an indeterminate amount of time, and might decide to fire me. Car pulled over somewhere you can’t legally park? Fight back and they’ll impound your car in the mean time. The fuckers won’t even let you move it to a legal parking place before they take you in.

  92. that hokey DHS report this week about the vague threat posed by “fundamentalist right-wingers”

    Hokey? After the neo-nazi nutjob that killed four cops, the lunatic who shot up a Unitarian church who had pages of right-wing personal screeds extolling the virtues of FOX News, the pair of skinheads arrested in the DC area with a high powered rifle and the admitted goal of assassinating Obama during his inauguration–it’s a “hokey” report?


  93. Also, this is why i record EVERY conversation I have with any police officers.

    The nice thing is, unlike normal citizens, you don’t have to inform them that you are doing so, and it’s admissible in court.

    In fact I’ve got one all queued up for court next month.

  94. The guy in this video has a major chip on his shoulder, not to mention his intolerance of homosexuals.

    HOWEVER, he’s absolutely right to stand up for his Constitutional rights. Those DHS agents are lucky some other passers-by didn’t step up and engage them as they were dragging the dude out of his car. At that point, the DHS were the terrorists. In violation of the Constitution, they were precisely the enemy combatants that the so-called “war on terror” is meant to be fighting.

  95. Bottom line for dealing with police:

    1) The officer has no intention of respecting your civil or constitutional rights. That’s the Court’s job. That’s not his/her job.

    2) The officer will happily and thoroughly violate your civil or constitutional rights if it helps get his/her job done.

    3a) If he/she is one of the good 80%, the job the officer wants to get done is to uphold the peace, order and safety of the public.

    3b) If he/she is one of the bad 19%, the job the officer wants to get done is whatever makes him/her look good to his/her superiors.

    3c) If he/she is one of the truly evil 1% (the ones who often make it to Boing Boing), the job the officer wants to get done is whatever the hell he/she feels like doing, and what are YOU looking at, asshole?

  96. you know those GPS antennae domes you see on cop cars? Mount four pinhole cameras with feed to a hard-drive hidden in the chassis. After they twig to that and start throwing a hat over it (which is evidence enough of wrongdoing), leave it as decoy so they don’t see the ones in the headliner and dash. Or go through the checkpoints in convoy with a chase car filming the lead vehicle.

    Might also be a good time to start a campaign to stop them making it illegal to film cops BEFORE they try passing such a law. Learn from the UK.


    Again, and for at least the 5th time. Being an asshat does NOT take away any of your rights. Nor does it excuse or authorize illegal or even unethical behavior on the part of law enforcement.

    Yes, he SHOULD have been nice, he SHOULD have been polite… but he’s an asshat, so he wasn’t. His attitude, and his beliefs are completely irrelevant. He could have been the love child of Hitler and Pol Pot, and it STILL wouldn’t matter.

    Even if he was out of line, and his 4th ammendment rights did not apply … to an american citizen … on american soil … a hundred miles from the border … Even so, unless he took a swing at the officers, or tried to flee, the officers violated policy and the law.

    A taser is not to be used as a compliance tool. It is to be used in situations where the subject presents a threat to the health or well being of the officer, himself, or other bystanders. The same for a baton. Passive, non-threatening resistance ( assuming he is telling the truth ) may not be met with violently coercive methods except where there is an imminent threat to safety… and none existed here.

    Laws – especially the 10 written on that sheet of vellum in the national archive – do not change simply because I don’t like you, or you didn’t buy girl scout cookies this year. Nor do they change simply because you elect to be rude, instead of polite.

    That’s what makes it a ‘Law’. Otherwise they would have called them ‘The Bill of Guidelines’ or ‘The List of Suggestions’.


  98. Darren Garrison doesn’t know squat about the preacher’s attitude on the day. He’s made up his story and he’s sticking to it, but he don’t have one more scrap of information than anyone else.

    His legal theories are wrong, too. So are Wareagle’s. The law covers what we do. It doesn’t require us to be charming when we do it, or say “Sir yes sir!” whenever the police ask us a question, or consent to a search in the absence of probable cause. I couldn’t believe Garrison was complaining about getting “Godwined in 4 posts.” If we all took his attitude, we might as well all start wearing kneepads, like he probably does.

    Antinous, is it now okay to call someone a “worthless nitwit fucktard” on Boing Boing? If so, I vote we make it Darren Garrison’s nickname from now on.

    Mintphresh, I’ve had the border patrol do that to me, too. I didn’t get hit or tasered, but they held me up for a hell of a long time on zero evidence, and they did everything they could to get that dog of theirs to “identify” my car. Fortunately, the dog was having a bad-attitude day, and didn’t cooperate.

    You know what’s weird about this thread? Nobody’s picking up on the taser issue. That’s supposed to be something the police only do in situations that are so bad that their only other option is to shoot the suspect. What they did with here was punish the guy for noncompliance.

    If we don’t remind that police that it’s not illegal to disagree with them or argue with them, they’re sure not going to remember it on their own.

  99. Regardless of how all of this might’ve come about, this should be a wake-up call to folks to assert their rights (lest risk allowing them to be widdled away). Of course, to be able to assert one’s rights in a given moment, you must know them, and know a little about the law (I know only a little of both). Some of what’s on paper was covered already (great), but then there’s some real gray areas, such as what you have a right to say (which may help you in court later), vs what you should actually do or not do in the moment, depending on the circumstances. Some steps are uniquely circumstantial, and therefore trickiest to navigate, particularly during a tense encounter. I’d love to see more expert advise in this area especially.

    The ACLU put out this (slightly cheesy yet) very useful “flex your rights” vid:

    which covers some circumstantial gray area in different search situations (while driving car, while walking the street, while in own home). Every citizen should watch and know this stuff (I believe) and appreciate it’s there for them. It would help many citizens avoid unnecessary harassment, and I dare say it would probably result in cops better at catching real bad guys (another topic).

    Ok…That covers more “usual” circumstances regarding authority figure powers one might encounter worst case, but this doesn’t account for what one might run into during a border patrol stop. I would love to see some thorough case studies for that in the same vein, with circumstantial examples.

    One thing that is still unclear to me is are these “terrorist checkpoints” actually border patrol checkpoints that one might encounter driving state to state? I don’t have clarity on that.

    If the ACLU hasn’t stepped up to educate the citizenry to deal with this new animal, I think it would be more than a little worth while if they did.

  100. Now you know how all the Latino Citizens racially profiled by Sheriff Arpaio and his masked goons feel. Of course no one minds if their 4th ammendment rights are abused.

  101. As far as the fourth ammendment goes, I’m a little fuzzy but I seem to recall that your rights against unreasonable searches aren’t as strong when it comes to your car. Whether a dog sniffs something in your vehicle or not. Maybe a lawyer on the thread could clear things up around whether or not the cops could legally search the car.

    As for smashing the windows and tasing and boot on head, the description sounds over the line. unfortunately, no video, so not as clear cut as a bart cop shooting an unarmed man on the ground in the back. Maybe his lawyer can get the dashboard camera tapes.

    Any roadblock/checkpoint like this should be crawling with cameras. If not permanent, required-by-law cameras, then ACLU-powered cameras.

  102. I will say, first time I’ve seen an American not in the military or sciences use metric measurements naturally.

    Your civil rights might be going down the crapper, but at least there’s evidence that you’re drifting towards a sane way of measuring things.

  103. Preach hate and intolerance and you contribute to a society full of angry mouth-breathers who put aside abstract concepts such as fairness, justice, and law and choose aggression, humiliation, and violence–part and parcel of this guy’s central ideological message. He got what was due to him, karmically speaking.

    Hopefully the officers involved will get their comeuppance, too, and be fired/jailed. Would be an epic win/win for those who oppose asshattery in all its forms.

  104. Finally, a Baptist who is actually willing to suffer for his constitutional rights (as opposed to merely insisting on his right to buy guns).

    Let’s find those bastards and ensure that their lives are ruined.

  105. What’s the law say I have to do in an instance like this? In the youtube vid at the border stop, I see that he refuses to exit his vehicle.

    I don’t think the 4th amendment says you don’t have to get out of your vehicle.

    He just keeps saying “am I being detained?”, but I think he’s being detained because he refuses to exit the vehicle.

    AM I supposed to exit the vehicle if an officer instructs me to? Or do I have the right to refuse?

    Anyone know? I don’t.

    I’ve also had the cops open my rear doors and look in without asking at a random traffic stop in upstate NY. I suppose their probable cause would be their claim that I was “swerving” while driving down a straight stretch of road while stone cold sober.

  106. This is a white skinned person that speaks English okay. Imagine how much worse it gets when these Arizona border patrol people are dealing with hispanic people that don’t speak English and don’t have a voice. Who speaks out for them?

  107. look ahead. Will the Obama administration act to legalize marijuana and end the Mexican Drug Insurrection? No? Then expect the war to really spill over in to the USA soon. Big time. American police and border guards will start being assassinated in numbers you only see in Mexico today. Then watch what they become with the justification of war.

  108. @FLITERE

    Actually, as absurd as it seems, most states consider tasers to be in the same class as Batons, rather than firearms.

    For example, in Florida, any time a police firearm is discharged – no matter the circumstances, no matter the outcome, even if no one was hurt, and no property damage done – an Internal Affairs investigation is automatically initiated and completed. This is not a witch hunt, or an attempt to find fault with the officer, it’s simply a very clear recognition and reminder of the fact that a firearm is a potentially deadly weapon and its use by law enforcement must be held to the strictest and highest of standards.

    Tasers, on the other hand, trigger no such investigation. Instead, like the baton, investigations are initiated only when required by legal actions, or ( more rarely ) when the department believes they have a credible charge of misuse.

    Taser bowed to public pressure some time ago, however, so now many of their models are capable of logging time and duration of use and a few municipalities have begun to use and track this data with some often eye opening results.

  109. @#134

    “AM I supposed to exit the vehicle if an officer instructs me to? Or do I have the right to refuse?”

    I’m not sure. In a traffic stop, where you are pulled over, and required to shut off the engine and radio, show ID, etc I would say yes, you do have to comply with an order to get out of the car.

    But checkpoints are different. Being pulled over IS being ‘detained’ while a checkpoint isn’t until they inform you that you ARE being detained. If you aren’t ‘detained’ then you are free to go, by definition. If you are detained you are supposed to comply with lawful, reasonable requests/instructions

  110. they need to run a bunch of cars through these checkpoints loaded with hidden cameras and filled with Hispanic America citizens (dressed average shabby) that also have a sprinkling of lawyers among them. It could be a new TV series.

  111. He has no case or at best a very slim one. The officer said the dog indicated drugs/human in car. The officer is trained to interpret the dog, not the suspect.

    Game over.

    The defendant will need to provide evidence that:

    1. The trained dog was not indicating drugs or human cargo in car
    2. The officers actions were unnecessarily excessive

    The officers will simply claim he was resisting arrest and that excessive force was warranted.

    It might be prudent to remind readers that their might be another side to this story as well?

  112. I don’t agree with any of the pastor’s views. At least the ones being focused on here. That being said, it doesn’t matter what his views are in these circumstances, no one should be treated that way. Especially when they have done nothing wrong and are not under suspicion of having done anything wrong. This is true, because it can just as easily happen to you or anyone else. This fucked up bigot was just driving down the road when he got pulled over and forced to show his papers and have his car searched, just like they used to do in Nazi Germany. He didn’t consent to it so he was beaten to a pulp. Just like Nazi Germany. Same thing can happen to you, even if you are pro-choice or vote for democrats or anything else that makes you fit in on Boing Boing. Thats why this is wrong. Those cops don’t see you for your worldview, they see you the way they want to see you. As either a compliant stooge, or someone who will give them the opportunity to have a few laughs at the local bar after their shift is over.

  113. @ 139 Takuan

    Compulsive viewing. It would make a change from all the pro-police propaganda (drama/pseudo-documentaries) that infest the airwaves: they always seem to negelct the vicious mob-mentality aspect of the police. Funny, that.

  114. @#140

    “The defendant will need to provide evidence that:

    1. The trained dog was not indicating drugs or human cargo in car
    2. The officers actions were unnecessarily excessive”

    BULLSHIT. He is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around, ass. HE doesn’t have to prove anything – it is the officers and the prosecutor that must prove that the pastor responded in an illegal manner to lawful actions.

    As for #1 – you can’t prove a negative. which is exactly why the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ part of our legal system exists.

  115. This afternoon a off duty cop stole my parking spot at the mall (I was waiting there for 2 minutes that an old guy started his car). When I protested, he became aggressive and threatened me… this was in Belgium… Cops, everywhere on the planet are at 85% dangerous fucktards.

    btw, I’m not aware of police dogs having a double training… to my knowledge a drugs dog can’t be used to detect people…

  116. I may not agree with his religious beliefs, or that he is a bigot, or that he thinks homosexuality is wrong. Or that he was smarmy. Whatever. The bottom line is that these so-called border patrol checkpoints violate our rights. period. These checkpoints are nowhere near the border, but as far inland as 100 miles, and are a waste of resources, not to mention that agents do not receive adequate training, and practice racial profiling. This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened, but possibly the first time it’s happened to a white guy. And this is all in the name of keeping us safer?

  117. I am astounded by comments that try to paint this man’s reaction and description of the events as somehow exaggerated or prickish. It’s a frightening sign of what’s wrong in this country with huge numbers of people that someone could watch this man talk and then suggest that he is overdoing it.

    He was not stopped at the border. He was stopped inside U.S. territory. Cops can ask to search you. They cannot force you to submit. Not without cause. And a dog is not good cause. Anyone can train a dog to bark for any reason. It’s absurd. And those dogs didn’t even bark. It’s probably all on a video anyway.

    These border patrol agents were committing a very serious crime. They should go to jail. Everything about what they did was illegal. This man was attacked and his civil rights were completely removed.

    For some reason in this country these border and customs type people are operating in a strange gray zone of legality. They seem to think that civil rights are diminished wherever they are operating. It’s awful. We are going to have a terrible time digging out of the deep hole the Bush/Cheney thugs put us into. So many of these piggish officers were put in job during the 8-year hell of the Bush reign of terror. I’m very pessimistic about our chances – even with Obama. I think the jungle monkeys have taken over most law enforcement and border operations in the U.S.

    The odds of being injured or killed by a terrorist are about the same as being hit in the face by an asteroid. The odds of being illegally searched and beaten by U.S. law enforcement are much higher.

  118. whether he has a case or not doesn’t really seem to be the issue. the question is how do we prevent officers from doing this.
    i’ve had a very similar run-ins with state patrol in several states, in particular one such instance in south carolina.
    i didn’t get beat up, but they pulled every “legal” trick they could to make my day suck.
    later they brought in the drug dog.
    when i refused to let them search the car, guess what? they searched it anyway!
    they opened the car door and let the dog jump in. they said he gave them a sign there were drugs in the car.
    this is my wife’s grandmother’s car. it’s been in a garage since the 90’s.
    but never mind that.
    i sat on the side of I-85 for a hour while they tore it apart.
    when they found sandwich bags, boy did their eyes light up. when they asked me what they were for, i calmly told them “sandwiches.”
    they then searched my pockets and asked me one last time if i was a drug dealer and took drugs. i said “no” and they said have a nice day.

    i think if i had a camera with me recording the whole thing it never would’ve escalated that far. same with this pastor.

  119. @144

    apparently innocent until proven guilty doesn’t exist anymore… I applaud your optimism, but it seems we have moved past that point.

    As for the “bigot” thing, the guy probably did deserve it. But the officers didn’t beat him because they didn’t like his church. They did it because there is a palpable undercurrent of authoritative abuse in this country. They did it because they were playing a role (stanford prison experiment). Thus whether or not he’s a bigot is a moot point.

  120. @#149

    “I applaud your optimism, but it seems we have moved past that point.”

    I guess it’s time to start carrying a pistol myself then. One of these days, it is going to come down to that. I applaud anyone who blows the face off anyone who tries to violate their rights.

  121. @149

    No, his being a bigot is very relevant. He condemns those outside of the Southern Baptist “normal.” Just as the officers are bigoted against people outside of the police state “normal.” This pastor approaches topics and viewpoints with a closed mind, preaching that certain people who have ideas that deviate from his deserve eternal damnation and suffering.

    The officers, seeing this man as a deviant for not complying with their requests, even if the requests were groundless, condemned him to physical abuse and humiliation.

    Every Sunday this guy sits in the pulpit (a position of power in his community) and abuses it by distorting the basic message of the Dude who laid down some fundamental laws he is supposed to protect and enforce (“Love thy neighbor…”).

    It is the same kind of thinking, just a different rubric.

  122. #149,

    Shooting ‘someone’ who is acting outside the law is not a crime if you feel the threat of serious injury or death, even if that ‘someone’ is wearing a uniform of some kind. Just sayin’ is all…

    I’m not a gun nut or anything, but this is why there’s a Second Amendment. It ain’t for no militia. It’s for regular folks being beaten up by criminal law enforcement people.

  123. regarding TASER logging features, that’s interesting that police forces may be logging use and (ab)use of the device, but aren’t the projectile portions of a TASER a consumable?

    Isn’t it obvious that an officer that’s using handfuls of the consumable may be overusing the device?

  124. Eeyore, I came back to this thread to find that while I’d been posting about how no one was addressing the taser issue, you’d been addressing it. You clearly know more about it than I do.

    A taser is like a baton? In a way it is. You can do far more damage with a baton than most people realize.

  125. #155 – Well, you can kill someone with one Taser blast and with quite a deal less effort then with a baton. What most cops don’t understand is that a Taser is not a magical arresting wand that will automatically subdue all enemies, it’s in fact a deadly weapon that should only be used as a last resort.

  126. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer lunatic.

    That being said, the fact that assholes are beating up assholes still indicates that bad things are happening; get to work, people.

  127. Here is another video from Steven Anderson, called “The Coming American Police State”.

    Clearly, he already had an opinion about this subject before we was beaten up by cops.

    He’s a nutty guy who most likely pushed the cops’ buttons like he does in the above video.

    But also clearly, the police shouldn’t have reacted so violently. As the trained, professional party in this kind of situation, they are the ones who should be held to a high standard of behavior and service.

    So, he’s not as innocent as he appears BUT that is absolutely no excuse for police brutality.

  128. It’s absolutely fascinating how one goes from feeling empathy with this guy until you read what he writes about gays and male gynecologists!

    It’s another onion layer to the story. He becomes a *total idiot* before your eyes, and less of a victim. I certainly hope he reads these comments here and SEES HIMSELF as others might see him. Maybe LEARNS something, yeah…

    Pastor, you are a bigot… A very, very small-minded man.

    [Still that doesn’t mean he should have been beaten by the border patrol exactly, either… Morons have civil rights, too, of course.]

    And what no mention of karma here? Put enough intolerance out there in the world, buddy and sometimes karma comes back to kick you in the ass.

    His own words: “We need a revival of old-fashioned righteous indignation and hatred for sin and perverts.”



    If you are so sure that God is on YOUR SIDE, why are YOU the one who got beaten to a pulp the other day? MAYBE TO TEACH YOU A LIFE LESSON.


    Steven Anderson, if you are reading this, and I know you are, I DARE YOU to address the above paragraph. Not just for the Boing Boing readers, but FOR YOUR OWN CHURCH to read.

  129. Welp. Seems a little sketchy to me. Sounds like he may have been an a-hole. Check out the part where someone interrupts him to remind him of something he needed to say. He was visibly irritated with them. Plus, he yelled at the end. Don’t yell at me, a-hole. I didn’t do anything to you.

  130. @NutBastard:

    BULLSHIT. He is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around, ass. HE doesn’t have to prove anything – it is the officers and the prosecutor that must prove that the pastor responded in an illegal manner to lawful actions.

    That was not @140’s point. The point is that if this went to court, then it would be his word against the cops’ word as to whether or not the dog indicated that there were drugs in the car.

    The police are trained to understand the dog’s indications. The pastor is not. Therefore, the man doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  131. Am I alone in wondering if this man would have done this two years ago, during the Bush administration?

    The right wing is getting extremely agitated. Glen Beck is on TV every day telling the Right that Obama is starting a Fascist state, that Obama is building prison camps to hold Republicans. That Obama is going to be putting young conservatives in “re-education camps.” (Really.)

    Seems to me that if you’re a run of the mill right-wing nut-job, it doesn’t take much see being pulled over by cops in Arizona as being a part of this whole Nazi/Socialist America we are descending into. And therefore it makes sense to stop co-operating and start demanding your 4th amendment rights.

    Under Bush, however, the same search would have been treated as our patriotic police officers protecting us from terrorism.

    This isn’t about whether he or the cops were in the right. But I think his… worldviews are not entirely incidental to the situation.

  132. What I find alarming is that the partisan nature iof the discourse here is that people seem to be glad that this guy got stomped, and are pleased only because he is a bigot.

    The law protects EVERYONE.

    If he is as big a reactionary dirt bag as he seems MAKES NO DIFFERENCE.

    His 4th amendment rights are the SAME AS YOURS.

    I have zero time for the right wingers in the world, but it is rule of law or NOTHING.

  133. Darren Garrison either works, has worked, or has close relatives who work in law enforcement.

    My guess? He’s an ex-cop who got dumped from the force for violating the rights of people who were “acting like assholes.”

    Assholes have rights too. Even you, Darren, have rights. Among these are the right to be a jerk without having your other rights violated.

    I think all cops should be on camera all the time they’re on duty. Webcam, so you can watch everything they’re doing on your home computer (no-knock warrants and so on could exempt them from this requirement temporarily). If they can’t do their jobs within the law (and the Bill of Rights is the highest law of the land) then they should get the fuck off the force.

    If they have nothing to hide, they should be OK with this, right? </tongue in cheek>

  134. Though it has to be said that his line about “Wake up america” at the end was pretty funny.

    It was his mob that put those laws in place.

  135. This man has suffered the righteous indignation of
    THE LORD!!!

    JESUS has seen fit to RAIN PAIN AND SUFFERING upon this witless fck-tard for his preaching HATE AND BIGOTRY!!!

    Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

    For ye who sows bigotry and ass-hatted-ness shall reap the whirlwind of God’s whoop-ass!

    Praise JESUS for the intervention of his sacred emissaries in the Border Patrol.


  136. I don’t know… I think this could be a little more rabid. There are still a few people here trying to reference actual laws and court cases pertinent to what happened. wtf is up with that?? We need to get rid of them and crank the name-calling an ad hominem attacks to a more shrill level. Just a tiny push and we can really sound like an AOL chat room.

  137. I wish this discussion had focused around Mr. Garrison’s idiotic remark. I was driving up the US 95 from Yuma to Quartzsite and got stopped, presumably b/c I have California plates, I’m 21 yrs old n I was stoned. They told me to pull over and I complied, they then asked if I had drugs in the car and I handed my 2.7 g of pot over b/c there was a dog in front of my car. They still searched my car. This was US Border Patrol. couple things: 1. did they have the right to search it no matter what? n 2. Darren I’m terribly sorry to hear this, I was treated much better than you while being questioned. I guess I can only hope that those confused officers don’t reproduce

  138. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against UNREASONABLE searches and seizures. It was ratified as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. The amendment specifically requires search and arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

    Motor vehicle:
    The Motor vehicle exception….
    The Supreme Court also held that individuals in automobiles have a reduced expectation of privacy, because vehicles generally do not serve as residences or repositories of personal effects. Vehicles may not be RANDOMLY stopped and searched; there must be PROBABLE CAUSE or REASONABLE SUSPICION of possible criminal activity. With probable cause, police officers may search any area in the vehicle.

    I think a great many of you are under the impression that if you refuse to be searched and are, your rights are automatically violated. This is simply not the case. As the Supreme Court decisions stated above, you have protection from UNREASONABLE searches and automobiles have some exceptions, including only the need for probable cause. The officers in the minister’s case claimed to have probable cause, which they will have to prove in court. Their protecting all of us from bring more illegals, terrorists and illegal drugs and weapons into our country. They do this to preotect the public and keep us all safe. In exchange, they ask to make sure you don’t have this stuff in a person’s car. They explained this and he refused to go along and he paid for it. If they made a mistake it would’ve been over in a matter of minutes. Instead, he tried to be roadside lawyer and paid the price. The search was reasonable and it was to protect the citizens of this Country. I guess we could just open our borders to all this stuff. How does that sound. Come on guys, don’t make this a witch hunt. This is not a good example for that. This guys picked the wrong place and time to assert rights he didn’t have.

    Please do your research before jumping to conclusions everytime you disagree with the police. Believe it or not, the good may are just good people doing a job none of us every would.

  139. 2 things — this pastor or whoever posted to this youtube account is ACTIVELY censoring the responses. Two of my comments disappeared. Somewhat ironic.

    Also, i don’t see the civil liberty issue here. This pastor isn’t some random victim of overly-aggressive law enforcement. If you look at his other videos, he actively baits border patrol agents. I doubt the incident went down exactly as he describes it. FYI, he isn’t a liberal pro-immigrant pastor. Just the opposite — he’s a conservative, against-illegal-immigration and government authority rightwingnut.

  140. The Border Patrol officers are upstanding – nay, outstanding! – exemplars of rectitude in law-enforcement.

    What’s a litle light beating (entirely accidental when his windows had to be broken to allow law-enforcement officers entry to the vehicle) and prolonged torture with tasers (which leave no marks, so there’s no evidence bar his assertions)?

    It’s not like anyone who matters ever did anything *effective* when a black man gets that kind of treatment, and that kind of thing is never going to stop. What’s wrong with doing it to white people too, when the security state gives you all these new powers?

    But the elephant in the room, the fact that almost no-one’s mentioning, is that the law-enforcement officers didn’t plant a pound of weed in the boot of his car and give him a mary-jane shampoo providing incontrovertible evidence that our Baptist pastor is a long-term addict and a trafficker.

    I can’t believe that they are *that* honest and restrained – every other Police force on the planet has a record *this* long of planting drugs on people who annoy them: it may well be that Texas has the finest, most upstanding and righteous Policemen in the World.

  141. @Takuan:

    “they need to run a bunch of cars through these checkpoints loaded with hidden cameras and filled with Hispanic America citizens (dressed average shabby) that also have a sprinkling of lawyers among them. It could be a new TV series.”

    That would be absolutely classic.

  142. I’ve enjoyed reading all these comments and I hope 50% of you never sit on the jury when I’m on trial.

  143. Can someone provide a link to evidence of the pastor ridiculing boarder patrol agents before this incident took place?

    I’ve seen people saying something is out there where he does this, but I haven’t been able to find it. Obviously, if something like that really exists it would draw into question his version of events (unlike his other views).

    I really want to separate this guy’s crazy ideas from the rights issue. But.., if this guy is as out of touch as his videos indicate and he had an existing beef with the boarder patrol, then it may be impossible to not introduce his personal views into the discussion.

    *shakes head*

  144. #78 posted by Lucifer, April 16, 2009 11:40 AM

    It doesn’t matter whether the thug has a badge or not. When someone with a gun and low intelligence tells you to do something, you do it – whether it’s to fill the bag full of cash or open the door for an unreasonable search or be taken as a hostage in the high seas. You let the bully win that particular battle and live to fight another day whether that means killing them or taking them to court for civil rights violation. Every moment has a winner and loser and if you are not capable of defeating your enemy at a particular moment, you have to back down and comply, only so you can attack later. It is nature’s law and when you’re out there, the concept of God, Democracy, and your sense of righteousness are not effective weapons to get your way.

    Enjoy ‘living’ on your knees. Some of us prefer to die standing.

  145. “Their protecting all of us from bring more illegals, terrorists and illegal drugs and weapons into our country. They do this to preotect the public and keep us all safe.”

    Who brings weapons to the US? That’s like shipping coal to Newcastle.

    Moreover,watching the video, he indicates that in his opinion they faked probable cause. In his own words, ” the dog didn’t bark and wandered off”. Yet the border patrol used that as reason for escalation.

    How do you feel, living in land where the police will fake evidence to prove they’re right?

    I’m certain any real criminal would have easily gamed those clowns.

    And to all those people talking about a karmic beatdown, do all those hispanic, and black people deserve a Karmic beatdown as well? What was their crime, not being born with the right colour of skin?

  146. From the youtube videos that Pastor Anderson has posted prior to this incident, it certainly seems as though he runs into these checkpoints fairly often, and reacts to them in a belligerent and uncooperative fashion. What’s more, like it or not, when the Border Patrol or DHS posts a “border checkpoint” – even inside the U.S. border by up to 100 miles, they do not need anything other than “mere suspicion” of criminal activity. The legal definition of “mere suspicion” doesn’t include lack of cooperation; that would be a tautology.

    But it can include erratic behavior which is largely decided by the officer or agent on site. So, in essence, however odious, the search of his car was basically Constitutional. I’m arm-chair lawyering here, but I think his case may not get very far.

    What’s more, from his other videos it seems as though he’s been trying to force just such a confrontation for a long time. I’m generally inclined to believe that cops and La Migra are jackbooted thugs, but in this case, it’s hard to say who’s right. Certainly it’s not cut-and-dried at all, so acting as such gives short shrift to the ambiguities of the case.

    Pastor Anderson certainly seems to be a virulent bigot, and perhaps a black helicopter loony – but he’s also successfully forced a confrontation that on the face of it is over the top and unreasonable.

    I’m really curious to see how this turns out. My money is – he gets convicted and the agents get administrative slaps-on-the-wrist for an excess of zeal.

  147. To all of you who have attacked the victim for his repulsive beliefs and statements: You have utterly and completely missed the point. To those of you who have cited Supreme Court ruling, you miss the point too. It is almost certain that the framers of the constitution never envisioned that a “border” would be 100 miles wide.

    I am truly surprised that even the knowledgeable commenters have failed to tie together the “Pastor” story with the “London Cops Mug Tourists”.

    How many of you remember the Magna Carta, the unwritten English constitution or the US Constitution? For centuries England and the US have been recognized worldwide as the sources of what we call civil liberties.

    Today, the UK has over 4 million CCTV cameras. The US has a Supreme Court which has spent the last 2 decades eroding, if not destroying, the guarantees of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. And the Patriot Act. None of these things could have happened if even a plurality of the populations of the US and UK demonstrated even a little bit of historical and civic knowledge.

    Instead we now have populations which long ago acquiesced in the destruction of their personal and civil liberties. In the name of safety.

    Sic Transit….

    Rick York

  148. 1. Michigan Department of State Police vs. Sitz
    2. Illinois, Petitioner v. Roy I. Caballes
    3. Kyllo v. United States

    Checkpoints and emissions are debatable….It depends on the judge and lawyer..

    Checkpoints, and non-consensual searches are thus legal as long as the checkpoints themselves are public knowledge.

    You could of just taken a different route. (1)

    A dogs sniff is not considered a search because you are emitting particles that the dog will pick up and therefore that under plain-view and subject to probable cause. (2 and 3)

    Thermal imaging is also detection of emissions and therefore subject to probable cause. (3)

    Because they have a dog, they can only find the source of the emissions. They have to have the dog sniff the compartment and container to open it. In this case the trunk. (2)

    They cannot, for example, open a black bag, that you expect to be private, unless its giving off emissions of which the dog is trained to detect. (4)

    This being said, they cannot open, review, copy any documents or non-emitory items without a search warrant. (4)

    What you do is, get out of the car, inform that you are not consenting to a search and if they do perform the search, it would be because of the dogs sniff. Hand them the keys.

    If they take anything, or open any stand alone container containing personal and private items, they are in very big trouble.

  149. I was detained by the SDPD for a couple of hours for refusing to let them search my car. No beating or anything horrible, but it was ridiculous.

    They approached the car because apparently they thought the place my friend and I had parked to take a break from driving was ‘suspicious’- they thought we were casing a place for a break-in. I told my buddy not to answer ANY questions.

    They asked for my permission to search the car and I said no. They told me I ‘couldn’t say no’ and they were only asking ‘to be polite’. I said I had the right to say no, and why would they ask if I didn’t have a choice, anyway? So they threw us in the back of the cruiser and proceeded to do a classic ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine on us. It was actually quite amusing. The ‘bad’ cop told us we had no rights, and that he was going to kick our asses if we didn’t comply, and then the ‘good’ cop would step in and apologize for him and nicely ask us to just ‘fess up’ (to whatever we were supposedly doing) to ‘make it easier for everyone’.

    Long story short: They gave up, apologized, never searched the car, and sent us on our way. I asserted my rights, and won in the end. I guess I’m lucky I wasn’t in Arizona. But I still wouldn’t do it any differently no matter where I was, even if it meant getting messed up by corrupt cops. I should add that we were being absolutely polite the whole time (this does help) – just not answering questions or consenting to search.

  150. @”Also, this is why i record EVERY conversation I have with any police officers.”

    In Massachusetts this is illegal. In MA, cops are considered private citizens when they are on duty, not the public servants that they in fact are. If you bring a tape recording to your hearing to defend yourself, you’ll be charged with a criminal offense.

  151. Welcome to life as a resistor is right…

    This kind of thing happens every single day all across the country to hundreds and hundreds of people.

    The only reason that this seems significant is because it’s happened to a white, Christian, heterosexual(?) male.

    Don’t get me wrong, I completely sympathize with you and your experience and think the injustice has to be stopped completely…and because of that want, hope it leads you to find the importance and social pervasiveness of anti-racism/equaty work.

    god bless:

  152. JMNDOS,

    Good jargon I don’t think this search sounds legal. Checkpoints are legal in some circumstances. But searches without cause are not. If the guy had nothing in his car there could not possibly have been any probable cause to search. It defies logic to think there could. No dogs would have reacted. Nothing would have been there to detect. So, if there’s no cause, then the search and every action by the officers around the search is illegal. The guy had every right to sit there in his car refusing to move. You do not under every circumstance have to obey every instruction given by a law enforcement officer. Even when stopped on the road you have reasonable rights to hesitate to get out of your vehicle. You can insist on driving to the nearest police station for your own safety. There are bogus stops that happen on roads. You are never supposed to assume that you’ve been stopped by a real police officer. Everyone has the right to make things somewhat difficult for the police. Police are not nice people. They tend to take a mile if you give them an inch.

    Tazers kill people. If I saw one pointed at me and if I had a gun, I would shoot the officer holding the Tazer. I think most people in this country need to view Tazers as potentially deadly weapons. In the dark, they look like guns. We will get a case soon in which this scenario is debated. A person is stopped, threatened with a Tazer, and kills the officer in self defense. And lawyers will present data that prove Tazers to be potentially deadly weapons. The data is there. Plenty of it.

    And who cares if the pastor guy is a bigot? I don’t care if he’s a card-carrying Nazi. He doesn’t have any fewer rights than you or I have. Some comments on here are just so beyond any reasonable level of intelligence that I hesitate to go online in the dark.

    But boy I love these comment arguments. It’s like a video game!

  153. @wingo: Too bad you didn’t remember such cautious street smarts about not answering ‘any’ questions when it came to the LAPD and their bullshit lies last fall. I’m still traumatized from the police brutality… and then some…

  154. This seemed an important bit

    I tried many ways to “grab” a copy of this video

    I do not usually have a problem using MIRO – failing that, a copy from my cache. Nothing works here.


  155. He needed to comply with the officers instructions to get out of the vehicle. All he has to say are the words “I do not consent to a search”. But then you need to follow instructions. Later in court you can sue them for violating your rights if you want.

  156. It’s definitely a difficult story to listen to, nobody wants to be arrested or beaten over nothing. No matter what transpired, no matter how he behaved, there was no reason for tasing him or for laughing in his face after smashing it into glass. Without a doubt, the border partrol behaved like idiots and should be charged accordingly.

    However, (and there’s always a however,) I have absolutely no idea what happened when he was stopped. I sat and watched his video, then went and looked at his website. Yes, he’s a bigot. Yes, he’s definitely not the kind of guy I’d want my (or anyone else’s) children talking to. That, however, doesn’t make his story untrue. I do think that there may be more to it than he says, that he probably wasn’t as passive as he claims. In his writing and his sermons he comes across as quite confrontational, controversial, and filled with hate-fueled anger. I doubt his claim that all he did was politely decline the officers’ request to search his car, especially considering how quick he is to quote the fourth amendment. (That doesn’t make him wrong or a liar, it simply casts a shadow of doubt.)

    Did he act like a jerk when he was stopped? Probably. Did he argue and yell at the border patrol officers? Probably. While I’d love to kick his teeth in for the venom he spreads in his sermons and his blog, he should never, EVER have been scarred up and beaten by the border patrol.

    If he was polite and calm, as he said, then simply telling him that he was under arrest, (for whatever reason it actually was, we have no idea,) and taking him to a holding cell. If he resisted, then only the necessary force to restrain him would have been necessary, and using the taser only if anything he did would have put the arresting officer(s) at risk.

    What happened was fucked up, no doubt about it. Chances are, it was fucked up from both ends. The border patrol officers involved should be fined, suspended, fired, or whatever is suitable in this situation. Again, just because I don’t believe this guys side of the story to be 100% true, doesn’t mean that what happened to him is right.

  157. next time he should bow down and lick the boots of our masters in a more timely fashion and this won’t happen

  158. Yes, it is true that if he simply submitted, none of this would happen, there is no reason to be treated like this for asserting the rights you hold under the consitution.

    If everyone voluntarily gave up their rights, and those that didn’t were beat senseless, then what sort of rights would they be? As much as I feel for this guy and doubt my own ability to stand up for my rights, I thank him for reminding us all that our rights must constantly be reasserted lest we give them up by default. In a way, he took a beating for all of us, and in that sense, he is a martyr.

  159. “internal terrorism checkpoints” starts to sound a little like NOT anti-Terrorism Checkpoint with these stories… it seems like they are trying to introduce a little terrorism. any chance of a freedom of information act allowing access to the footage from the security cameras at the check point?

  160. I may disagree with his moral/political/religious stance, but I will defend 100% his right to it. NONE of which is relevant here – this is American fascism (and I don’t think I’ve ever used that phrase before). This better explode.

  161. There is an aspect of this we are missing.
    If this gent is such a bigot and, by much admission, we would dearly love to beat him down; did we ever stop to consider that the three officers were actually libertarians, saw who he was and decided to put the smack-down on the good pastor?

    But, then again, I would guess that Karma has a sence of humor.

  162. I’ll add my 2 cents to push comments towards 200.

    Baptist guy sounds like a jerk.
    No one, not even Baptist guy, deserves to be beaten by border patrol people, even if BG was smuggling weapons, drugs and people.
    Innocent until proven guilty.
    4th amendment, etc.
    I hate Fascism.

  163. This is all sorts of wrong, for a guy who is a right wing nut, it’s hard to believe that this guy said no the border patrol. I mean, what kind of hypocrisy is it when a man who fully supports border patrol, won’t let border patrol search him … All I’m saying is, this is not the civil libertarian hero you’re looking for…

  164. I encountered two of these checkpoints last summer on a trip to AZ. One on I-10 in New Mexico (west of Las Cruses about 10-15 miles), the other on the US70/82 between Las Cruses and Alamagordo.

    These are permanent installations on all the major highways headed away from El Paso (we saw the one east of El Paso on I-10 on our way west.) There wasn’t one between the one in NM on I-10 and Tucson, nor did we encounter one in driving on several of the roads around Douglas, AZ (on the border). They are not there for effective immigration control. They are there to make a point. And they do, as a rediculus waste of time and money.

    I was mad as hell, but surprised at the first one. When we hit the second one I asked a lot of questions and got the clear impression that the guy asking was a working stiff who had been told to ask The Question and was more interested in collecting a paycheck than considering the erosion of his own civil liberties.

    I am not surprised by his claims. I do wonder how many other times this has happened and we didn’t hear about it.

    And, as far as the people claiming that it is this guy’s word against the cops? One question: Did they find drugs or a person in the trunk? That will tell us who is lying.

  165. Hey-
    The guy certainly can assert his 4th amendment rights, and was perfectly right to do so. But as soon as the officer says “probably cause”, the argument is over. Sorry. The law says so.
    Now, if police abuse “probably cause” they should be disciplined. And certainly, the actions of the border patrol and DPS were out of control, and there should be an investigation-it could have been handled better. But at that point, the pastor was outside the law and risking arrest.
    There is certainly a problem with the “terrify everyone and justify it with the ‘terrorism’ label.” There is certainly a problem with the “war on terror” and the “war on drugs” (they seem to overlap here…) There certainly is a problem where we give our police and investigative agencies unchecked, unjustified, and unrealistic powers, and no accountability. There is a problem when exercising power is more important than respecting someone’s dignity-even a fktrd like this pastor.
    So while the cops were wrong in their treatment of this man, and their justification of it, he was wrong too.

  166. I had a thought:

    What if this guy is really a closeted gay-bashing Ted Haggard-type who GETS OFF SEXUALLY by provoking, and then getting beaten by, beefy, hunky donut-munching border cops?

    Some guys, you know, will pay for this privilege!

    He’s um… bragging about this. He’s HOPING a bunch of people would see it. It’s less about documentation of a crime and more that he’s got his own YouTube channel and this is great content in his mind! He was HOPING he could provoke the cops to gain a little bit of attention for himself. This guy is a weirdo, not a civil liberties martyr, that’s what I think.

    Sidestepping the issue of whether the cops went too far (of course, they did), might there be a pattern of questionable/funky behavior here with this *self-ordained* “Baptist pastor” that goes a little deeper than what appears on the surface?

    Someone alert JG Ballard immediately!

    Anybody else with me on this?

  167. me bruvver was out once with the boys, well, just a a mate really. This bloke started a bit of bovver wi them as they left the pub. His friend told him to feck orf, and the bastard jumped ‘im.

    Long story short, the two of them beat the crap out of this guy who, although blind drunk himself,kept coming back for more. To the point of crawling on the ground and grabbing legs. Most distasteful really. It really weirded them out when they realized they were being used.

  168. I live in Yuma and feel like I’m in a different country that is between Mexico and the United States.

    There isn’t a single road out of here that doesn’t have a border patrol checkpoint that you have to go through. Not interstate or country road that doesn’t at one point lead to you slowing down through a checkpoint filled with bored border patrol agents and intimidating guards.

    The good news is that I’m white and don’t drive a large conspicuous van so I’m always waved through with barely a second look. But I’ve heard all kinds of stories not the least of which is Lil Wayne’s little known legal troubles.

    “The rapper’s tour bus was stopped Jan. 22, 2008 at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Dateland, 78 miles east of Yuma.

    A search of the bus by Drug Enforcement Administration agents yielded nearly four ounces of marijuana, just over an ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of Ecstasy and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. DEA agents then arrested Carter.

    Officials also found a .40-caliber pistol registered to Carter, who has a concealed weapons permit in Florida.”

  169. I find it really shocking that anyone would even think to bring up his personal or social views in regards to this case. What does that have to do with anything?

    In reality, here is what happened. He was pulled over at a quasi-legal “internal border” checkpoint. He was not rude, nor was he polite. He simply stonewalled, speaking only to question the legitimacy of the stop, and asking if he was free to go. He did not consent to anything nor give photo ID. He felt, with justification, that a “stop and search everyone” checkpoint violated the 4th amendmant. The police responded not by simply arresting him or searching him, but throwing in a good measure of extraneous physical harm, probably out of anger and frustration.

    Here’s a point I don’t see anyone having made here: This whole incident, and these “internal border checks” (what a term!) are one more small offshoot of our glorious War on Drugs.

  170. The Newshour tonight did a segment on Obama’s trip to Mexico. The two professors interviewed stated that the U.S. and Mexico were closer than they’d been in years to working in a cooperative manner to address the issue of the drug cartel violence. Elizabeth Warner asked one of the guests what more Calderon would like to see the U.S. do. “Re-authorize the assault weapon ban.” The Obama administration has said so far that they have no plans to re-authorize the ban. I find that very disappointing. At the same time it is heartening that the issue of the cross border gun trade is getting just a little bit of press, when usually all you hear about is drugs.

    A NYT article earlier this week outlined the ease with which guns can be purchased in Texas and transported to Mexico. That seems to me a big part of the problem and one we would be really dumb not to address.

    As to the pastor. I hope this ordeal offers him the opportunity to do some self-reflection, as Richard Metzger suggests. I also think there are some lessons for the rest of us. Another reminder for me to challenge my own rigid thought structures. Soften my own extremist views. Okay, now everybody go and do the same thing. kthxbai.

    1. I hope this ordeal offers him the opportunity to do some self-reflection

      I suspect that he spends quite a lot of time looking at his own reflection and not very much time noticing other people.

  171. Wise news agencies are asking sly questions in every titty bar along or near his route.

    My first reaction was to assume he was doing something not in line with his supposed moral values, and this is part of a coverup.

    Whatever the case, I find it odd the MSM hasn’t picked up on this yet, no matter what a kook the guy may be.

  172. Ah–court in the morning for him. I wish the guy well, but hope he learns about the trials of others from this. Curious to see what happens.

  173. Good on him for standing up for his rights.

    I’d like to see the police release all footage of the incident. I bet pastor Anderson would happily agree with doing so.

    Caveat: Sure, he’s a fuckwit. A glance at his website confirms this. Doesn’t matter. Still has rights.

    And, personally, I find his account believable. I’m ready to be convinced otherwise by video footage, of course.

  174. I’m getting very tired of the “just doing my job” excuse. Isn’t that what the guys who nailed Jesus to the cross said?

  175. I believe strongly that 90% of law enforcement is actually trying to “Protect and Serve” the public interest.

    I don’t. The ones who aren’t doing it themselves are covering up for the ones who do – that “blue wall of silence” you hear about.

    Law enforcement isn’t the sort of job that attracts nice people.

  176. Forgive me if I’m repeating anyone. I got about halfway through the comments when this thought occurred to me:

    Regardless of the issue of 4th amendment rights, what you have in this situation is someone in a position of trust (border guards) and someone in a position of dependence (the minister). It’s not unlike the relationship between a parent and a child. Saying this guy deserved it because of his attitude is like a parent accused of child abuse saying “If junior hadn’t given me lip and just did what he was told, I wouldn’t have had to take off my belt and beat him.”

  177. THIS attitude of “might makes right” or “a badge means I can bully others” is explemplified by the horrible treatment this poor man suffered! It did NOT start with Obama! In point of fact, it started with BUSH! HE is the one who started the Patriot Act and all that other crap which was just a poorly disguised way of bullying everyone else! The Constitution of the United States GUARANTEES certain rights and PRIVACY IS ONE OF THEM! This man should NOT have had to go through this because he was DEFENDING HIS RIGHTS! He even SAID they would not bring the dog back to VERIFY this alleged “investigation”!

    These guys did NOT want him to get treated because they were afraid he’d TALK! They went out of his way to TAKE AWAY HIS RIGHTS! He could have DIED and THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE!

    It’s NOT right but I do NOT believe it should be blamed at our current president! It started with BUSH! It’s horrible he had to go through this and THIS could happen to ANYONE! and THAT’S the problem! This country is becoming VERY Fascist and is NOT safe for anyone if they can do this to a PASTOR!

    btw, Mommasan, it was NOT only the centurians who nailed Jesus who might have said it! IT WAS ALSO HITLER’S MEN! THINK ABOUT THAT the next time a “Cop”, because I refuse to honor these men who did this with that name, pulls you over at a checkpoint like that!


  178. I think people are missing the entire point.

    His type of people are now a target.

    Law abiding white christian Americans were the ‘people in control’ during Bush’s reign and they are scared now that they don’t get preferential treatment.

  179. Cops, everywhere on the planet are at 85% dangerous fucktards

    Actually, I think of them more like rattlesnakes.

    A rattlesnake can be quite handy if you’re having problems with vermin, but they can be just as dangerous to you as they are to the vermin.

    So while you might occasionally be glad to see a rattlesnake, there’s no way you’d ever consider one a friend or invite it into your home.

    And you certainly wouldn’t care if something bad happened to it. It’s just a rattlesnake – it can easily be replaced. The world has plenty of rattlesnakes.

  180. Not being in the USA (never been there either) I can only comment on what it ‘appears’ to be from across the Pacific.

    He’s a dick. I don’t like him, his website or his git-like-nature.

    Unfortunately he makes some very good points about the fact that because he doesn’t ‘submit’ when he doesn’t have to, they take that as reason to be suspicious. *That* is kafkaesque and supremely self-serving.

    If most of what he says is true, then this moron’s failure to submit merely exposes the fact that the police involved don’t believe he has any rights.

    I’m quite sure that if the police in Australia asked me nicely, I would suggest to them that they’re wrong, explain that I want to speak to their manager/supervisor/senior office on duty and explain to them that I’m making a complaint. I’d then tell them that the keys are in the ignition and I don’t agree with their actions.

    They can then do whatever they are going to – but I’ll be looking to make certain lots of people find out and that they and their Department apologise to me (which I’d make public).

    This guy just decided he was willing to force the issue – who knows if he knew they’d be as violent as they became. However, his stand, if his version is correct, is principled and more direct. Remember, you don’t have to be a saint to stand up for a principle…otherwise we would all be in trouble.

    Again, I think he’s a dickhead and I certainly don’t agree with his views (as many here also say) but if he’s given a right by the law in the USA, then let’s see what the courts say about his actions and those of the police.

    I’m just glad that Australia has no shared international borders.

  181. Padraig @220: The US counts the coastline as a border. I am in Maryland and I would have to drive a full day to get to another country, or swim to Greenland, and I live “on the border”. Washington, DC is “on the border”.

  182. if lightly seared, rattlesnake tastes like chicken

    Doesn’t everything?

    I just looked on YouTube, but couldn’t find the Bobcat Goldthwait routine where he rants about this: “People kept saying ‘Here, try lizard, try squirrel – it tastes just like chicken!’ Well, why don’t you just give me some damn chicken then?”

  183. good for him. i’m glad he stuck up for what he believes. besides, this is perfect sermon fodder.

    “it’s like the glass and asphalt was my crown of thorns…”

    you get the idea. also, i liked his “show me the dog detecting something” idea. that seems like a completely reasonable request. but maybe they’ll just say, “oh yeah! when he walks away and licks his balls…that means you have a dead body stuffed with drugs in your trunk. get out!”

    as for assuming that people who love their liberty would rather live in a police-free world/society, i think that’s a rather large leap in logic. maybe we would just rather the police go back to twirling their billy-clubs and whistling as they keep an eye out for REAL CRIME instead of getting into everyone’s business. i am aware that a lot of this is just them “doing their job” but it is our responsibility to voice that we don’t want them doing such things and that we don’t feel any safer because they found a joint in the 50th car they smashed into.

    you know what does make me feel safe? a good paying job and a sense of community! when will we get those things back? i just want to have enough so i can GIVE BACK and join in on this potentially beautiful journey we are on as american citizens.

    rainbows and unicorns for everyone!!!

  184. Exactly when were his 4th amendment rights violated?

    I listened to the video, but I don’t quite get it.

    He told the border cops they couldn’t search his car. So they didn’t. They let him sit in the car for an hour, and still did not search his car. Instead they brought over the police. The police were told that the dogs signaled the car, and that the border cops had probably cause to search it. After the pastor still did not leave, the cops arrested the man.

    Did they have the power to arrest him? It sounds like the cops had probable cause to believe that the man could be committing a crime, from the border cops information about the dogs and the fact that the man was not co-operating, so yes, they had the power to arrest him.

    Once the man is under arrest, they are allowed to remove him by force if he does not come willingly. The pastor may have been right up until that point to refuse to leave the car, but he was not right to refuse to leave after he was arrested. The two are not the same. The latter counts as resisting arrest.

    At this point, it sounds like the cops acted like animals in their use of tasers and the amount of force they used. Barring any other information, it sounds like that was terrible and unforgivable.

    However, the man’s 4th amendment rights were not violated. Instead he was arrested, and was violently removed from the car after resisting arrest.

  185. Standing up for your rights is exactly the sort of thing that terrorists like Washington did.

    damn right he should have been tased.

    Well there are better reasons to tase this dick, but I somehow doubt that unless all the officers there were abortion loving homos who had read his comments about them, this wasn’t the reason.

  186. I’m pretty sure this guy is exaggerating, because it is VERY UNLIKELY that the hospital staff cleaned his face for over an hour.

  187. @FLITERE on Tasers

    Taser lobbied very hard to have their weapons classified as non-lethal, and succeeded. As such, most counties and states in the nation that use them do not classify them as lethal weapons. Instead they fall under the rules and behaviors that govern the use of a baton.

    They are still supposed to be limited use since, as you pointed out, you can do a LOT of damage with a baton, but more leeway is granted to the officer, and less scrutiny is applied when the weapon is used than to a pistol, or other riot weapons.

    To answer the other question about consumables, there is more to the equation than just how many barbs are used. Most cops, even the ones that shouldn’t be allowed to carry them, are beyond studious about reporting when they are used. The rules on that are VERY clear, and there’s not a lot of tolerance for trying to hide that stuff. However, that still leaves a lot of room for abuse.

    Tasers have safety cutoffs that automatically cut off the voltage after after a fixed length of time to prevent injury ( typically ~5sec, I think. ). However, you are able to shock someone more than once with a single set of barbs, so the logging features can tell you want barb counts can’t… how many times you shocked the guy after you shot him.

    Shoot a guy once for 5 seconds, and he’s hurting, but there probably isn’t any long term harm. 10 times over the course of one, or even several minutes, however, may well be a completely different story. The safety studies simply do not cover that kind of usage.

    In general, a person is not capable of any real, or meaningful resistance for at least 30 seconds after a 5 second jolt. For most people its more like 2-3 minutes before they can even sit up without help. However, based on what I read ( which was NOT the direct study data ), there were a distressingly high number of instances where multiple shocks were administered within 60 seconds of the first one.

  188. a number of police departments are quietly testing and discreetly discarding tasers found defective. Who knows how many they killed?

  189. Ya know, to the person talking about Arizona, this is not an Arizona thing, its a Department of Homeland Security thing. Much as I would like to blame this one on Obama, its part of the can of worms opened with the patriot act. I applaud our treatment of terrorists, however I do not applaud our treatment of citizens. I drive through these “border checkpoints” on a regular basis. First, they are miles away from the border, second, it’s nobodies business where I am coming from or going. I am exercising my rights as an American citizen to travel the country and see the sights. The only question that should be asked is “are you an American citizen”? Being made to stop is already something that borders on being like Nazi Germany, but being questioned as to where I am coming from or going, usually follws with “ve haf vays of making you talk”! This is NOT about the pastor’s beliefs. This is about American citizen’s rights being trampled over and over. Thank Napolitano (as well as former director’s) We are now subject to “homeland- as in the fatherland” security having an unlimited budget. What was Border Patrol (now DHS) having unlimited power.

  190. It looks like this is still going, so I’ll sign in and leave another comment.

    @ #231 “I’m pretty sure this guy is exaggerating, because it is VERY UNLIKELY that the hospital staff cleaned his face for over an hour.”

    Actually, you should believe this claim. Cleaning glass and gravel out of flesh is a slow and careful process. The wounds have to be prepped, irrigated and cleaned very thoroughly to prevent deep infections.

    Not too long ago, I went into the ER after stepping on a piece of glass in a public park. Just cleaning one piece of glass took ten minutes or so. The amount of chunks of glass and gravel the pastor got will take a long time.

  191. This guy may be an asshole, but that still sucks that he got beat up.

    My parents and I took a trip up to Canada for a weekend while I was in high school. Border patrol stopped us on the way up and made us get out of the car because the dog had “smelled something”. We got out and waited in the custom agent’s office. My parents immigrated to the US from Taiwan in the early 80s so their English is not perfect, but I was raised in the US. While we watched from the window of the office, border patrol proceeded to search the entire car and while searching they broke off a piece an air vent. A cop came over to my dad and pulled him aside. I heard him accuse my father of trafficking cocaine, which my father had no idea what that word even meant. They treated us like common criminals. After a while, they let us go because they found nothing in the car.

    As we drove off, my blood was boiling and I was livid at the way those patrol men had treated us. My dad shrugged it off as racially charged and didn’t really let it phase him. At least no one was physically hurt in the process.

  192. I’ll put in another recommendation for Checkpoint USA’s vids:

    I find these video’s quite thrilling to watch. The guy always asks the officers, “Am I under arrest?” to which they answer, “No sir.” “Am I being detained?” “No, you’re not being detained.” “So, am I free to go?” …stony silence, or, “I just need you to answer this question.” The officers just refuse to acknowledge his civil liberties.

    They don’t much like his video camera’s either…

    The guy has a history in the “patriot” movement, which shows in his overall attitude.

  193. I don’t like this guy. The moment he said “reviles” I was taken back to every crucifixion story I’ve ever heard. Somewhere in his hugely self important mind he is equating himself to christ. It’s just icky.

    Despite all that, I think excessive force was used in detaining him.

  194. What’s that saying… “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, and a liberal is a conservative who’s been beaten and tased and had his car windows smashed in by border patrol cops”? Something like that.

    Anyway, one more liberal added to the ranks.

  195. In this incident, both the Border Patrol and Steven Anderson are wrong. The Border Patrol does, in fact, have the right by law to conduct a search without consent within 100 miles of the border. However, they did use excessive force. I’m pretty sure three officers could have detained and handcuffed Mr. Anderson without smashing his head in!!

  196. My understanding is that if a police dog signals a positive on a vehicle, then that constitutes the probable cause, negating any need for a search warrant issued by a judge. Granted, they were probably heavy-handed about it. However, this guy should have taken his experience to CNN if it’s valid.

  197. Is it just me that finds it odd that this story is a more violent retelling of a bit in Ron White’s latest stand-up special, “Behavioral Problems”? It’s basically the same story about the dog just “walking by”, complete with White asking the customs officer “show me what the sign was, show me what sign he gave you.”

  198. This is another reason we don´t need the US Federal Govnerment in our lies. They do evil to foreigners and to our own people. People need to wake up and realise we live under an Evil Empire.

  199. Border Searches .–”That searches made at the border, pursuant to the longstanding right of the sovereign to protect itself by stopping and examining persons and property crossing into this country, are reasonable simply by virtue of the fact that they occur at the border, should, by now, require no extended demonstration.” 87 Authorized by the First Congress, 88 the customs search in these circumstances requires no warrant, no probable cause, not even the showing of some degree of suspicion that accompanies even investigatory stops. 89 Moreover, while prolonged detention of travelers beyond the routine customs search and inspection must be justified by the Terry standard of reasonable suspicion having a particularized and objective basis, 90 Terry protections as to the length and intrusiveness of the search do not apply

  200. Actually, it is not the job of Law Enforcement to “Protect and Serve” in any way. That is just a motto that some cop made up for a competition many decades ago when the LAPD was looking for a new motto. Some guy came up with “To Protect and Serve” and its now on the side of all the LAPD cars. If you notice, it isn’t on EVERY police car in the US. Besides, you think that a cop is going to be around to protect you when SHTF? Most likely not. Law enforcement officers merely ENFORCE the law. Most people don’t like this because they don’t like certain laws for various reasons. In the end the police is just one of the many social tools used by rich people to keep being rich and to sweep away so called riff raff.

  201. “We believe that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination which God punishes with the death penalty.”

    Ahh, much in the same way He punishes heterosexuality and celibacy.

  202. “why is this happening in America?”

    – Two words: Patriot Act.
    Thanks to G.W. Bush and the religious right.

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