From Prison Planet, a brief description of the encounter in the video:
The Border Patrol issued the following statement regarding the incident:
On March 12, 2015, at around 10:54 am, the driver of a Chevrolet Cavalier approached the El Centro Sector Highway 86 checkpoint where a Border Patrol K-9 detection team produced a positive alert to the vehicle for contraband. Because of this alert for contraband, the male driver was directed by agents to the secondary inspection area for a more thorough examination of the car. The man failed to follow the agents directions to drive to secondary and was removed from the vehicle. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered a small testable amount of marijuana under the driver’s seat. The California Highway Patrol was called to the scene where an CHP officer conducted a roadside sobriety test on the driver as a precaution. The driver was eventually released without any charges.
In an email to police watchdog website photographyisnotacrime.com, Herbert verified that he was detained for some time and led to believe that he was being charged, before eventually just being released.
“I was arrested, fingerprinted and forced to sit on a bench inside for over an hour then let outside to do a field sobriety test conducted by CHP and then brought back inside until I was free to go.” Herbert writes.
“I was also told I was being arrested for a ‘testable amount of Marijuana at a federal checkpoint’ there was no Marijuana in our possession. He told me I am being charged and released and that charge would be on my criminal record permanently.” Herbert added.
The incident serves as a reminder of how the rights of everyday Americans are being violated en mass every day.
(photo credit: flickr user jfs1988)
Something like this is my worst nightmare. I have often gone through the border patrol checkpoint at the Riverside-San Diego County Line at around 2 a.m., coming back home from playing gigs in Oceanside or San Diego. A couple years ago, being stopped at the checkpoint was a rarity; these days, it’s every time I go through there.
Here’s what happens at one of these 2 a.m. stops–as you approach the checkpoint, there’s an LED sign saying “US OFFICERS–ALL VEHICLES MUST STOP.” Traffic cones are set up in the outside lanes, and gradually funnel the traffic into two lanes. Then you get up to the station, and there’s a single officer standing in the middle of the two open lanes. There are Border Patrol vehicles parked on the shoulder and by the checkpoint office with giant floodlights on, pointing at the area where the officer is standing. You come to a stop, he looks at you, and waves you on.
What is the point of this little power-tripping exercise, one wonders? Anyone with half a brain who is smuggling immigrants or drugs or what have you is not going to go through the checkpoint. Such people are undoubtedly aware that the checkpoint is there–it’s online, for Pete’s sake. That would be insane. Is the Border Patrol just counting on smugglers having a memory lapse every once in a while and heading straight up through the main freeway, right into their waiting hands, standing in the middle of the freeway? Surely not. Maybe if the Border Patrol didn’t do the rolling stop every weekend, smugglers might be willing to take their chances, and maybe they’d actually catch somebody once in a while. But I doubt it. And to be fair to the Border Patrol, I don’t go through the checkpoint every weekend, so maybe they don’t do it every weekend. But still…
At any rate, the only purpose I can think of for the now-ritualistic 2 a.m. roll-through is essentially an exercise of raw power. They stop you because they can, not because it accomplishes anything. They know it’s pointless (for catching immigrants or drugs, anyway), and are apparently hoping we don’t. It’s police-state conditioning, in other words. We have to be gradually acclimated to being stopped for no reason in the middle of the night, with near-blinding lights on us. And then it’ll just be another one of those inconveniences, explained away as being “for our protection.”
I don’t think the guy in the video above felt too protected, though. And that was in broad daylight.