Has possessions confiscated, detained for NINE HOURS
July 11, 2013
EDITOR’s NOTE: Upon further investigation, the driver in these videos appears to be a comedian who films himself in bizarre situations. It is not known if the checkpoint footage is real or a contrived situation.
A man who recently refused to comply with an internal checkpoint in Pine Valley, Calif. filmed border patrol officers smashing their way into his vehicle while he was inside. He was then detained for over nine hours before being released without charge.
When Robert Trudell of Yuma, Ariz. was stopped at the checkpoint miles from the border a few weeks ago, he refused to wind down his window and speak to the Border Patrol officials, or consent to a warrantless search of his car.
Instead he picked up his camera and started photographing the agents that began to surround the vehicle.
Trudell had rigged his car up with several video cameras in anticipation of passing through the checkpoint, having previously driven through it in the preceding days. Trudell is actively opposed to internal checkpoints and makes a habit of protesting them by filming his non compliance and then uploading the footage to his YouTube channel.
After several minutes of refusing to comply and photographing the agents, they brought out a drug sniffing dog, which failed to turn up any narcotics. Agents then consulted the Sheriff before literally smashing through the car window, sending shards of glass towards Trudell’s face and torso.
The agents then ordered Trudell to get out of his car, before putting him in handcuffs.
Watch the footage below with Trudell’s commentary:
Trudell also posted more unedited footage of the incident:
Responding to queries on the incident from news websites and blogs, Trudell explained what happened after the cameras stopped rolling.
“I was detained for 9 hours following, handcuffed for 6, fingerprinted, photographed, criminal history check, FBI Interview looked up, stripped everything but my shoelaces, ID and Credit Cards and placed on foot in El Cajon that night at 10:30. The ACLU was waiting to see if they are pursuing Criminal Charges against me before filing a Civil Suit against them.–Rob”
Trudell also gave the following comments to reporters with The Blaze:
“The event started in Pine Valley, California, at 12:35 in the afternoon and I was released on foot in the city of El Cajon, California at 10:30 p.m. that night by two plain clothes agents driving an unmarked black Dodge Charger,” Trudell explained. “The agents placed a brown paper bag in the parking lot which contained my shoelaces, ID and credit cards along with asset forfeiture receipts for my computers, cameras, car, phone and glasses.”
He also clarified that he has not been charged with any offense that he is aware of.
Trudell gave more details in answers to questions posed to him by viewers of his video:
Q. What happened after?
A. “I was hoping the window would be broken open. I bought a spare ahead of time. Afterward everything I had was confiscated other than ID and Credit Cards. They held my Computers, Cameras, Phone for 21 days with no sight of when I’d get it back. I was handcuffed for 6 hours of my 9 hours in Detention. I wasn’t offered a toilet for most of that time. I was set on the? streets of El Cajon at 10:30pm on foot 200 miles from home and 100 miles from my destination. I was denied covering events. –Rob
Q. Have you filed suit yet??
A. No. The ACLU is looking at the videos.Are you familiar with things like this? What type? of scenario could I expect in a Civil Suit? What things can we all gain? –Rob
Q. Did? they really have to bust the window or were they just being bell ends?
A. I wasn’t going to open the window or door. I wasn’t Consenting to a Search which they make very clear is being done with the hand held, belt mounted and shoulder mounted Sniffing devices they wave around and in Vehicles. I have no idea? what there Cause or Suspicion was for breaking the window open. –Rob
Q. what country is that? ah, land of? the free, i understand…
A. Land? of the Free of all Your Material Goods, and Free to Keep Your Hands Behind Your Back in Cuffs for 6 Hours, Free of Toilets for 9 Hours, and Free of Your Vehicle for the Ping Pong Weekend and Free of Cameras to Film the Senior Table Tennis Event. –Rob
Q. What did you do for? them to act like that?
A. I didn’t? Consent to a Search and Remained Silent (well except for the “Hmm?” to understand his Order.) –Rob
Q. Damm so are you going after them for damages and? property damage?
A. They gave me a SF-95? form to file for Damages. –Rob
Q. So did they charge you with? anything?
A. I don’t think so. They held my stuff for 21 days. The Property guy said he was waiting for them to file some Charges and to try to get a Search Warrant to look at my Videos (They had my Laptop, Phone and iPod also till? today.)
Whether you agree with Trudell’s behaviour at the checkpoint or not, there are certain undeniable facts that should be pointed out about this incident.
Firstly, using the excuse of attempting to apprehend illegal immigrants, Border Patrol agents have set up a network of internal checkpoints inside the United States. As we have documented, in some cases the checkpoints are as much as 100 miles from the border.
Despite what a Supreme Court ruling says, since the checkpoints are situated far away from the Mexican border, they are clearly a violation of the 4th Amendment, which protects, “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.” Of course, the Supreme Court also once ruled that black people in America were slaves.
The ACLU has dubbed the 100-mile area in which the checkpoints have been positioned as the “Constitution-free Zone,” noting that 2 out of 3 Americans live within this buffer zone – around 190 million people in total.
There is no law that says refusing to comply with Border agents and/or police at such checkpoints gives probable cause to search an individual’s vehicle. It certainly does not provide probable cause for agents to smash their way into the vehicle, particularly given that the occupant was not being aggressive, and no positive response from the drug sniffing dog was registered.
This is just the latest in a series of confrontations caught on video showing Americans standing up to the 4th Amendment-violating checkpoints.
Last year, we reported on the case of Steven Anderson, who refused to show his papers at another Border Patrol checkpoint while traveling through California.
Anderson provided a sterling example of how to stand up for your rights in such a situation. When Border Patrol agents attempted to detain him for questioning, Anderson refused, citing his right as an American citizen to “go free on my way.”
In another incident last year, a truck driver who passed through a checkpoint in Texas, 30 miles from the Mexican border, stood up for his 4th Amendment rights by refusing to answer questions and eventually driving away.
These videos and hundreds of others like them accentuate the fact that Americans are not required to answer Border agents’ questions (usually starting with “Are you a United States citizen?”). Nor are Americans required to consent to any searches at such checkpoints.
Visit www.checkpointusa.org/blog to learn more about this program. By actively “flexing” their rights, these brave citizens expose the techniques DHS and Border Patrol agents (and police in general) use to trick and intimidate citizens into compliance.
Not all Americans who refuse to have their rights violated have been as successful as those in the videos above. In 2008, retired San Diego social worker Vince Peppard and his wife had their car ransacked after refusing to consent to being searched.
Alex Jones has also encountered similar “interior checkpoints” on numerous occasions, including the incident documented in the video below.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.