Another woman tasered, another illegal search—just another day in our police state with our compliant neighbors.
Here’s the situation…
Border checkpoints aren’t just for the border. They are for any road anywhere within a hundred miles of any border. That, in case you didn’t know, means two thirds of the population of the United States can be stopped and questioned for driving on local roads.
Supposedly, the only reason they are permitted is to check that a person is not an illegal immigrant. But, in fact, as this post at Reason.com points out, it seems they are being used for all sorts of other kinds of searches.
In other words, the Supreme Court, which has explicitly rejected drug interdiction as a rationale for randomly stopping cars, has effectively allowed such stops within 100 miles of any “external boundary,” as long as the feds claim to be looking for illegal immigrants.
This is why Jessica Cooke’s expectation to be treated by Federal employees as if the Constitution and the Bill of Rights really exist got her assaulted with electricity. Naturally, the Feds are considering charging her with assault for the crime of being on the receiving end of a bully’s government-issued electrodes.
The Watertown Times Daily reports,
An Ogdensburg woman, just days from earning a degree in law enforcement leadership from SUNY Canton, said she found herself pushed to the ground and shocked with a stun gun by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on Thursday after refusing to comply with their orders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection acknowledged the incident and said it is investigating.
The altercation unfolded when agents stopped 21-year-old Jessica A. Cooke at about 3:30 p.m. on Route 37, just north of The Kitchen at Iroquois Farm restaurant, during a routine checkpoint, she said.
However, the stop went terribly wrong.
In a video posted to Ms. Cooke’s Facebook page, a male and a female agent are seen telling Ms. Cooke she was being detained for a K-9 unit to arrive and inspect the trunk of her car. Agents said they were detaining her because she appeared nervous.
The male agent, who identified himself as a supervisor, told her she was free to go, but said she would have to walk because her car was being detained while they awaited the K-9 unit’s arrival.
The male agent, after a verbal exchange with Ms. Cooke, said he would spike the tires of her car if she attempted to take it.
“You can leave, but your car is not going anywhere,” the supervising agent told Ms. Cooke in the video, telling her she needed to get back into her car.
Ms. Cooke refused.
“All right, I’m going to tell you one more time and then I am going to move you over there, you got it?” he said.
Ms. Cooke told the supervising agent she would sue him if he touched her.
“Go for it; move over there now,” he said.
As the video becomes violently shaky, Ms. Cooke can be heard repeating, “Sir, sir ….”
Then Ms. Cooke began screaming.
Her phone fell to the ground, recording nothing but sky on video as the agents can be heard repeating, “Get on your stomach.”
Ms. Cooke told the Times on Friday that the supervising agent pushed her against her car and to the ground while the female agent used a stun gun, shooting her in the lower back to subdue her, she said.
“She said stop resisting or I would get tased again,” Ms. Cooke said Friday.
Ms. Cooke, who exhibited visible scrapes and bruises on her upper back, foot, hands and elbows on Friday, said she was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car where she waited for an hour for a K-9 unit to arrive.
During an exterior inspection of her vehicle by the unit, nothing was found, Ms. Cooke said. She said agents then opened the car doors, got her keys and opened the trunk.
Again, nothing was found, Ms. Cooke said, adding that agents did a second search of the vehicle with the K-9 unit, but found nothing.
I highlighted part of this report to point out that the entire rationale for waiting for a K9 unit was emptied of meeting. They waited for the unit, used the unit, and then when the K9 unit did not respond, they searched the car anyway. No warrant. No probably cause. Not even a bark from their dog. If the dog had barked they would have appealed to it as the reason they should open the truck.
The Fourth Amendment is a dead letter.
Cooke claims she was put in a holding cell for hours without ever being read her Miranda rights or even being arrested in a legal sense.
[S]he was told by agents they were trying to decide whether to file state or federal charges of assaulting an officer.
“They are trying to say that I put my hands on him first,” Ms. Cooke said. “That’s stupid; I had both hands on my phone, recording.”
As an Ogdensburg resident, Ms. Cooke said she has passed through these kinds of checkpoints countless times, without incident.
In my opinion, the worst part of this story does not involve the “border” patrol goons and their tasers at all. The worst part of the story is the reaction from some of Jessica Cooke’s neighbors who have all decided to comply with the government-induced role of “good German.”
Another story in the Watertown Daily Times documents several of these. For example:
William C. Hill, Edwards, said he has driven through checkpoints on several occasions and never had a problem. Usually, agents ask drivers where they’re from and where they’re going. Occasionally, they ask drivers to pull over for further questioning or to inspect their vehicle.
“I’m all for border patrol checks. Look at the drugs seized weekly by these that would otherwise go right onto the streets,” Mr. Hill said in an email. “If you have nothing to hide, why be a jerk? Just cooperate.”
Drugs are dangerous but a bunch of tax-fed and armed jackboots running around the country tasering people for expecting the Constitution to be followed… that’s completely safe and reassuring.
Why be a jerk? Be a sheep instead.