Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh, great.

The big news story amongst parts of BlogWorld these days involves a Baptist pastor getting hisself cross-threaded with the US Border Patrol and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol).

As most long-term readers of The LawDog Files know, I really don't like checkpoints, and ordinarily I'd be jumping for joy at the chance of check-points taking a black eye in court.

Unfortunately, Pastor Steven Anderson is -- how do I put this politely -- one of those People What Should Go Play In Traffic.

Now, understand that everyone has rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution -- no matter how loathsome, weird, intolerant, hateful (or in the case of Pastor Stevens, all at once) they may be -- but Goddess knows, the icky details make it damned hard to find a sympathetic jury.

We won't even get to the part about where the good pastor posted videos of his intentions to provoke an incident with the Border Patrol on his YouTube account.

Pastor Stevens has the right to believe that the magazine "Ladies Home Journal" is pornography. This in no way affects his rights against unlawful search or seizure.

Pastor Stevens has the right to hate homosexuals -- as long as he doesn't act on that belief, or encourage others to act on that belief. It makes him an intolerant hateful arse-milliner, but it doesn't invalidate his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

He has the right to refuse to vaccinate his children, he can believe that male gynecologists are going to hell, that women wearing pants are an abomination to his Lord -- has has the right to believe these things and such belief in no way has a whit to do with his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

He can even believe that America is going to hell because men aren't peeing on walls anymore.

*blink, blink*

I'd dearly love to link
that video because it simply must be comedy gold, but wee pulpit-banging Anderson has gotten bitten by the common-sense bug and has removed that video from YouTube.

(Google, however, doesn't forget. Enter "Steven Anderson" and "peeing", if you're curious.)

His sermons, though somewhat ... squicky
... do not invalidate his Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

On the other paw, however ...

... why did it have to be a gay-bashing, misogynistic, neo-Luddite Shi'a-Baptist Neandertal with a fixation on gynecologists and a fetish for wall-whizzing?

This is what we get to challenge check-point laws with? This is what we get to show to a jury?

Sweet shivering Shiva.

Hey, Lord, if You're listening, would You mind preserving me from some of Your followers?

'Kthanxbai.

LawDog

49 comments:

Jim March said...

I want to see those videos. Anderson claims he had a camera running (likely as that's his past practice) and that the checkpoint was wired for at least video if not sound.

A lot of the claims he makes seem to be definitive and made knowing there's video footage. The two most interesting (and potentially damning) to me are:

1) He claims to have been hit with multiple tasers at the same time. That would be bad, and bordering on lethal force.

2) He claims the dog never alerted.

In short, I want to see the video.

These checkpoints are taking down a lot of minor pot cases. The checkpoints are only allowed by the court for the purpose of stopping illegal aliens, NOT for random drug searches. The controlling case seems to be US v. Martinez-Fuerte 1976:

http://supreme.justia.com/us/428/543/case.html

This guy had a history with these stops and it seems possible they were "extra special" with him on that basis. IF those videotapes somehow "disappear" it's going to cause big, big trouble no matter how loony this dude is.

Anonymous said...

uh I have peeded on walls before but if he is for it I won't no more.

ben

Jim March said...

Oh yeah, a question: is it even possible to teach dogs to sniff for "concealed humans" and not have a massive false positive rate (that then gets assumed to be a drug hit)? In other words, if the dog is taught to sniff for "humans", there's ALWAYS going to be at least one human in there (unless we decide Anderson isn't human...).

The dogs are allegedly cross-trained to sniff both "concealed humans" and drugs of various sorts. Isn't this a recipe for false positives?

phlegmfatale said...

One boggles that the same such man can harangue couples being "unequally yoked" and yet women are supposed to be the weaker vessels? Sounds like a recipe for fail.

As I have previously stated, if BP Troopers get to abuse such ilk as Mr. Anderson, I'd like to sign on. I already have the boots for that job. I promise not to enjoy it too much.

Anonymous said...

Not that I like the idea of checkpoints, particularly, but: When was there a time in the US of A when a cop could not stop somebody and ask for a bit of info as to who they were and what were they doing? SFAIK, that goes way back before there was even such a concept as "illegal aliens". Colonial times?

I dunno. I've been going through BP checkpoints quite regularly for over forty years and I've never been hassled. Usually, all's cheerful, and there's even the occasional brief BS session.

One thing about troubles and hassles: "Seek and ye shall find," as the Good Book says. :)

Art

Anonymous said...

The Pastor's beliefs (and I have not verified your accusations) are irrelevant.

Every man and woman has the right to travel unmolested and not be seized without evidence of a crime or searched without consent. This isn't even a matter of law but of morality and justice.

This man was tortured. Violence was initiated against him with zero probable cause. He had harmed no one. What he did do was say "No." to a bunch of goose-stepping jackballs and they decided to teach him to obey their "authoritah" by causing him extreme pain.

You may not like him or his personal beliefs but he is in the right on this. Next time it may be you that gets that kind of treatment.

Tim Covington said...

As a liberal friend of mine says about some of her fellow travelers, "Can we make him he stop being on my side?!"

wolfwalker said...

This is what we get to challenge check-point laws with? This is what we get to show to a jury?I know the feeling. I have the same reaction to the prospect of "Nirthers" being the ones to force the gummint to validate the bona fides of candidates for federal office, or militant atheists leading the defense of science in public schools.

(note: "Nirthers" is a slang term for the moonbats who think the current occupant of the White House isn't a natural born American citizen, and so is not qualified to hold that office.)

erik said...

Yes, you can train dogs to sniff for "concealed humans". It's what the guarddogs in former East Germany did. I'm told some of those dogs actually dont sniff, but rather listen for the heartbeats, but I dont know for sure.
And dogs aren't stupid, they can see that there is one person sitting in the car allready and only alert for the person they cant see, but know is there. It would probably be hard to teach a "mechanical nose" to do that, but a dog can.

Handlers can also see the difference in what a dog alerts on, the dog will alert differently depending on what he found. For example bark for a human but mark and scratch for drugs.
Anyone who has had a dog knows that you can usually see who is ringing the doorbell by the way the dog reacts.

Laughingdog said...

As nutty as this guy is, I don't see him being against vaccines in that one sermon, just the HPV vaccine. Honestly, I'm not a fan of that one either, though it's hard to tell if he's opposed to it for anything even remotely close to why I don't like it. Granted, based on how he seems to be against seeing the doctor until you're actually sick, I'm pretty sure that his reasons are as nutty as everything else about him.

Making a vaccine mandatory for something that can only be transmitted through sexual contact? Really? This isn't even remotely the same as requiring vaccines for things like measles and polio. You have to make a conscious decision to expose yourself to HPV. The same can't be said for things like polio.

Efforts to make the HPV vaccine mandatory are no different than the efforts that keep popping up to require serial numbers on all ammunition. It's not about public safety. It's just the companies that created, and patented, the technology trying to recoup their costs by forcing us to buy their product.

Hammer said...

Yep I want to see the videos.

They roughed him up pretty good.

I really don't care if he worships the spaghetti monster and wears a tinfoil hat.

There has been a little too much heavy handedness at checkpoints in the recent past and I've witnessed it first hand.

Anonymous said...

"This man was tortured"?
Obviously you have never seen real torture, Slick.
However, if you gouge yourself with fingernails-in addition to taser prongs-then smear the blood liberally around, stagger and weep and moan, assume a suffering expression, make gasping pronouncements, all while keeping an eye on the camera, you could probably make the Bleeding Hearts of America into True Believers.
Can you not see that all this is a DELIBERATE ACT?
Had a law enforcement officer done the same thing, the courts would call it 'enticement.'
It is people like him, and the Susie Soccermommies and Dickie Dorights, who have made protecting America so very difficult.
The law enforcement people have enough on their hands, what with lawyers, regulatory agencies, bleeding hearts, and the like, without someone deliberately setting them up.
Fortunately, when Texas became a state, we maintained certain aspects of our sovereignty, including powers of law enforcement-although some of our governors infamously ignore this (Waco).
Granted, sometimes they are in the wrong; we all are. Like the medical community, when law enforcement makes a mistake it's often a critical, sometimes tragic one, and great fodder for the media cannon.
It also causes great pain for the "goose-stepping jackballs." Had you actually witnessed Nazi Germany all those years ago, you would realize how totally absurd that comparison is.
Not that I think the treatment of Anderson was a mistake. Plain and simple, he asked for it. Had I been there, I would have dusted off my old gg-uncle's US Marshall's badge, put on my hand painted witch boots, and joined in.
Fortunately, being female, whizzing on a wall is just too much trouble for me anyway.
LawMom

Anonymous said...

P. S. for Jim March:
Yes, it is possible to train dogs to sniff out concealed humans.
However, cross-training isn't recommended, but Homeland Security, in its infinite wisdom, is demanding just that.
It seems that trained drug dogs are now being taken to be 'retrained' with is absolutely ridiculous, and hard and unfair for the dogs. If they persistently alert on drugs rather than human beings, they will be sent to the kennels, where they will sit, day in, day out. Since they usually go home with their trainers, the dogs who are not working at retirement, may not have a very good outlook for the rest of their lives.
A dog is trained from puppyhood to alert to one or two things. This is ingrained in him/her, and they're a lot better than human beings at doing it.
The dogs are generally retired at age 7, at which time, fortunately, most of them go home with their trainers.
The dogs' lives are not ideal during their working years, and they are often in great danger, sometimes from their trainers or the personnel at the kennels in which they're kept; the danger is not always from criminals.
However, they are faithful and reliable and deserve far better treatment than they often get.
Certainly they deserve not to be confused and discarded when cross-training from drugs and contraband to humans fails.
LawMom

Anonymous said...

P.P.S. Whether the current occupant of the White House is legally an American citizen or not, he isn't qualified to hold that office.
MoonbatMom

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Seems the agents used a lot of restraint. The man had more than enough on tape to hire a lawyer and take them to court; the proper place to solve these kinds of issues. Had I been in line behind this blivet I would have been cheering the agents on.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Well, I found at least one outright lie in one of his sermons:

"You say, “Well, I just watch The Andy Griffith Show.”

Ok, you are talking about The Andy Griffith Show where Gomer Pyle is a queer in real life that died of AIDS?
According to Wikipedia, Jim Nabors is alive and well today. He was exposed to Hepatitis B and nearly died from it in the 90's, but there are so many ways to get it that it suggests nothing, and there has never been any suggestion that he has AIDS.

If we know he lies about such easily verified facts in his sermons/essays, does anyone doubt he would lie about what happened to him at the checkpoint? I sure wouldn't put him in front of any court that can set a precedent without some very strong independent evidence to back him up.

Josiah said...

I am in complete agreement that people like this guy just make honest people look bad and hinder those actually trying to protect their rights.

However, I did take the trouble to go look up the case law that was cited, specifically section 3.

I didn't read past that yet, but it looked like it was saying that the 4th Amendment doesn't apply to the Border Patrol if they can articulate a reason for it not to. I find this disturbing to say the least. Correct me if I read it wrong. I had thought that for any search you had to have permission from the owner or a warrant unless someone was about to die.

Anonymous said...

We don't really know if the event actually happened at all. All we have is this nutball's video.

jlwrites said...

Jake, it's not just that one. He cites Michael Landon as having died of AIDS. He didn't. He died from pancreatic cancer.

Yeesh.

This guy gives Christians a bad name.

And I won't even get into his prooftexting.

Old NFO said...

Yep, worst case for a claimant, but I too want to see the videos... "something" stinks to high heaven here.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Now was Lot a sodomite? Of course not. Lot was a saved, born again Christian, ok.[Jake rubs his eyes and looks again to make sure he read it right.]

How does this guy spew this nonsense and still have any kind of following at all?

Paul-Michael Bauer said...

I don't get the hostility.

Never met the guy and never watched any of his films, but ...

...I read quotes from the whole "pissing against the wall thing" and he's not literally advocating you drop trou and find the nearest wall to urinate on. I could be wrong, but he seems to be using the phrase more as a metaphor for the feminization of men in our society.

... what is so far out about saying believer's shouldn't marry unbelievers. It's scriptural and makes sense in the interest of a long term relationship.

...saying men should look, act, and dress in a masculine manner and women should look, act, and dress in a feminine manner may not be PC, but it is scriptural too.

You may not agree with Holy Scripture. Ok. But to ridicule someone for *gasp* actually advocating the tenants of Scripture (unlike most main-line denominations) seems a little obtuse and frankly un-American.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Paul-Michael Bauer:

I'll admit I find his beliefs to be disturbingly extreme, but MY ridicule stems from the fact that in skimming just ONE of his essays, I found two outright, easily disproven lies, and it would have been three if I hadn't been on my lunch break and had to go back to work. jlwrites found one I hadn't reached by the time I had to leave.

Not only did that essay/sermon remind me strongly of the Taliban ("There are things that you ought never to look at. You ought never to look at the other gender."), but he claims to be a man of god while at the same time telling blatant - and easily discredited - lies. For that alone, he deserves any and all ridicule he's gotten.

Paul-Michael Bauer said...

A lot of those lies (like the Andy Griffith show reference) are more likely the result of extremely poor fact checking rather than deceit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm personally not in agreement with a LOT of his essays, I just find the hostility a bit over the top.

Where he's factually wrong, ridicule away.

Anonymous said...

I really have to wonder...
Is this nutjob related to Phred(oops.. I'm SOOOO sorry)Fred Phelps of West-whatever Baptist Church fame?
Sounds like they my have slimed up from the same gene pool. They sure share the same retoric and it looks like this dork is looking at the same method of income generation.

Tam said...

P-M B,

"... what is so far out about saying believer's..."

Please not that an apostrophe does not mean "Look out! Here comes an "S"!" The plural of "believer" is "believers", with no apostrophe.


"But to ridicule someone for *gasp* actually advocating the tenants of Scripture..."

The "tenants" of scripture would be people who lived inside it and paid it rent. The "tenets" of scripture would be the various principles that it espoused.


Thank you.




(Word Verification: "subroctu". What the captain says when the first one misses the Minsk.)

Tam said...

PS:

Strike "Please not that..." from my last and replace with "Please note that..."

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness; someone is as irked by the use of apostrophe s ('S) for plurals as I am!
LawMom

LabRat said...

So a complete and utter failure to do a modicum of fact-checking gets you off the hook for all the bits about giving false testimony about your neighbors and speaking falsely in general getting you banned from the Kingdom forever?

Wow, that God guy has a lot more loopholes than I'd heard.

Anonymous said...

The only thing required by law is to show the officer your Drivers license period. The preacher did not do so, this makes the stop valid, however they did so with extreme prejudice, which was wrong! Two wrongs do not make it right. At a traffic stop give the officer your drivers license, but do not consent to any search. Be nice but firm in refusing a search without a warrant. You do not have to "say" anything, as they will use it against you (guilty until proven innocent).

Jim March said...

Well for reasons completely unrelated to this incident, I had to go through this very checkpoint today.

I had no camera or audio record going, but I was interested in what they might do with the dogs in my case.

See, I'm a biker. I drive a fairly small sportbike (Buell S3 Thunderbolt) that absolutely could not conceal an illegal alien. There's just me, a big engine, a gas tank, a seat and two wheels.

This is of interest because the case law allowing these checkpoints WITHIN the borders of the US are there for immigration checks - period. The only 4th Amendment exception carved out for them involves looking for illegal humans. If they happen to scoop up something else along the way, fine. They're really stretching the "dual sniff role" or whatever you call them doggies.

However, if they had let the dog sniff my bike, that could NOT be explained away as an illegal alien check.

So what happened?

When I was at the front of the line, a dog and handler started towards me but then at around 20 feet out the handler guided the dog away from me and off to actual cars.

Now, this isn't 100% definitive that they're not checking out bikes. First, they may be paying more attention to "outlaw biker looking" stereotypes versus the sportbikers, who have a fairly low rate of drug involvement.

Second, the dog was downwind of me and it's possible that despite the distance, the handler saw that the dog wasn't alerting and I "passed" a check of some sort.

Anyways. If someone were to look over the arrest records and find a fair number of bikers getting busted for pot or other drugs, esp. if sniffer dogs were involved, that would be decent evidence that they're not even trying to live within the boundaries set up by the supreme court.

From my "sample of one" so far, it *appears* they "get it" and aren't sniff-checking vehicles that couldn't possibly pack a concealed human.

Anonymous said...

The "canine sniff" has been ruled to be the doggy equivalent of "open view" - that is, the dog "sees" the drugs with its nose. As current case-law stands, it's not a "search," per se; it's currently the legal equivalent to looking in the back seat and seeing dope.

The current crop of dogs aren't being "retrained" on drugs. As I understand it, they're trained to alert to both drugs AND hidden humans from the get-go. And yes, it does work.

By the way, simply presenting your driver license doesn't mean anything. Lots of aliens, both legal and illegal, hold valid driver licenses (coughcoughCaliforniacoughcough). The agent needs to actually determine, to his satisfaction, that you are either a citizen of the United States or a legal resident alien. To this end, he can ask any question he wants to determine citizenship/residency status, but the only question citizens have to actually answer is "Are you a citizen of the United States?" A simple yes or no (followed by proof of legal residency in the case of "no") is sufficient to satisfy this question. Barring anything else (i.e., evidence of a crime being committed right then and there through canine sniff or open observation) the person is then free to leave.

There's a LOT of misconceptions regarding the Border Patrol checkpoints; I hope this clears them up somewhat.

Anonymous said...

Well, then, Anonymous, you don't "understand it." I don't know where you've come up with your information, or if it's just something that seems logical to you, but obviously you have no recent personal experience with Customs search dogs.
Customs search dogs have never been cross-trained. That is a recent innovation of Home Security, an organization which doesn't understand the least bit about these dogs and could care less. Good drug search dogs are being removed from their handlers and sent for "retraining" on a daily basis.
The person formulating this idea hasn't the slightest clue about these dogs-and unfortunately, doesn't care a damn. It's another three-button-suit idea that sounds good and may be practical in a galaxy far, far away, but not in this world.
The dogs ARE being "retrained;" that's a fact, whether it makes sense or you like it or not.
LawMom.

archiepreacher said...

He's lying. The story he relates has several bits of erroneous information, several opinions and statements ignorant of actual law (both statutory and case law) and a couple of just plain lies.

Anderson's claims about the checkpoint and the authority thereof is in contradiction to SCOTUS decision in "United States V. Martinez-Fuerte" decided in 1976.

I find his claim of the dog not alerting to be very telling. I hear this kind of sheer hookum all the time. No law enforcement officer has to satisfy a suspect or interviewee regarding probable cause. Anderson's claim the 'dog didn't alert' has absolutely no basis in fact - he wouldn't know a dog alert if it peed on his wall (or leg) nor are his opinions valid in law.

Law Dog, how many tmes have you had to convince someone they are in violation of the law prior to arresting them? If that is the standard, none of us arrest hardly anyone.

Yes, the primary purpose of the checkpoint is to search for smuggled aliens. However, one a stop or interview is initiated, any violations noted or reasonably suspected may be explored to the officer's satisfaction.

As for 'extra special', I'd say Anderson intentionally provoked the incident. He was looking for a problem. He found it and now wants to be a victim.

I also find it very curious he was 'tazed' and beaten and then released. If I use physical force above the level of a 'soft technique', I will hold him for further processing, to include the probability of charges of assault or impeding an officer in performance - and so forth. No one gets tazed and then sent on down the road, literally or figuratively. I seriously doubt either Border Patrol or DPS is going to use physical force of the level
Anderson claims and then just let him go.

He's a Christian pastor? I'm an ordained Baptist preacher; this guy is a twit and a rabble rouser. Maybe his church - or business - needs the publicity.

Anonymous said...

First they came for the seemingly-nutty preachers...

Regardless of his other views, if his behavior the night he was beaten paralleled his other checkpoint videos, the uniformed government agents were in the wrong.

(It's important to get both sides of the story, so I eagerly await the release of video and audio of the incident.)

Anonymous said...

LawMom -

I've seen the Border Patrol dogs (not Customs, which is a different agency) work first-hand. Whether they're "retrained" or not, they are good at what they're asked to do, whether that be detecting narcotics, hidden humans, or tracking humans in the desert.

I have no idea how Customs dogs are trained, but this situation involved Border Patrol, not Customs.

Anonymous said...

I tried to read the articles. I attempted to follow the logic of his sermons. But I couldn't, because all I could think was:

"I could make a fortune selling black market urinals in Germany"!

Antibubba

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-
My point being that Customs dogs are being taken for 'retraining' to be used on the borders, presumably by the Border Patrol.
We had a Customs drug dog for a while. Marvelous creatures, but very focussed; he was always on duty, so to speak.
Lawmom

Anonymous said...

Lawmom -

While there may well be former Customs dogs that have been "retrained" in the Border Patrol, I've not seen any yet. The Border Patrol has its own breeding program, and to my knowledge, has no need for dogs from Customs.

In fact, our canines will actually assist Customs, when their dogs aren't around. We usually have at least one on-duty 24/7. In just the past couple of weeks, the local (minor) port of entry has requested just that sort of assistance multiple times.

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Anonymous said...

Anonymous-
I have friends who are Customs dog handler/officers, and their dogs ARE being taken for retraining to be used to sniff out illegal aliens. Full Stop.
LawMom.

Anonymous said...

Lawmom,

Border Patrol's dogs are NOT "retrained" in the manner you describe; I've talked with them about this very issue.

Border Patrol and Customs are two different agencies. Customs dogs had absolutely nothing to do with this incident; how Customs trains their dogs and handlers is therefore irrelevant.

I'm done arguing. You're obviously not listening, at least not on this issue.

Out.

Anonymous

Wayne Conrad said...

The Rosa Parkses and Dick Hellers of the world are rare. These are the people of good reputation and have carefully planned the encounter for maximum legal effect.

The rest of the time, we get someone with a spotted reputation, or dull of mind or who makes legal blunders, someone who makes it easy for us to make a sour face and turn away. It's just a whack job who deserves it. It's just a racist. It's just someone who should have known to keep their mouth shut instead of sassing back to the cops.

Yeah, it stinks that we usually get some very unlikable people being infringed upon, but the people who ought to be our Hellers and Parks don't usually play this role. They know the rules and follow them and then grumble on the web later. That's why you're going to get people like this doing the dirty work.

That's the way it is. Resist the urge to turn away because the victim was unlikable, or idiotic, or bad. Infringement upon the rights of man must never be excused. Never.

Anonymous said...

Well, thank goodness for that, Anonymous. Obviously you want your way, and I seriously doubt that you have ever talked to anyone with either agency, OR to anyone with Homeland Security. Which, by the way, why don't you join? You would suit their mentality.
LawMom

Jim March said...

Part of the video has been released:

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Feature-Article.htm?Info=0056971&From=News

The whole part about the dog is NOT there. That could be a deliberate ommission, or this video (edited by Anderson) may be simply focusing on the time period where Anderson was attacked.

And "attacked" is indeed what it looks like.

Questions for those with law enforcement experience:

1) I can understand them breaking the glass and manually opening the door locks and doors.

2) Was immediate resort to at least one taser necessary, or was it excessive force?

3) Would two tasers at once (one of his claims) be considered excessive?

4) Was grinding his head into broken glass necessary, or was it excessive force?

What this LOOKS like is a bunch of cops going "oh yeah, we got us a chance to play ROUGH!"

Rick R. said...

I can't get the YouTube link to work from the news article page.

However (without having seen it), I will say that, in general, field "Continuum of Force" study group receptive participants from the "Taser" group fared better (shorter pain experience, faster recovery, less injury) than participants from the "baton", "pepper spray", or "Glock" group.

Noncompliance is noncompliance -- and Taser is generally a SAFER resort than other weapons, or even (in many cases) a brute force manhandling to overcome resistance.

Jim March said...

OK, but...define "resistance".

In this case, the guy wasn't a threat of violence at all - that was just dead obvious. He didn't want to come out of the car, or put another way, didn't want to voluntarily consent to a search he believed (with pretty good reason!) wasn't legal.

So he was doing *passive* resistance, not active.

The other thing the tape shows is the look one one officer's face as the guy prepared to use the taser, and then the moment he used it. Do some freeze-frame around a minute and nineteen seconds. What you're seeing isn't the face of somebody "afraid".

The son of a beech is gleeful, grinning ear to ear that they're going to get the chance to mess this guy up.

According to Anderson, they tased him at least twice simultaneously, and left the taser(s?) on for a severe length of time while grinding his face into broken glass. And...that's certainly what it looks like SO FAR, pending additional data.

So I guess my first question is, once they had his car door(s?) open, did they need to taser him, or should they at least have tried "OK, now come on outta there, we really are serious" or similar first?

That's not even getting into the probable cause behind the search. Remember, Anderson claims the BP agent's dog didn't alert, and then when DPS asked if they could try it again, BP refused. At which point the AZ DPS guy(s?) took the side of the Feds.

I think that "look of glee" is liable to absolutely hose the cops if this ever gets to a courthouse (on offense or defense by Anderson).

Jim March said...

If you can't get youtube to work, others are noting the ghastly still images found in there, including Anderson.

As far as I can tell, these two stills are authentic and un-retouched:

http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/2009/05/actual-footage-pastor-beaten-tased-by.html

Those pictures are going to make Pastor Anderson (or I would hope his church?) very, very wealthy. EVERY shot of that cop extractable from the video makes him look gleefully psychotic.

Rick R. said...

Simply put:

In most states, you ARE NOT entitled to resist because, in YOUR opinion, the officers do not have sufficient cause.

If they (in your opinion) don't have sufficient cause to search, you state that you do not give consent, physically comply as ordered, and resist them IN COURT, and get the case dismissed with prejudice, after all the illegally siezed evidence gets suppressed.

"Civil Disobedience" and "Passive Resistance" DO NOT give you license to physically resist. Go along PASSIVELY, and fight it out in a courtroom. Part of teh technique of "civil disobedience" is to take teh consequences, and show (either in court, or to the court of public opinion) that YOU, and not the law (or the LEOs) are in the right.

If you plan on physically reisting (even passively), you had better be prepared to establish that they were in the process of committing a violent felony on you in defiance of the law. In other words, be prepared for the same level of legal scrutiny as if you are claiming to have shot or beat an on duty uniformed police officer "in self defence". (Not saying there aren't legitimate "in self defence" cases where a "civilian" has to hurt a dirty cop. . . but this wasn't one.)

As for the look on the officer's face -- I see NOTHING that shows him "gleefully" grinning ear to ear -- I see a facial expression that COULD be a gleeful grin, a grimace, or a shout caught mid-frame. The stills you pointed to me are simply not high enough quality to establish the nearly impossible to see in PERFECT conditions tells that can distinguish subtle expression differences.

Hell, some people have a default setting of "demnted grin" when in a high stress situation -- inlcuding ME (which I have found was advantageous in confrontation situations, as it unsettles one's opponant). Doesn't mean that the grin reflects humor or enjoyment -- or even whether it is intentional (mine's not).

Aside from that, there is NOTHING in lawful use of force that says you can't gleefully grin while applying it. Justification for use of force doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the expression on the officer's face.

Finally managed to get the video working. (Comments above on facial expression stand.)

What LITTLE can be seen doesn't indicate excessive use of force IN THE SLIGHTEST, provided the stop and arrest were in and of themselves legal.

You have a suspect, in full control of a 2500 pound lethal weapon that apparantly contains contraband. he refuses to relinquish the weapon or comply in any fashion. BEFORE reaching in to get him, you employ a disabling device so you can yank him out without him getting a hidden weapon into you, or driving over an officer (which has happened A LOT, while trying to drag non compliant suspects out of cars).

I saw no evidence of a "beating", either in the ICE footage, nor in teh photos of his head. What those injuries looked like were pretty typical "while I was resisting and squirming, they pinned my head to the cement and forced me into cuffs" injuries. (Keep in mind that teh aftereffects of Tasers CAN pass very quickly once the juice is let off.)

If he was hit with multiple Tasers, he will have multiple pairs of Taser barb hits. even if so, it doesn't indicate excessive force -- especially since teh FIRST Taser hit was through a hole broken in glass, and one can easily see how THOSE wires will end up being disconnected as he is dragged out of the car.

The footage of him inside, which he notes (in text) by implying that they were somehow "hiding" his face to avoid letting his injuries get on camera, there are two problems:

1. That is apparnatly a FIXED camera, intended to cover as much of teh space as possible. The chair they stuck him in (likely so they could keep him cuffed and still have full access to evaluate injuries or allow treatment if needed) is at the edge of that coverage.

What it indicates is, when setting up the room (which they didn't do just for him), either no one noticed the lack of coverage (probaly becuase they didn't check), or the installer didn't think he NEEDED to cover that particular chair. Both are VERY common in camera installations like this.

This guy MAY have a good 4th Amendment case (I doubt it), but it is even LESS likely that he has a good 5th Amendment case.