Civil Liberties

What Happens When You Insist on Your 5th Amendment Rights to Not Answer Questions or Show Your Papers to Immigration Cops in an Empty Desert Somewhere?


Dude, speaking from hard-learned experience: Wipe off the lens on your cameraphone.

Read all about it at My favorite part (besides the sheer righteous, time-wasting ballsiness of standing up to The Man):

We proceeded to sit in the car discussing our options for apx 30 mins, I was figuring that there was a legal amount of time in which they could "detain" me before making the decision to either arrest me or let me go.

During this time, my g/f and I listened to their conversations from a distance.

We heard them mocking us and saying things like "what a douchebag" "what does this guy think he is accomplishing?" laughing, also saying to my face that quote "we don't care, we are getting paid to stand here anyway".

I overheard one agent say that "well if we decide to arrest him and he resists we can LIGHT HIM UP"

Another thing we overheard was a younger agent saw my bumper sticker

Take back your personal liberty!
Support PROP 19 this November!

and using his personal cell phone he called someone and asked them to look up what prop 19 was…

I also have a Gadsden flag "don't tread on me" sticker on the back as well.

Read the whole thing. Then check out Brian Doherty's 2003 feature on "suspected terrorist" John Gilmore, plus a bunch of other "papers, please"-type stories from the Reason archive.

NEXT: Money Should Follow Kids - Q&A with Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell

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  1. Glad to hear some people aren’t willing to bend over for authority.

    1. I did something similar at the California Agricultural Inspection point outside of Baker a few weeks ago. I asked the agent what authority he had to stop me (and every other person on the road), and he couldn’t find the statute other than to say “state and federal law.” I laughed and he went to get his supervisor. When he walked away, I just drove off.

      I was scared shitless for a while, but since I had temp dealer tags because it was a new car, I figured I was fine.

      Cool part was I got to explain quite a bit about constitutional rights and responsibilities to my 10 and 12 year old kids the rest of the way home. And they get it better than most adults.

      1. Awesome.

      2. California’s farmers thank you for this gesture.

  2. What an awesome little motherfucker.

    1. I’m still digging the irony of the border agent calling someone else a douchebag.

    2. Couldn’t have said it better.

      He at least deserves to have a microbrew named after him.

  3. Glad to hear he handled it in a firm but calm manner too. One little thing I want to call specific attention to:

    also saying to my face that quote “we don’t care, we are getting paid to stand here anyway”

    That’s always going to be the problem with any “professional” police force, regulatory agency, etc. You have better things to do with your life; they don’t. This is their life, and they are getting paid to fuck with you. This will always give them a huge practical advantage in confrontations.

    1. Exactly – I have to give this guy credit for being willing to sit in the desert for two hours to make a point.

      1. Too true. Out of personal convinience, I’m sure I’d have complied (especially on a date).

  4. I got a front tag with the Culpeper Minuteman flag after 9/11. My motives were half patriotic and half libertarian. I figure with the Tea Party stuff and the underground militia nonsense, cops call in my car regularly. It’s a sad commentary that a symbol of freedom–our symbol of freedom–has become anathema to lovers of the state.

    1. I’m proud to help law enforcement spot obvious racist domestic terrorists such as yourself, Pro Libertate.

      1. “Potok” means shit in the original Klingon….

        1. And “Sykes” means “shit-head” in the original Tenctonese. I hope that someone named “Sykes” posts here soon so we can revel in that more relevant cultural reference.

          1. The new disclaimer encourages civil and on-topic commentary.

            1. But Wanda, it was in before the disclaimer.

      2. I had a liberal friend of mine tell me (back in 2002) that the tag made me look like I was “right of Attila the Hun.” I still don’t know what that means.

        1. If it makes you feel any better, you are clearly left of Gowron, son of M’Rel. I don’t know what that means either, but hey: Gowron!

          1. Strangely, that makes more sense to me.

          2. wow, I just watched that last night. Would the opposite be “right of Toral, son of Duras”? Somehow that feels wrong, but so many on the right are traitorous bastards (literally on both counts)

        2. It’s a line from Evita:

          In June of 43 there was a military coup
          Behind it was a gang called the G.O.U.
          Who did not feel the need to be elected

          They had themselves a party at the point of a gun
          They were slightly to the right of Attila the Hun
          A bomb or two and very few objected

          1. Interesting. Still makes no sense, and now I have to wonder why this guy was quoting or even knew lines from Evita.

            1. It means that your ability to accurately fire a weapon from the back of a moving horse is even greater than a Mongol horde.

              1. JW, you’re confusing the Huns and the Mongols? You are stupider at history than a Sarmatian.

                1. I believe the Mongols were noted for firing bows from horseback. They didn’t invent the practice, of course. For instance, the phrase “Parthian shot” refers to Parthians turning and firing arrows behind them.

                2. Shit. Yes, yes I am.

            2. You did say he was “liberal.”

              1. Ipso facto metrosexual?

                1. I’m just sayin’…

          2. Oliver Stone also borrowed the line in his movie JFK. Jim Garrison describes Guy Bannister as “slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.”

        3. Attila was a Big Government Progressive, so yes, you probably are right of Attila the Hun.

        4. Libertarians want to cut taxes, and Atila only cut of heads or hands, so you’re worse.

          1. Atila only cut of heads or hands

            So….he was a Mooslim?

            1. Attila died before Muhammad was even born.

              1. I’ve got some extra Size D batteries in case the ones in your Sarcasm-O-Meter are dead.

                1. Is it something in the spelling? Went right over my head.

        5. Always stand to the right of him, then when meeting new people, look to him and say “And this is my friend, Attila the Hun.”

  5. I overheard one agent say that “well if we decide to arrest him and he resists we can LIGHT HIM UP”

    It’s a good thing we have conservative rock stars like Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court to protect our rights.

  6. Border Patrol agents seem to have fun detaining people especially those who look Hispanic. They have nothing better to do.

  7. I suppose if these “victims” like to have sex with kids and refuse to take off their hats in court, you’ll still stand up for their “rights”.

    1. Re: Edwin,

      I suppose if these “victims” like to have sex with kids and refuse to take off their hats in court, you’ll still stand up for their “rights”.

      Translation: I like to be fucked by the State from behind! I love the State, as the State loves me!

      1. Sounds good to me. We progressives like that kind of action.

    2. I’m with you Edwin. In fact, we shouldn’t even give them a trial. Obviously since they won’t cooperate with the border patrol they are guilty of pedophilia. They should be executed on the spot.

      Why can’t I see this stuff without you to point it out to me, Edwin? Why?

    3. Please, no more of this shit. We wasted enough time on “Edwin” and “SM” last night. They are the same troll. And she/he/it shows up under a bunch of different names on occasion to troll and bait and being an annoying shit.

      Just walk away people. Don’t be it’s porn.

      1. I’m guessing you’ve never heard of the Nash equilibrium, have you?

        1. Is that how they proved your penis weighs less than a duck feather?

          1. It’s how SM disproved libertarianism in the Rand Paul thread. I can’t believe we didn’t realize sooner that game theory defeats us.

            Speaking of ducks, I’ve been feeding a Muscovy duck that’s wintering over at the pond in front of the art museum, and he’s starting to look delicious. Have you ever eaten any Muscovy duck, you gastro-pervert? I want to know if it’s worth the trouble of gutting him.

            1. Remove the breasts, just like you do to your female victims, and grill them medium-rare. You will be very happy, just like you are with your female victims. Maybe make a fruit compote to go on them.

            2. Re: Warty,

              Rub some curry on the breast and put it in a hot pan (not medum) with 2 spoons of olive oil. Let it cook for 5 minues per side until seared, to medium (not rare.)

            3. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one. (The culinary term for the species is occasionally “Barbary Duck.”)

              Oh, and the kosher status of the Muscovy is a matter of controversy.

            4. Re: Warty,

              It’s how SM disproved libertarianism in the Rand Paul thread. I can’t believe we didn’t realize sooner that game theory defeats us.

              I got a kick out of that one.

              “You know the Nash Equilibrium? Do you? DO YOU? Heathen!”

              It’s like the interrogation scene in Planet of the Apes, where Honorius asks Taylor what does such and such scroll say, to prove Taylor is not intelligent.

              1. He’s my favorite troll in some time for that remark, OM. Maybe I should start using that tactic. “You like high-speed rail? I bet you don’t even know what a Hessian matrix is! Idiot!”

                1. D’ye nae ken wa’ a Heisenberg Compensator is, laddie? Ach!

        2. That’s when everybody has their genitals in contact with the most desirable possible partner in the orgy, right? When anyone changing their partner choice goes to less preferable partner?

          I mean, since we’re talking porn and all…

          1. Yeah, it’s preferable to Walrasian equilibrium, which I believe is when you get the fat chick.

        3. It’s when Cheech Marin and Don Johnson are on the same show.

  8. It could have been resolved faster if the supervisor on the phone had come out to resolve it.

    Of course, with Dunphy under his desk fellating him, he had no incentive to leave his office.

  9. Wasn’t there a Youtube of someone doing this a year or so ago.

    Kind of makes you want to take a bike and spend a weekend blowing those checkpoints at 120mph.

  10. I overheard one agent say that “well if we decide to arrest him and he resists we can LIGHT HIM UP”

    And one more reason to assume 99% of LEOs are scum, because they all think this way. Who else would take this job?

    On a better note, the DOJ is investigating the Seattle PD. I have no idea how it will shake out, but at least something is being done. Do you know how many people they’ve shot and killed in the last 18 months or so? It’s ridiculous.

    1. Do you know how many people they’ve shot and killed in the last 18 months or so? It’s ridiculous.

      I think you misinterpreted the DoJ’s investigation. They’re afraid Seattle PD’s not meeting their quota.

    2. Yes, but how many dogs have been plugged by the cops in the Seattle area in the last 18 mos.?

      1. The SPD doesn’t bother with dogs. They go straight to shooting people.

        1. You gotta admit, if anyone deserves it, it’s the smug, latte-sipping hipsters of Seattle.

          1. You mean like this guy?

            That’s not too far from my apartment building.

            1. Nah. I saw the video. No vintage sweaters. No latte-sipping at the time. He’s clean.

          2. But I doubt they are the ones getting shot.

            1. Then the police need to change their tactics. Pronto.

    3. I eagerly await the DOJ’s conclusion that “mistakes were made.”

      Jaywalking = punch in face

      Mexican = kicked in the head

            1. And yet, alone out in the middle of the desert, this guy decides to mouth off to the cops. It’s like he’s demonstrating his fundamental unalienable right to smoke at a dynamite factory.

              1. My hat’s off to him (no pun). I don’t know if I’d have the balls or the patience to pull that off.

              2. He had his girlfriend with him, so he wasn’t exactly alone. I suspect this would have ended differently if he were driving solo.

              3. Brandybuck, you do realize that tinpot dictatorships became tinpot dictatorships because no one said “No!” to the little shit.

                1. Maybe I’ll go reread Thoreau tonight, but this still feels like a cruel mockery of civil disobedience.

                  Grandpa One to Grandchild: “Yes, I was beaten and spent time in jail because I freed a slave.” Hero.

                  Grandpa Two to Grandchild: “The cops teargassed me and threw me in jail because I refused to go to war.” Hero.

                  Grandpa Trhee to Grandchild: “I spent the night in county jail because I didn’t take off my hat in the courtroom when the judge told me to.” Douchebag.

                  1. Brandybuck. You’re not seeing the forest for the trees. You should be responding to Pablo’s comment below about a dumb old lady who simply refused to sit in a different seat on a city bus. You can’t get more molehill than that. I mean, fuck! Move a few seats down and the bus can get moving again. What’s the big fucking deal? Sit at that lunch counter over there! Such a small thing!

                    What seems like a picayune issue to you (or even me) in the here and now, could set a major historical precedent. Frankly, I’m surprised I have to break it down that far.

                  2. Oh, so freedom is not denied incrementally. I get it now. We just wake up one day and — BLAMMO — we suddenly have no rights.

              4. He didn’t “mouth off” – he politely asked under what Constitutional authority they acted.

                The fact that he was released proved his point: they have none.

            2. And the classic:
              carving wood = shot four times while not facing officer

              But never forget, a person with a 3″ carving knife standing sideways can still pose a threat to an officer.

              You forgot one detail: Closed pocket knife.

              1. Brandybuck: “If he’d just stopped carving. Douchbag!”

                1. Why didn’t the nearly deaf guy just drop the knife? Petty thing to die for.

    4. I’ve heard some callous shit come out of cops mouths while trying to keep people alive or help them. God knows I’m no angel with respect to being jaded, but some of the crap I’ve heard cops say…

    5. 99% of LEOs are scum

      Does anyone here take you seriously?

    6. Better take that hat off in court!

  11. If you’re not guilty you have nothing to fear. He said with knowing irony.

    1. Everyone is guilty of something. It’s my job to keep you in holding until you confess.

  12. Gosh, I sure hope he remembered to remove his hat when the cop asked him to.

  13. Road block in the middle of nowhere. Heavily armed, aggressive, abusive uniformed “professionals”.

    Why did he have a valid drivers license in Somalia?

    I want to know what cell carrier he is using. My phone wouldn’t have worked in this situation.

    1. …abusive uninformed “professionals”.


  14. What Happens When You Insist on Your 5th Amendment Rights to Not Answer Questions or Show Your Papers to Immigration Cops in an Empty Desert Somewhere?

    You silly goose! Nobody has rights within 100 miles of the US Border! What did you think?

    1. But, but, keeping out teh illegals and teh drugs is hard! You don’t want the drugged up terrorist immigrants to win do you?! They’re blowing up our jobs!

  15. American citizens have the right to refuse to answer questions from law enforcement or to do anything that imperils their freedom. Unless the cops have proof that the individual is an illegal immigrant, they cannot force him to provide proof of his citizenship.

    1. But apparently they can still make him sit in the damn desert for hours for refusing to cooperate.

    2. Actually the 5th amendment applies to everyone, citizen or non-citizen, legal or illegal.

    3. Cop 1: I don’t think this man’s a citizen.
      Cop 2: How do we find out?
      Cop 1: We ask him.
      Cop 2: What if he is?
      Cop 1: Then we can’t ask him.
      Cop 2: And if he isn’t?
      Cop 1: Then he has to prove he is.
      Cop 2: But he won’t have proof.
      Cop 1: Indeed not.
      Cop 2: So how do we find out?
      Cop 1: We ask him.

      1. [takes fistful of aspirin…drinks glass of water]

  16. So are we to hope that, if there is an increasing number of people who are willing to go to great effort to prank the imperial troopers, that there is a LARGER number of people who are willing to go to the much lesser and more comfortable effort of voting against the policies and politicians that lead to the problems that are worth protesting?

    1. I am afraid that we are getting exactly the police force the “people” want. I doubt that 3 out of the bill of rights would win a majority vote.

      1. I’m pretty sure the 3rd Amendment would get a majority, but you never know.

        1. I’m pretty sure if SCOTUS had to interpret the 3A as often as it interprets the 4A, we’d all have soldiers in our beds with our women, and we’d be sleeping on the couch.

        2. But you’re not supporting the troops!!!!

  17. Do you know how many people they’ve shot and killed in the last 18 months or so? It’s ridiculous.

    But if you asked a Seattle cop why a guy would walk into a coffee shop and shoot a few of his coworkers, he’d have no fucking idea.

    1. Hey, these aren’t firearms experts! Also, they’re not knife experts! And it’s a really dangerous job. Four, four SPD officers have been died in the line of duty in the last 15 years. That’s like 400 civilians!

  18. It’s interesting to think that, if he had a cooler full of supplies he could have announced that he was detaining them. See if they wanted to staff that thing all night.

    1. They’d just make him give them the cooler.

  19. Actually, they’ve killed people at these checkpoints;
    LBANY, Oct. 22 – Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, federal border patrol agents have been stepping up their use of checkpoints on highways near the country’s borders to inspect vehicles for illegal immigrants, narcotics, terrorists and terrorist weapons.

    But on Interstate 87 north of here there have been two major crashes on the southbound approach to one of those checkpoints, including a pileup on Sept. 19, which killed four people as drivers failed to slow down for the lines of stopped cars.

    1. I’ve been stopped at one of those checkpoints on the 87. That road can be a deathtrap if there’s any snow falling.

  20. Also from same article:

    A 5-year-old girl, Jonelle Adams, and her mother, Natalie, and another adult, all of Uniondale, N.Y., were killed when their car was pushed under a pickup truck and burst into flames. The tractor-trailer then skidded, hitting another tractor-trailer and another pickup, which was towing a camper. The driver of the second pickup, Walter J. Giveans, 53, of Otisville, N.Y., was also killed.

    1. Eggs. Omelets. Etc.

  21. What can one say? Tell me this country is redeemable when it take “righteous ballsiness” to suggest that people in authority adhere to the law of the land. There is something so deeply wrong with this country. I would suggest that for most of us every encounter with the police (federal, state and local)elicits a gut response exactly identical to encounters with hoodlums in a dark alley.

    1. I have had encounters with hoodlums in a dark alley. They are much more open to reason than the bullshit cops who have fucked with the black kids I worked with.

      1. I’m not kidding here either. It’s been awhile, but I recall posting here about having to spend at least a half hour convincing two cops not to arrest one of the kids I was with. His alleged crime? Walking to our van in the Art Institute’s parking ramp (he was feeling ill in the museum and decided to go lie down in the van). But the cops had this silly idea that black people have no busines being at the museum let alone its parking ramp.

        1. Walking to our van in the Art Institute’s parking ramp

          Being at an Art Institute is a crime.

          1. Fuck you, Paul. People need to know how to draw Tippy The Turtle or our entire economy will be taken over by the dread Chinese!

            1. Hey Tippy Turtle!
              Hey, hey Tippy Turtle!

              I’m gonna walk down the street.
              Bother everyone I meet.

              Then I’ll go home and get drunk.

            2. It’s too rate! We’re arleady here!

              1. I would have believed you were real if you used “we” instead of “we’re”. Sloppy infiltration.

            3. Being at an art institute is a necessity! Especially if it is one curated by the NEA! Art is public goods and someone needs to make sure it’s available to the masses!!!

              1. Free government tuition for Full Sail!

  22. It could have been resolved faster if the supervisor on the phone had come out to resolve it.

    And it could have been resolved even faster than that if the goons on the scene had respected the Constitutional rights of the people they were dealing with.

  23. I would suggest that for most of us every encounter with the police (federal, state and local)elicits a gut response exactly identical to encounters with hoodlums in a dark alley.

    If I’m driving along and a low-rider with tatted-up gangstas is going the other way, I don’t check the rearview to see if they are going to pull an illegal u-turn and hassle me.

    Can’t say the same for a cop car.

    1. ^^THIS^^

      I even get edgy when uniformed cops walk into a fast food joint or coffee shop I’m in. Every conversation gets hushed. All eyes are averted. It’s a fucking shame that we live in more fear of the cops than gang-bangers.

      1. A few days ago our neighbors were making a lot of noise, and my girlfriend suggested we call the local police and make a noise complaint. My response was, “I don’t hate anybody enough to sic the cops on them.” (Then again, I don’t live next to a Congresscritter, either.)

        1. Would you call the cops on a Congressman, JD?

          1. Unstoppable force, immovable object scenario, as the resulting hailstorm of lawsuits from senator asshat are deflected by the PD and DA.

  24. Sorry, you’ll sit there and bake until you cooperate or until a semi comes round that corner and wipes you off the map.

  25. When choosing the hill you want to die on, make sure it’s not a molehill.

    I’ve noticed an increasing trend for the younger anarchist and anarchist-leaning folk to engage in petty civil disobedience. Then to make a big production over it. Like the guy who got thrown in jail for contempt of court because he wouldn’t take off his hat after repeatedly being told to. Or those making a stink over their impounded car because they refused to register it. These people are not heros, they’re dicks.

    Are those molehills eebil? Yes of course they are. Border patrol should not be detaining these people for two hours out in the desert. But it’s still a molehill.

    1. I think that as a US citizen inside the United States, being detained without warrant and held without warrant under cruel and unusual circumstances without an attorney qualifies as more than a molehill.

      And in New York, several US citizens were deprived of their lives without due process.

      1. We’re not talking deaths in New York. We’re talking about a guy who did not show identification during a traffic stop. The border patrol was wrong of course, but it’s still petty.

        1. It wasn’t a traffic stop, it was a border checkpoint.

          1. X2. It’s an immigration/drug check. Random BP checkpoints inside the nation’s borders are violations of the 4th amendment, period. The regularity and shrugging acceptance of this loss of constitutional rights for 2 out of 3 Americans doesn’t make it more petty.

    2. Don’t forget about that stupid old lady a few years ago who refused to sit in a different seat on the bus.

      1. ^^this with highly polished brass knobs on.

      2. I’d double up on Pablo’s by making references to lunchcounters being molehills, but Pablo’s comment is such a fucking threadwinner, that it would just fall flat. Nice job, Pablo. I’ll be reposting your comment far and wide today, giving you all the credit I can.

        1. Thanks man, Im back on my meds.

          1. You should stay off your meds more often, Pablo. Good on ya!

      3. Sorry, I just don’t see the moral equivalence on this one. I just can’t see Rosa Parks bragging on a nutter forum about what she did.

        1. Whether the person brags is irrelevant. Look at what happened when that guy told the TSA not to touch his junk. It didn’t cause an instant change but it triggered a lot of people to speak out after formerly staying silent. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to reach critical mass.

          1. that guy told the TSA not to touch his junk

            And they acquiesced. Dude changed the world!
            No he didn’t. Nothing changed. “Opt-out” day was a flop. Few care.

        2. Rosa Parks didn’t need to brag on a ‘nutter’ forum – the media actually reported on such things as civil rights issues and were not just propaganda organs for the State back then.

        3. There was no internet. So the “nutter” forum was NBC, CBS, the New York Times etc.

          Essentially, what WTF wrote.

    3. On the other hand, there is an argument that if one makes a big fuss over every little infringement, the gangbangers in blue will not experiment with egregious ones …

    4. I think that standing up against authority for “molehills” is what separates the actual libertarians from the theoretical ones.

      1. Sand in the gears. Tiny bits of sand. It builds up.

    5. How many molehills doth a mountain make? It might be better to you to stand up against the cops raiding homes and killing people, but then you’re going to be dead or in prison for the rest of your life. The news will portray the valiant cops protecting people being shot at by a nutjob, your neighbors will think you a murderer, and the best your civil disobedience will accomplish is a larger police budget. Sometimes you have to resist what you are reasonably able to resist until you get an audience and can make a larger point.

  26. So this guy winds up snoozing a while with the local (Or were they federal?) cops on duty, then tells the state cops the same thing the locals wanted to know. Whoopee.

    1. No he didn’t. He never once answered any questions about his citizenship.

      1. They ran his fucking plates.

        He failed.

        1. Your plates get run every time a cop drives behind you. You know that, right? The Border agents can do that themselves. That’s not the information they wanted. They wanted him to verbally answer their question “as required by immigration law”.

          He refused to answer the citizenship question to the border agents. He prevailed.

      2. Citizenship, shmitizenship…he showed them who he was, which is basically what was being asked.

  27. “”But there have been no fatal accidents on Interstate 87,

    in any way linked to a border patrol checkpoint,

    in its history,

    until this one,” he said.”


  28. You guys want a real good Border Patrol resist video? I present to you.

    This guy doesn’t even roll down his window. Fucked their shit up good.

    This happened at a checkpoint where I used to live. Went through that one regularly.

    1. That guy has balls of steel. I so got a boner listening to him tell off those thugs.

      1. I especially like the comment from the one Border Agent, “Your rights don’t matter here.”

        At least they admit it.

        1. Better yet was the accusation that he suspected of being a terrorist.

          But seriously, what court has ever upheld invocation of the 4th as the probable cause necessary for reasonable search and seizure?

          1. Inadmissible evidence happens all the time because cops didn’t get warrants, didn’t identify themselves or got a “confession” without mirandizing and/or allowing a suspect to have an attorney present.

            Now, the way the press reports these as “technicalities” or “oversights” is something else entirely.

          2. With regard to traffic stops/checkpoints there is very little left of the 4th amendment. And all but the stupidest cops know how to get around what is left, by using the magic words on the arrest report which will win a suppression hearing.

    2. Jeebus, judging by the guy’s videos he does this regularly and has even taken a beating for it.

      1. That is my understanding. He finally got “lit up”.

    3. I’m torn between my admiration of him for not even rolling down the window and wanting him to roll it down so it would be easier to hear what they said to him. That guy’s a real man.

  29. Couldn’t the invocation of his Fifth Amendment right be construed as a statement of citizenship?

    1. The Fifth applies to non-citizens, also.

    2. No. I think this has been discussed recently on H&R.

    3. Hell, the 5th amendment should apply to driver’s licenses and license plates too, shouldn’t it?

      Why is it just assumed that you have to present your papers to some local cop just because he decided to pull you over? Don’t you have the right to remain silent?

      Why is it even your obligation to understand that blinking lights means that you have to stop on the side of the road much less that you absolutely must obey the signal?

      1. Why is it just assumed that you have to present your papers to some local cop just because he decided to pull you over? Don’t you have the right to remain silent?

        Hiibel changed that.

        I did ask a devil’s advocate question to a writer over at Cato to that effect: Why do I have to present my driver’s license when I’m pulled over by a cop? I can’t remember his answer but there were a set of complicated legal precedents which changed the circumstances when you were behind the wheel.

        But after Hiibel, a cop can now approach you while you walk down the street and demand to see papers.


          1. Thank you for the clarification. You are correct.

        2. Not really.
          NRS 171.123 provides:

          1.? Any peace officer may detain any person whom the officer encounters under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.

          2. Any peace officer may detain any person the officer encounters under circumstances which reasonably indicate that the person has violated or is violating the conditions of the person’s parole or probation.

          3.? The officer may detain the person pursuant to this section only to ascertain his identity and the suspicious circumstances surrounding his presence abroad. ? Any person so detained shall identify himself, but may not be compelled to answer any other inquiry of any peace officer.

          4.? A person may not be detained longer than is reasonably necessary to effect the purposes of this section, and in no event longer than 60 minutes.
          The NV law does not require a person to carry identification, nor does it require a person to provide identification.

          The Supereme Court decision did not uphold a requirement that you have or provide an ID or papers of any kind.

          Some reading materials:


          1. But none of that applies here. First, there needs to be reasonable suspicion that they have committed a crime. Stopping everybody at a checkpoint doesn’t qualify.

            Although DUI checkpoints are legal…

          2. also this took place in California. Anza-borrego, to be specific.

      2. You don’t HAVE to show your license when you are pulled over, that is if you are willing to be arrested.

  30. While everything he did was legally correct, I can’t help but remember that when I was in law school one of things they taught us was, “what you have a right to do is not necessarily what you should do.” By his own account, all he accomplished was to alleviate the boredom of a bunch of cops assigned (probably as punishment) to stand on a sparsly traveled road to ask stupid questions of a handful of passing travelers – at a cost of two hours in the broiling sun for him and his girlfriend. Nothing he did will change the behavior of those officers, cause them to be reprimanded in any way, or make the news on the slowest of slow news days. Personally, I think the cause of freedom would have faired better had he spent those two hours reading Lord Acton.

    1. I disagree. There is a small but growing movement of civil disobedience and video documentation of authoritarian abuses. Whether this is the first spark to the tinder or a flash in the pan, every little incident adds to the heat. There’s every chance that the overreach of the state (particularly via the TSA since they directly affect so many people) will result in a major change in the attitude of the American people toward their personal freedom.

      We’ve seen the rhetoric change over the past year or so to include freedom much more frequently. A significant number of people are starting to at least partially identify with these issues. Enough events like this could eventually tip the balance and move the country back to a more freedom-friendly landscape. Many libertarian issues can get swept up into outrage over petty bureaucrats with guns overstepping their rightful authority. Not just TSA or Immigration sweeps, but the war on drugs, internet privacy, warrantless wiretaps….

      There’s plenty of good that can come from a few hundred people who are willing to document these petty abuses. Particularly if they keep getting TV-friendly video. Eventually that video should spill over from Youtube and niche-market talking-head cable TV to the popular news and news magazine shows. We’ve seen a few make the jump lately. You know how the news runs in packs and follows fads. Keep the supply of material high and eventually they’ll notice. When “Entertainment Tonight” starts having headline stories about the latest video footage of some government abuse, you’ll know the tipping point has been reached.

      1. Except there was no petty abuse here. The border patrol asked him a question which he refused to answer. Then a CHP came and asked him a question which he then answered.

        This was not about his fifth amendement rights, it was about his not liking the Border Patrol but having no problem with the Highway Patrol.

        1. Except there was no petty abuse here. The border patrol asked him a question which he refused to answer. Then a CHP came and asked him a question which he then answered.

          This keeps coming up, and I’ll try to respond again.

          The CHP did not ask the specific question that the BP wanted to know. The CHP ran his plates. Every cop runs your plates when they drive behind you, period. All the plates tell them is the status of the car and the owner. It tells them nothing about the driver.

          What the individual in the story did was specifically resist the discreet actions and requests of the BP. They wanted to know the Driver’s Citizenship… and they wanted it verbally. He gave them no such information. The only technicality that I found interesting was, he asked the CHP officer to not divulge any information to the BP. When the BP asked the CHP officer if there were any warrants, the CHP officer replied “No”. Technically, the CHP officer should have responded, “I’m not going to tell you”, then driven off.

          By virtue of the fact that the CHP officer would have driven off would of course suggest that there were no warrants that the CHP officer could hold the driver on, but would have left the BP officers at least wondering.

          Oh, and on your comment that “there was no petty abuse here”… you’re absolutely correct. The abuse is a major violation of the 4th amendment. That’s not very petty. The fact that it happens constantly and everywhere within 100 miles of the border doesn’t make it any less petty.

          1. well not everywhere. Curiously, I don’t see any border patrol checkpoints inside the beltway, which is certainly 100 miles from the “border or ocean”.

        2. Except there was no petty abuse here. The border patrol asked him a question which he refused to answer.

          Sorry, but you are wrong.

          Being stopped and subjected to a impertinent quiz is abuse.

          They are not “just doing their jobs”.

          It is not “not personal”.

          Not only is it personal because they are doing it to one person at a time, but when he resists, they try to make it even more personal.

  31. He still bent to the will of the CHP.

    Sorry, but he eventually gave up.

    All for nothing.

    1. You’re missing the point. If everyone the BP stopped that day had required a 2 hour wait and dispatch of a CHP officer, how long do you think random interior checks by the BP would last?

      1. Forever. It’s paid time.

    2. 10 amendment bitches. Sometimes your enemy can be your friend.

  32. Thank goodness we have a liberty-loving Supreme Court that is so interested in strengthening defendants’ rights.

    1. Has this ever actually been challenged in court? I can’t find anything that says it has been with a simple Google search. That is, somebody with money (or able to get a group, like the ACLU, with money) needs to sue over this and take it all the way to the Supreme Court.

      That is, to abuse Brandybuck’s point, you need to make the fucking Himalayas out of a molehill. Making a simple mountain out of a molehill is pointless. Either being willing to go all the way (to the Supreme Court), or give the officer your driver’s license.

      Going halfway like this guy did is pointless.

      1. But to challenge it in court, you have to have your rights taken away. Every case I’ve heard ends in the USBP giving up and allowing the person to go on their merry way.

        Maybe they’re smarter than we give them credit for because if they really did take away one of these guys and detain them without due process, their “authority” could actually be challenged in the courts. As it stands, nobody has any standing to file either civil or criminal charges.

        Lots of lawyers on here (and I’m not one). Does this sound right, guys?

        1. Well, they never arrest anybody (as in book em Dano and take them to the station), but act of merely being delayed should be enough to file a civil rights lawsuit, I would think.

          Any policy can be challenged as unconstitutional if affects you in the slightest.

      2. Take a gander at U.S. v. Martinez-Fuente, 428 U.S. 543 (1976)…..;invol=543

        7-2 decision, Brennan and Marshall dissenting. Delightful quotes in the summary such as: “While the need to make routine checkpoint stops is great, the consequent intrusion on Fourth Amendment interests is quite limited, the interference with legitimate traffic being minimal…” and

        “Under the circumstances of these checkpoint stops, which do not involve searches, the Government or public interest in making such stops outweighs the constitutionally protected interest of the private citizen.”

        Thanks, Justice Powell!

        Martinez-Fuente, like MI State Police v. Sitz, is a really good example of the “it’s authorized because we really want to do it” school of 4th amendment jurisprudence.

    2. I don’t have any links, Tony, but I’m pretty sure that immigration law, 100 miles within the border searches etc., is a pretty bipartisan issue. Both major parties are for it, and the supreme court isn’t particularly divided on it.

      But regardless, I’m long past rah-rah’ing a particular judge as ‘perfect’. They all have their blind spots and their pet issues, and are willing to put aside either interpretation or originalism so their rulings fit their world view.

      It sucks, but we got what we got, and I don’t see it getting any better with a more liberal court.

      1. I’m still not sure the Supreme Court has ever had an opinion on it, one way or the other.

    3. Re: Tony,

      Thank goodness we have a liberty-loving Supreme Court that is so interested in strengthening defendants’ rights.

      Why would you care? Aren’t they the ones that define REALITY through “case law”?

      1. And what is this “goodness” he’s referring to? Isn’t that like saying “Thank the Supreme Court for the Supreme Court”?

    4. Kelo v. New London

      Citizens United


      Yep, lots to be proud of there, Tony.

      Oh, wait… you’re against all of the above, right? Just to see if you’re consistent about the Supremes…

      1. Left out DADT, a product of the Clinton admin.

  33. Again, I’d like to add that when confronted by the argument that the constitution is not in effect within these 100 mile checkpoint zones, then the federal officers have no jurisdiction and no authority.

    They should be told that. They won’t care. But then they should be told that if they have no legal jurisdiction or authority, then they are anarchic thugs. Call them anarchists. It probably won’t change the way they treat you, but it might change the way they think (or sow a seed anyway).

    1. I think that the way they think will go something like: “Anarchists don’t wear uniforms. We have cool uniforms. And badges. Idiot.”

      That is supposing that they know the word in the first place.

      1. That is supposing that they know the word in the first place

        They’ll probably think you’re calling them the devil.

    2. Why should they care, as long as they get paid?

  34. This falls under the category of “You should act the way you want everybody to act.” and “If everybody acted this way, would we be better or worse off.”

    I posit that if everyone challenged illegal actions by government agents, we would all be better off.

    By the time you are on a mountain, rather than a molehill, you are willing to take a stand on, you will find that you are completely surrounded and outnumbered. The approaches to your mountain all consist of molehills. Once they have fallen, your position is strategically untenable.

    1. Shorter RC Dean: if we fight them on the molehills, we won’t die on the mountains.

      1. Shorter T: Liberty at all times!

      2. Thanks, T.

        As Jim notes below, that reads in a gravelly Winston Churchill voice.

      3. Bravo, RCD. That’s why I refuse the strip-search scanners at the airport.
        Only I notice that, at least at my home airport, they’re seldom in use these days. I wonder if the hassle of dealing with us refusniks is outweighting their usefulness to the TSAr?
        Nah. That’s probably wishful thinking. A maintenance thing, most likely. But there’s always hope.

        1. Hey, the scanners were bought by Gov’t in the first place: Chertoff’s work here is done, whether they’re actually used or not.

  35. Why does this story make me think of the Winston Churchill opening to Aces High?…..o#comments

  36. Has anyone mentioned the guy from a few years ago who did a similar thing on an Indian reservation near the border?

  37. Also, since when has there been an “Editor’s Note?”

    1. Appeared sometime this afternoon. I asked about it on the food truck thread.

      1. Probably a sheep-sex thing, no?

        1. Havent seen that much recently, so why now?

  38. I would like to think that more of us would do something similar in the same situation but most of the time we’re not in anywhere near the same situation. I applaud what this kid did, don’t get me wrong, but it was him and his date going to a park. No timeline, no financial incentive to ‘go along.’ Huge difference between this instance and talking back to the TSA leading your family through a checkpoint to catch a flight.

    That’s how the TSA has us by the balls. Piss them off, and you don’t fly. That costs in time, money & energy.

  39. Interesting one-off story on the jury finding not guilty in a similar event in 2009

    1. If you are blood pressure meds I wouldn’t recommend reading those comments.

  40. I’ve been through that checkpoint before, and I’m going to those mud caves in february. Unfortunately, I will be bringing a legal alien with me so we will be taking a decidedly different route.

    1. Shit man, if I in the chief executive, I would create a “special DC duty rotation post” and rotate out those border patrol officers for “special duty”, one week per officer. The duty stop would be on the 14th street bridge. That’s right. Those border patrol agents would stop every DC bureaucrat on their way to work every fucking day until congress repeals this bullshit internal checkpoint law.

      1. A Congressman cannot be stopped by any officer of the law if he is on his way to a meeting of Congress. I have a feeling they would get a special placard to put on their windshield so they can blow past any checkpoint.

        Better yet, why not just build them special lanes. Worked in Moscow, didn’t it?

        1. I wouldn’t be OK with the placard, but a special lane would be great, They were in the process of adding a lane to the 14th street bridge when I left DC a few months ago.

          1. especially if access to the lane came with a requirement that the MC displayed their state and district on front and back, so that they can receive the ire of everyone stuck in traffic

            1. Well, damn it, why’d they move to DC? The place was a mud hole before it was selected as the site of the capital. If you chose to live off the business they brought, you deserve to have to wait in traffic for them.

      2. oh man, didn’t see the new disclaimer, better tone down the swearing.

  41. You fuckers make me sick. Just shut the fuck up and do what the cops tell you.

  42. I used to drive regularly between Las Cruces and Socorro New Mexico. I never had the balls to refuse to answer, but after I time I got it down to a script I liked:

    BP: Where are you going, sir?
    EWOTBM: North.
    BP: ::bemused look, long pause:: What is in the trunk, sir?
    EWOTBM: Luggage.
    BP: ::blink, blink, wave::
    EWOTBM: ::Drives off::

    The key is one word answers, always true and containing as little useful information as possible.

  43. Man, in Texas if you called the Highway Patrol, they’d just kick your ass and then make you answer the border patrol.

    1. “they’d just kick your ass and tehn make you answer the border patrol.”

      Oh, so, kind of like ‘extracting’ information under threat of violence? That’s so macho.

  44. Self-sacrifices like this for the cause of liberty would probably be more effective if they included the names of the officers involved: they might be paid to hassle people, but they still live in society, and have parents, siblings and neighbors who are susceptible to moral suasion/pressure.

    We cannot let the state eliminate our communities, which we need to strengthen in order to protect our freedom, lives and livelihoods.

  45. Excellent legal oriented analysis on this incident provided here @

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