FACT: Police Will Violate Your Rights and Lie/Omit to Cover It Up

On 07/02/11 I crossed from Nogales, Mexico into Nogales, AZ and when I did I, as usual, I refused to answer questions unrelated to a legally required customs and citizenship declaration. The result was my being manhandled into the back room, yelled at, threatened, arrested, handcuffed, and placed in a cell. I remained in the cell for approximately forty-five minutes until a ICE Special Agent arrived and told the legally inept CBP officers that I hadn’t actually broken any laws. I wrote in detail about my arrest here.

Since my arrest I have retained the services of Attorney Keith Knowlton, a civil rights attorney in Arizona, who is pursuing a Bivens action against the Department of Homeland Security for my unlawful arrest.  He requested a copy of video from the Nogales Point-of-Entry as well as my arrest report.  Stunningly, they could not locate the video or an official arrest report… but they did locate the “inspection report.”

You’ll note that I was accused of murdering a federal officer (18 USC 1114) and “forcibly … impeding” a federal officer (18 USC 111) .  According to the report I was let go with a verbal warning.   Not bad I’d say for a homicide.

The very next day following my arrest I filed an official complaint with DHS/ICE/CBP’s Professional Standards Division regarding my illegal arrest and the unprofessional conduct exhibited by the officers.  I had an over-the-phone interview on 07/03/11 and was told that an investigation was started and that I would hear back within a month.

After hearing only crickets coming from the direction of the Department of Homeland Security for approximately four months, I filed a complaint with New Hampshire United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s office regarding their apparent unwillingness to investigate misconduct on the part of their own employees.  I also filed a complaint with the Arizona FBI office for a violation of the criminal civil rights law, 18 USC 242.  (The FBI has subsequently reported that they are not interested in investigating this further.)

I received a phone call from Senator Shaheen’s office today and was informed that ICE/CBP’s official position is that I was never arrested.  This clearly is because of the misleading, inaccurate, and lying report filed by the federal officer who arrested me.  I informed Senator Shaheen’s staffer that the CBP Officer lied on his report by omitting the fact that he both told me “you’re under arrest” and handcuffed me, prior to putting me in a cell.  The staffer, a very nice woman named Letizia Ortiz, told me that CBP reported me as being repeatedly uncooperative when I cross the border and that it is their position that I was never arrested on 07/02/11.  Their position that I was never arrested is based on the report filed by CBP Officer Aldrich.

If that is where they get their official position from, wouldn’t it also be their position that I murdered a federal officer?

Complete lies.

Be careful when dealing with the government.



  • deepelemblues

    Typical authoritarian bullshit from people who would be tending the 7-11 if they weren’t sucking at the federal teat.

    Get in line, subject, and keep your mouth shut. What, did you think you were a citizen? Did you think being a citizen meant anything? Hell and no, respectively.


    Guess I don’t know enough about the border to really comment. Other than they can search u with no warrant. Don’t know the basic questions or the process. Detention doesn’t equal arrest.

    I always find it interesting how people will take a 3 minute conversation with someone doing thierjob into some huge civil rights, or policy issue. Dude most likely is looking for drugs, felons, illegal aliens, weapons, the bad stuff we don’t want in this country, and you wasted his, and others time cause you feel the need to.

  • http://whentennesseepigsfly.wordpress.com/ WhenTennesseePigsFly


    You say that a detention doesn’t equal arrest…

    While this might be correct on its face, you and I both know that officers as a matter routine or lack of training escalate many detentions into legal arrests without even knowing it…

    This usually happens when the person the cop is “detaining”, starts to ask more questions than the cop is asking, or begins asking if they are under arrest or not, and if not are they free to go… or simply refuses to answer any questions at all…

    The U.S. Supreme Court has held many times over the last 25 years that 20 minutes or so is a reasonable timeframe for detaining someone. Anything beyond this, requires extra ordinary circumstances, such as an NCIC wants check being backed up… but delays like this are easily confirmable.

    The detention, only requires reasonable suspicion, and as the USSC ruled a in a detention a reasonable person would feel as though they could leave in a short amount of time.

    It becomes an arrest once a reasonable person would not feel free to leave due to the actions of the law enforcement officers. This means to the courts that the officer has taken the individual into custody.

    Custody can mean a number of things.

    An individual may be taken into custody by driving them back to the police station for questioning. Or the officers tells the person they are not free to leave and then begins a field level interview or interrogation. In one case the courts found that the act of placing the person in the back seat of the patrol car constituted custody because the doors were closed, and could not be opened from the inside. In yet another case it was determined that a multiple cops at the location of the “detention”, had encircled the person creating a believe they were not free to leave, equaled custody… another case a cop who stood in a door way blocking it equaled custody…

    A traffic stop is technically an arrest, where the person is seized by effect of blue lights, siren and an official police vehicle commanding them to stop. If they fail to stop further criminal actions will apply… fleeing.

    The Federal Court of Appeals along with nearly every single state in the Republic acknowledges your signature on the traffic citation as your bond. (Signature in lieu of bond) some even take your license.

    However, courts have also held custody to mean any situation in which an individual reasonably believes that they will not be able to leave within a short period of time.

    Fortunately the courts have started to wake up to the problem with “detention vs arrest” in todays law enforcement. Terry is being revisited by both the 6th circuit and the 11th circuit this year with several cases on the calendar…

    Most cases that end up before the Federal Appellate involve someone that basically made a cop mad, then the cop escalating it into a custody situation. Usually with the phrase, “No you are not free to leave”.

    As an Attorney, I love hearing that phrase coming from a cops mouth, on a recording, in a “detention”… thanks to several recent rulings, its a game changer…

  • notliberal

    If at any time you were not free to go, you were basically under arrest.


  • http://whentennesseepigsfly.wordpress.com/ WhenTennesseePigsFly

    I wish it were just that simple, “not liberal”… but it isn’t.

    Arrest implies criminal charges or at a minimum an appearance before a Magistrate/Judicial Commissioner for a warrant or probable cause hearing.

    But custody OTOH, as I posted above is something the cops place people in continuously, because they do not understand nor do they know how legally, a brief detention is supposed to work.

    Look for more cases to be heard before appeals courts and hopefully, if we are lucky one will make its way to the Supreme Court that will require them to actually define the differences for all the cops in this country who seem to not know the difference.

  • deepelemblues

    “I always find it interesting how people will take a 3 minute conversation with someone doing thierjob into some huge civil rights, or policy issue. Dude most likely is looking for drugs, felons, illegal aliens, weapons, the bad stuff we don’t want in this country, and you wasted his, and others time cause you feel the need to.”

    You know, I respect what you write probably more than anyone else who comments here, but the point – which, of course, has been overblown by the story and is as a rule overblown by the near universal majority here – is that an official shouldn’t act like a petty tyrant just because he can and just because someone has the temerity not to answer a question he or she doesn’t have to answer.

    Anything other than total compliance with whatever someone with a badge demands seems to equal disrespect seems to equal I’m going to be an asshole and throw the weight of my badge around to far too many people with the badge, which is a big part of the reason people with badges are treated with such open hostility and contempt by 98% of the people who come to this site.

  • Jet

    Seize (someone) by legal authority and take into custody.
    The action of seizing someone to take into custody: “I have a warrant for your arrest”.

    Being custody by this definition = being arrested. No charges or hearing are required.

  • Carlos


    Have you ever come across with COPS investigating an incident and they…HANDCUFF some citizen just for his/her…“PROTECTION” ?

    That makes me laugh. It’s indeed laughable.

    There are NO circumstances under which my safety is improved by depriving me of the use of my hands.
    Cuff me or whatever. Just don’t tell me it’s for my safety. I’m not a fool, there is no way I’m safer with handcuffs on.

    Some friend of mine made up a story [analogy] about a cop trying to handcuff him for his…“SAFETY”; it reads something like this:

    Officer: “I’m going to cuff you for your safety.”
    Me: “No thanks, I’ll be fine.”
    Officer: “Sir, I’m going to have to cuff you for your safety. Please turn around.”
    Me: “Am I under arrest?”
    Officer: “No sir, this is just for your safety.”
    Me: “If my being safe requires you to handcuff me, I question what exactly it is you mean by “safety”. I will not wear those willingly, sir. Would you put those handcuffs on for my safety?”
    Officer: “Sir, I’m going to have to arrest you for, uh….”



    God I love how cops say “sir” as if it were an insult.

  • 911Sarge


    I definitely agree that the 20 minute mark is where, in the absence of criminal charges (or extreme ariculable circumstances), you must release someone from custody. Only once or twice in 13 years have i ever had a warrant/ncic check taken longer than that, and usually that’s waiting for a hit confirmation.
    Then there was the time I had placed a lady “under arrest” for a confirmed outstanding warrant from another agency…. tow truck on the way to pick up her car….and she makes the comment that this just happened to her in another jurisdiction.(and we’re half way to the originating jurisdiction). After a personal call to the originating agency they say…oops, someone forgot to take it out of the system. Now I look like the dumbass. Fortunately the tow truck driver let the car go without paying, after I plead with him. I don’t think I’ve ever apologized to someone as much as I did that poor lady.

  • I’m Batman

    Dudes…if you haven’t done anything to break the law, why not just answer the questions that are being asked of you! You liberal dorks have nothing better to do than look for trouble where it doesn’t exist!

  • http://whentennesseepigsfly.wordpress.com/ WhenTennesseePigsFly

    To 911Sarge:

    Hit confirmations are different. You’ve already been told the outstanding warrant is in the system so taking someone into custody at this point is valid.

    Now if the originating agency comes back with a TT saying you are too far away for them to extradite or they haven’t taking the warrant out of the system.

    Then that’s not on you.

    That happens quite a bit here, but we are a big city.

    If a client came into my office mad about that. I’d just laugh.

    To I’m Batman:

    If you haven’t done anything wrong then the police shouldn’t be questioning you int he first place, so its even MORE important you remain silent.

    Think before you post such idiotic stuff…


    Tenn. what court case states that a traffic stop is an arrest? If that’s so, I guess when I respond to an accident and am collecting information, the driver’s of both vehicles are “under arrest” until I copy down thier information?

    I agree with the 20 minutes deal, but that from my undertstanding is for me, no idea what rules are set forth at the border. Pretty sure they are different.

  • Steve

    I’m Batman,

    Cop, “If you have nothing to hide you shouldn’t mind me searching your car.”

    Me, “If you aren’t dealing in child porn you shouldn’t mind me searching your house, office and computers. Oh, and let’s don’t forget any safe deposit boxes you have”

    In other words Batman only the guilty should stand up for their rights? The innocent shouldn’t have any?

  • paschn

    Just a short clip in an attempt to continue your education in critical/objective thinking. Why hasn’t the editor calling for the assassination of a U.S. president, (even a treacherous dog such as Barry Sotero, aka Obama), been arrested and tortured as OTHER citizens have/are being?

    Watch the clip, research it’s veracity and decide for yourself!


    Even when their fellows are in the crosshairs, there is the deafening roar of complete silence.

  • Truth

    What you fail to realize is are rights we’re given to us for a reason cops can’t say when are rights matter & when they don’t unless it under arrest because really cops feel the only right we have is to remain silent and do what they tell you with no regard to the law applying to there actions so stand up for your rights expose the cops that abuse there authority someone has to keep them honest