One of the advantages of video recording all your compelled encounters with Border Patrol agents at internal suspicionless checkpoints no where near the border they’re supposed to be patrolling is the history the videos reveal & the searchable library they create. Since I’ve had to go through such checkpoints on a regular basis for well over five years now, I have quite an extensive video library of these encounters to draw from.
Take for instance the image of Border Patrol Agent J. Grayson appearing half way through the video included above (click on link to see an actual image of Grayson). An image I captured on March 6, 2010 while I was being seized absent individualized suspicion by his cohorts in crime, Agent’s Taylor & Best. During this suspicionless seizure where Agent Taylor attempted to compel me to go to secondary for failing to roll down my window on demand, I was branded a “troublemaker” by Agent Best for daring to exercise the very rights these agents have a duty to acknowledge and protect.
At the time of this encounter over three years ago, I didn’t give Agent Grayson much attention since most of it was on Agent Taylor who was attempting to extend the initial seizure absent my consent or probable cause and Agent Best who was making his contempt for the rights enumerated within the Bill of Rights clear. Indeed, given the fact that Agent Grayson did little in the video to aggravate or escalate the adversarial situation created by his supervisor and co-worker, I gave him relatively high marks in comparison to the other two.
Since that time however, I’ve had several additional (compelled) interactions with Agent Grayson at this same checkpoint. Unfortunately, none of the subsequent encounters have illuminated him in a light more flattering then that shared by many of his predecessors. Indeed, an encounter from March 29, 2013 (soon to be posted) revealed that Agent Grayson is quite willing to openly use his position of authority to pursue personal agendas under color of law against individuals he seizes at these checkpoints knowing full well he’s being video recorded while doing so.
Thanks to Agent Grayson’s recent actions however, he’s not only given me a lot to talk about over the next several months, he’s also given me several diverse forums in which to do so. Much of this will be reminiscent of an encounter I had at this checkpoint back in December of 2008 but involves the Pima County Sheriff’s Dept. this time around instead of the Tohono O’odham Police Dept. The traffic citation that has resulted from this most recent encounter has even less of a legal foundation than the one from 2008 and should suffer a similar fate. There will also be the added bonus of demonstrating a much stronger formal arrangement between the Border Patrol and local law enforcement for the purposes of providing this checkpoint with a general law enforcement function then I’ve been able to show in the past.
In the meantime, feel free to watch the video I’ve embedded in this article which includes Agent Grayson in one of the earlier encounters I’ve identified him in. Given the example that’s been set by many of his predecessors at this checkpoint, including field supervisors who should definitely know better by now, his most recent actions ultimately come as no surprise. They do however provide me with a new opportunity to shed additional light on what’s wrong with empowering government agents to arbitrarily stop, seize, detain, interrogate and seek to search people inside the country absent suspicion: