How-to Handle Checkpoints

I saw this video make the rounds months ago but, after seeing it on the Ohio Cop Block group recently I thought it worth sharing here. Enjoy.

This post on checkpoints is especially timely as we just received an email from Archie Norris, who noted:

I recently came upon a Police Checkpoint, as I approached the check point, I was blinded by the lights, there were four cruisers on each side with a huge truck with a spot light shining on the checkpoint, all I could see were two officers standing in the middle of the checkpoint, I pulled up to the officers, and He immediately started screaming at me, I was in shock, I couldn’t even tell you what He was screaming about. I said I wasn’t speeding, He tell’s me to pull the “Fuck over to the curb” so I did, He ask for my license and registration, I haven’t had a ticket since I was a kid, I’m 40 yeas old now, He comes back to my car and sites me for failure to obey sign, and driving in unsafe conditions. I have never been through a checkpoint in my life, and that was covered in the drivers handbook when I took my DR test. What can I do if anything?

Do you have any suggestions for Archie or others who roll-up on a checkpoint?

One somewhat obvious suggestion is to always have a videocamera nearby when operating a vehicle – whether on your person, within reach, or mounted to the dash. If not tied-into the vehicle’s battery, make sure the batteries on the device are charged and there is room for content to be captured.

If you have a smartphone, download a free streaming application and become familiar with its functionality. That way, footage captured cannot be deleted by aggressors. Before even putting your vehicle into drive you may want to pull the application up, so if it’s needed it’s ready to go with just the push of a button.

If someone wearing a badge engages you be proactive and immediately inform them that you’re recording. This will safeguard you against any claims of wiretapping and deflate claims from those who automatically support whatever is muttered from a LEO. Also, stating that you’re filming may deter hostility as actions that happen during the interaction from all parties will be visible by others, making more-likely a scenario that you’ll be “free to go.”

On communication – ask “Am I being detained?” If not, leave. Be careful not to give-away any information that could be used against you in legal land. Respond to questions with questions.

Our friends at Indianapolis Cop Block shared this related link last night: 10 Signs That The Highways Of America Are Being Transformed Into A High Tech Prison Grid

Here are a couple other checkpoint-related videos that demonstrate some of these tactics:



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Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of CopBlock.org. As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability.

Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.

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  • Common Sense

    Wow, you showed them!

    Then again, they were close enough to look inside your car for empties or anything in plain view. Close enough to smell any booze on your breath. See your appearance and how you were dressed. Also, they were able to watch your motion and demeanor as you write names down. Close enough to look at the condition of your eyes. While you asked for their names, noted whether or not you slurred your speech. Ran your plate and registered owneer for warrants/valid license.

    …yeah, you showed them.

  • HONORYOUROATH

    Pete, I now have QIK for streaming my vids,but with the way it’s set up a cop can still delete the footage if he confiscates my phone. How do you set it up so that the video can’t be deleted by some one who takes your phone?
    Pete can you email me your phone #,or just call me,Ademo has my number.

  • HONORYOUROATH

    Pete,can you call me? Ademo has my number.

  • Dale

    If you have an android phone try using the OpenWatch recorder app. it does audio and video and uploads it to a secure site. Their main site is openwatch.net

  • Steve H.

    This is something I know about. All checkpoints in every state are required to have pre-authorized guidelines that all of the officers have to sign. The checkpoint also has to have a supervisor that can show you a copy of the guidelines and they are required to follow the guidelines. If the guidelines specify that they stop every car or every fifth car or every fourth car then that is how they have to do it. They also have to have the checkpoint signed on the street well in advance of the checkpoint with lights etc. If you turn around “legally” prior to the checkpoint, the leos can’t stop you for just avoiding the checkpoint. They have to witness some other traffic infraction. This procedure needs to be spelled out in the guidelines.

  • Rita

    @ Steve — Don’t worry about a thing, boys and girls. The police have GUIDELINES. That they’re required to FOLLOW. Who do you think you’re talking to? I’ve seen things signed, under oath even, by police. I wouldn’t trust those cretins to give me the time of day. Their oaths mean nothing; their signatures, even less.

  • Chris Mallory

    I love how they toss their “rank” in when asked their name. I am not under their chain of command, their rank is meaningless to me. I hold the rank of Citizen, that trumps any braid or stripes on their uniforms.

  • Chris Mallory

    So, (lack of)Commonsense, they can run a plate in under 1 minute? They why in the hell do they always take 10-15 minutes to go run a check? Just another lie from you or a lie every day from the thug on the street.

  • Common Sense

    All depends on what they run and how they run it.

    If the don’t have a computer, it could take longer. If there is no MDC/MDT and must go via a radio, then they have to wait their turn with other radio traffic. A SOS/DMV check is seconds. A NCIC/FBI/EPIC can take longer. APR software checks 4000 plates a minute when run against a set database.

  • Paul Bonneau

    Somehow I’m not convinced arguing with these folks or always asking them if you are being detained is the best course. I like the total silence (except for telling them they are being recorded, if that is necessary). Eventually they will get bored with no responses and tell you to go ahead.

    But I could be wrong… what do you think?

  • Steve H.

    Asking if you are being detained or better if you are free to go, is important (once is enough) because in the case law on 4th Amendment seizures, courts will try to fit the case into a “consensual” encounter unless you ask differently. If you never ask to be free to go, then the court will try to side with the leo saying the encounter was consensual. Same thing with consent to search, the courts will believe the leo when he says the search was consensual, if you don’t have some way of proving that you did not consent or told the leo clearly that you don’t consent to searches. Over 90% of drivers in traffic stops consent to searches. Pretty sad.

  • Spirit of 46

    I always see these videos of copblockers in big cities. WHy are there never any copblockers in small town rural america-where it is needed most? CHeck out this news article: http://www.waynesvilledailyguide.com/news/police_and_fire/x1318991400/Crocker-Police-Department-Sobriety-checkpoint-results

  • paschn

    At the risk of causing the sycophants-in-blue to feel “picked on”,

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/solutions-1/rights-abuses-lead-to-stop-and-frisk-watch-smartphone-app-to-defend-civil-liberties.html

    A cockroach too hates being put in the spotlight. It’s our only channel to what little justice is left in this failing country. All we need now is a camera that will instantly send videos of these lackies right to our computer for posting or directly to the net before these fine public servants,(of the banks), can steal it and destroy the evidence.

  • John Sabot

    “Checkpoint” is a propaganda euphemism that pigs use to diguise the truth. These are roadblocks. Call them what they are. They are not “traffic safety checkpoints” they are Nazi-style roadblocks.

  • Zack Parnell

    this is another videoon this site of the passive aggressive idiocy that most people use…..just say no and fucking go …..you did this just to prove a point that you don’t have to answer which is fucking stupid…..if you don’t see the value in dui check points you either have driven drunk or don’t give a shit about those they have saved…..next time you come across a dui check point and you are asked if you have had anything to drink tonight just say no and go on your marry fucking way

  • Zack Parnell

    imagine if you guys put all this effort into bettering our culture by not only exploiting what you feel are violations of the law but also then by making an effort to educate the officers and legal system so that they don’t violate our writes in the future….but i understand whyyou get off on getting one over on the cops

  • Ron

    I have used qik but it doesn’t give u the time to send it fast enough before the officer grabs your camera,any better ideas on application for a iPhone that would film the event live to another web site without down loading like qik??
    Please send response to ronspine@yahoo.com
    Thank you

  • lui

    Why do these people recording act so hard with police officers? Just because everyone is wearing the blue or tan uniform they assume they are bad people. Supervisor should have order her officers to pull their ass out of the car and beat the shit out of all the occupants where no one is recording.

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  • JoeThePimpernel

    Because what they are doing is a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments.
    Use them or lose them.