The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
-The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
With local, state and DHS checkpoints randomly popping up all over America many of our citizens believe that we must comply with what more often than not amounts to unlawful requests and orders from law enforcement officials.
While driving through California, Steven Anderson came upon three such checkpoints and he chose not to play ball with officers who asked him, among other things, to prove his citizenship, prove his identity and pull over for further inspection and questioning.
When asked whether he was a citizen Anderson’s immediate response was, “that’s my business.” When advised that it was the officer’s job to ask the question, Anderson calmly responds by saying, “I don’t have to answer you, because I have rights as an American.” The law enforcement official courteously asks Mr. Anderson to do him a favor and pull over for further questioning, no doubt expecting Anderson to comply. But not today, as Anderson patently refuses to do so per his Fourth Amendment Constitutional protections. He subsequently makes his own request, saying to the officer, “no thanks, I’d like to just go on my way.”
All of it was recorded on a digital camera in Anderson’s car and out of view of officers.
What you’ll see below is a crash course in exercising your Constitutional rights when faced with the threat of detention, interrogation and random searches by Federal or local law enforcement officials. You won’t see this one in mainstream media, and it’s something they certainly don’t teach in college:
Anderson: Is this Nazi Germany now, that I have to show my papers?
Officer: It’s a simple yes or no. I need an answer or we can detain you until we figure out whether you’re a U.S. citizen.
Anderson: Well, you know what’s more simple is the fact that my freedom is a little more important than you seem to think. Seting up checkpoints where people have to prove that they’re a citizen is not something that America is supposed to be about. So, I’m not sure if you understand that.
Supervisor enters scene: Grunt
Supervisor: Just pull up over there (points to line of detained cars)
Anderson: No, thank you… I want to go free on my way. Here I am just going about my own business and I don’t need to stop at a checkpoint to prove who I am because this is America. Correct me if I’m wrong – did I stumble into Mexico or is this still the United States?
Supervisor: This is the United States.
Anderson: Therefore, I should have the freedom to travel unmolested, because I’m in America here.
Supervisor: Ok, go ahead and go.
Score one for liberty and the US Constitution.
It really is that simple.
Sure, some officers will overstep their bounds in an attempt to intimidate and instill fear, but in this case cooler heads prevailed and the officer in charge understood that Mr. Anderson was on the right side of the law, and that their requests for him pulling over and showing identification at a random checkpoint were nothing more than requests, as no such mandate exists without probable cause that criminal activity is taking place.
Mr. Anderson stood up for his rights – his own individual rights. To be free and to enjoy the liberties reserved and protected for the people by the Constitution of the United States it falls upon each of us, as individuals, to ensure the rule of law.
On another day Mr. Anderson may have been detained, perhaps even arrested (unlawfully).
But today in America freedom prevailed.