The clown-prince of DHS checkpoint refusal videos


Still not as good as the doppelganger episode. Probably one of the top 5 most enraging though.

Just watched the Youtube where they break his window -wow! Anyone got any idea what’s happened since with that? Can’t find much with google…


Every time I watch one of these checkpoint video, or a video of police confrontation, or similar, my chest gets tight, my blood pressure rises, and I feel the distinct fight or flight effects and stress of not being able to do either.

I’m very glad I don’t live in the U.S. (Canada is my home and I realize our government looks up to the US situation with the gleaming eyes of a little brother who idolizes the first born) and don’t deal with these situations yet.

I guess my fear here means the programs are working.


Holy shit… Those checkpoints are so … wrong!!

The worst part about these checkpoints is that in these videos some of these guys are recognized, that the CBP knows them but they still stop them and still ask the questions. They have to see the same guys day in and out if you have to commute or go to the store via these routes. What a waste of my tax dollars. Watch the goddamned border.


The latest This American Life podcast has more info on the story.

I recommend the podcast for everyone, the first two acts are about the ATF and DHS bumblings. Its good!

I’m going to file this under: Fuck this shit!

This and things like this must stop yesterday. Check points and government surveillance of all communication. This government has viciously betrayed the country. Fucking outrageous. I have no confidence at all in this government.

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How about a tl;dr for those of us who don’t have time for a full hour podcast?

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From Cory’s post:
“Be sure and listen to the first act, about the unbelievable story of the ATF’s fantastic, farcical storefront gun-stings, which has to be heard to be believed.”

Transcripts are also available on the TAL website, depends how fast you read.

Tl;dr of the ATF bit of the transcript: ATF agents pretended to be a biker gang and set up a store (using a logo stolen from a movie) selling clothes and bongs while actually trying to get people to sell them drugs and guns. They trashed the rented building, allowed sensitive documents and a government-issue fully-automatic M-4 carbine to be stolen, and had such terrible security that burglars were able to rent a U-Haul truck and use it to clean the place out.

Local news article here

Elsewhere, ATF agents did things including hiring, entrapping and criminally charging mentally handicapped people and persuading people to get themselves tattooed with fake business logos including the ATF agent’s nickname…

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Alphabet agencies operating outside the bounds of legality has, sadly, become expected. Trudell receiving any relief for having his rights violated so clearly in the video @Prentiz mentions is what I’d like to know more about.

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Sorry, I was listening at work and not absorbing details enough to restate here as fact.
But I believe the story talks about two window smashing incidents, one of them is detained for the remainder of the day, driven many miles away, then dropped off at a bus stop late at night.

I’d hardly call that relief. :confused:

I think that’s what you call a foot in the door or a slippery slope. so much for the idea of eternal vigilance.

This is my favorite:

Even though I’m not a Christian, I’m willing to adopt these tactics to storm through checkpoints (note that he never answers the officer’s question…)


I don’t understand, are these checkpoints everywhere in the US? How common are they?

I watched a PBS Frontline episode about the dept of Homeland Security and already by 2008
they had spend a trillion dollars on it. There are non-descript buildings in just about every US shopping mall. And yet, the worst terrorist incidents such as the underwear bomber (taken down by passengers - despite his father warning the CIA) or the Times Square bomber - reported by other vendors, just shows that citizens themselves have done a better job.


The checkpoints can technically be anywhere within 100 miles of an international border. I haven’t seen a single one in Washington State, which borders Canada, but I live a little further than a hundred miles south of the Canadian border. I’ve driven to Canada quite a few times, and there doesn’t seem to be any checkpoints on the routes I take right up to the border crossing where you gotta show your passport.

As far as I know, DHS is much more concerned with making sure the Mexican border is secure, and doesn’t seem to worry much about those damn canuks with “calves the size of cantaloupes hauling 75 pounds of poutine across the border.” to riff on the shameful stereotyping of one of our congresspeople.


While they probably are much more concerned about that, it’s worth noting that, on the Canada side (err, US soil, but the part close to Canada) Canadian SF writer Peter Watts was caught up in one of these. When he got out to ask what was going on, and didn’t immediately follow the order to get back in, he was beaten, pepper sprayed, and arrested. (The linked article says it happened at the border, but he subsequently clarified it was a pre-border checkpoint, which was part of the reason he was confused enough to get out and ask what was going on.)

So they DO exist, even if your area or routes don’t have them.

Whenever I watch a video of an authority figure hassling and detaining an obviously innocent man I just picture all the gangsters, murderers, terrorists, kidnappers and illegal immigrants escaping while the officers are dealing with an idiot. I just know they are up on a hill, watching the checkpoint “OK he’s got an arrogant white guy with a camera! GO! RUN!”