Canadian Couple Arrested at US Border

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Here's the audio which the couple was able to record when they were harrassed and arrested by our fine US border gestapo. Thom ought to play this on the program and try to interview the folks arrested. Speaks poorly of the US doesn't it? This once great nation has fallen so far that the rest of the world looks upon us as villains and here we can see why:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=815_1272954615

captbebops's picture
captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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'Our country 'tis of thee', right?

Reminds me of those shows where they have the Nazi uniformed out speaking in a strong German accent, 'We have ways of making you talk....'--and add to it, 'You no longer have the right to remain silent....'

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This isn't all that new. My wife and I took a rode trip to Vancouver B.C. about 35 years ago. I made a wise-crack about heroin (I thought it was pretty innocuous) at the border and we had to sit for about 3 hours while the Canadian border guards tore our car apart. My wife was pissed at me for a week.

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Art
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I made a wise-crack about heroin...--Art

I didn't hear anything in that video indicating that the Canadian couple did anything like that.

Why can't people sue the police for 'inappropriate use of policing impositions' under the 'unreasonable search and seizures' amendment in the Constitution? According to Akhil Reed Amar (author of The Bill of Rights), early Americans could sue along those lines (and they often won those lawsuits)--but that constitutional right was preempted by a 'search warrant' around the beginning of the 20th century. Now, as Akhil Reed Amar notes, with a 'search warrant', the police can storm your house at 3 am as a full SWAT brigade, tear it apart looking for 'contraband', find nothing but still leave your house in shambles, and you now can nothing about it....

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

So if you state that you don't know which stores you are going to visit and laugh when you say that you are insulting the officer and if you try to explain the humor in that you are handcuffed and face criminal charges. Thom could say it better but that's my best stab it. Good information to know no matter how you look at it.

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stonesphear
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Apr. 19, 2010 7:07 pm

Truth be known this sort of activity is common. Any excuse to raise the adrenaline level will suffice. A joke, a laugh , or any objection what so ever no matter how minor the objection might be is cause to raise the heart beat of the authority figure and he indulges in that. The more authority you give him the more opportunity to indulge . He has a Boring job, but he has the opportunity of creating danger and in doing so he adds interest and excitement to his job. This whole scenario was manufactured by the authority figures, fun and games, and it happens all the time. I said the word bomb at an airport check point once and was overheard. Oh My God! They were more interested in creating trouble than listening and they wouldn't let me proceed till they had their fill of growling and snarling while others patiently waited to board. Awful

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stonesphear
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Apr. 19, 2010 7:07 pm

Among the many jobs my father held in his life, one was as a Texas Highway Patrolman. In his day, as my father tells it, he was told to treat the people with respect since they, as taxpayers, were actually the ones that paid for his job. Nowadays, again as my father reflects, the cops approach you like you are already guilty and can do what they want with you.

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Kerry
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

To read you guys, one would think that this is some kind of recent phenomenon. It's not. Any law enforcement job will attract the worst kind of power hungry dregs from amongst us. Conversely, it also attracts people who genuinely want to make a positive impact on society. It's always been that way. The problem is that the dregs are supposed to be weeded out in the academic process (for example, the police academy), which like any other publicly funded educational system in the U.S. these days, isn't exactly a model of quality output. That educational system needs better funding, too.

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drew013
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

This is a Category BS arrest and that couple should be released without process.

These are two ordinary, decent, law-abiding people who, as the first 47 seconds of the recording reveals, were perfectly cooperative with that obviously frustrated pseudo-cop who seemed determined to provoke some cause to assert his authority, which he ultimately did.

While it is perfectly reasonable to expect ordinary people to react with surprised humor when confronted with what seems to be unreasonable suspicion, neither of these people said or did anything to that Customs Officer which is categorically offensive. But after the supervisory officer arrived the male did rather stupidly allow himself to be drawn into a verbal transaction which might be considered confrontational or uncooperative within the increasingly totalitarian standards of the federal law-enforcement bureaucracy. It's too bad he isn't sophisticated enough to have played it cool and turned the trap around, which he easily could have done once he realized the kind of mentality he was dealing with.

Anyway, if charges are preferred against this couple for the purpose of covering the asses of the two uniformed goons to whom they failed to display proper obeisance, they probably have a good chance of getting the charges dismissed and the record expunged, but they will need to hire a good international lawyer and invest the time and travel it will take in bringing it to court. I'm sure that any reasonable judge, upon hearing the relevant 47 seconds of the tape, will realize that there is no good reason to stain the records of these two Canadians because of the fragile ego of a bored border watchman.

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MikeK
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

He didn't like the typical border questions, so he flips the cop a ration of shit. Great idea. The arrested Candian might learn from this uncomfortable experience....or not.

I've crossed the border numerous times. Redundant questions are par for the course. I expect the cops there to do what it takes to profile the bad elements that want to do harm. If I was offended, I would choose to not cross the border.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am
Quote slabmaster:

He didn't like the typical border questions, so he flips the cop a ration of shit.

The first 47 seconds of the recording tell the tale. The male subject answered every question he was asked and he did nothing that even mildly suggested he was uncooperative. It was clearly the male's tone when the questioning reached the point of ridiculous excess that pushed the officer's button, causing him to assert his authority when there was no real need or provocation to do so. I'm not aware of anything that male subject said that could be regarded as "flipping a ration of shit."

I've crossed borders as well and in my opinion the kind of questioning that goes on in some instances is about as potentially useful as is the shoe removal and other harrassing rituals imposed by the TSA at airports. It is redundant. It is conceived by barely competent political appointees to justify their equally redundant existences and is responsible for creating many of the same kind of situations we're discussing here.

I'm sure you'll agree that potential border-crossing terrorists will occur in one of two configurations, either stupidly obvious or much too sophisticated to be detected by the kind of redundant and pointless questioning heard on the recording. And it should be kept in mind that while such annoying redundancies are taking place at booths at both our Southern and Northern borders hundreds of illegal entrants are slipping through pine forests from Canada into Maine and jumping the fence between Mexico and the U.S.

I will agree that the male Canadian did lapse into sophomoric smart-ass rejoinder when he was baited to do so by the supervisor. But until that point there was absolutely no reason to play Gestapo agent with him, which is precisely what provoked this incident. Those Customs Officers should be as well schooled in the need for and the techniques of avoiding such unnecessary assertions of authority as are the highway patrol officers of most states. This is America, not Nazi Germany, and law enforcement agents should expect some reasonable degree of bemused or annoyed response from ordinary citizens whom they challenge and not respond with such sensitivity. Because it's tough shit if they don't receive the kind of submissively intimidated response they like from everyone they deal with.

Great idea. The arrested Candian might learn from this uncomfortable experience....or not.

What that Canadian couple learned from this experience is that particular Customs Officer is a frustrated pseudo-cop who really should be working in a maximum security prison rather than dealing with ordinary citizens whom they have no cause or indication to believe are anything but peaceful and law-abiding.

Do you believe that young Canadian couple deserve to have their futures stained by arrest records just because they failed to appear sufficiently intimidated by some nitwit with a badge and fantastic notions about his own importance? Do you think they deserve to be charged with assault, as asserted by that supervisory officer? Do you think they actually assaulted anyone?

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MikeK
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I think the last two minutes or so was telling in the change of tone exhibited by the Canadian. He was very sorry for being a smartass when faced with accountibility for his mouth. Cops have a very defensive job. Like anyone, some are better at it than others. I try to play the odds and 1. Avoid them. 2. Respect their authority or face the extent of it, which is generally relevent to the mood of the cop.

Charged with assault? Nah. Way overkill for what happened. Maybe a body cavity search or a few hours sitting on a cement floor would have been more appropriate. His wife probably beat the tar out of him when they got home for acting like an ass anyways.

I was tagged by a cop plane running radar in eastern WA at 140+ on I-90 last year. When I spotted the tiny white blip on the horizen, I hammered the brakes and consequently was pulled over. The cop approached my window and asked me what seemed like a silly question. "Did you realize just how fast you were going?" I told him that I was intentionally speeding and I realized that I was now probably in a fair amount of shit. He told me the plane reported I was pulling away from them. He advised me that double the speed limit+ is not a good way to start my weekend (impounded car etc...) paused... and asked how I get the go ahead from the wife to bring cars like this home, as he had been trying to buy a Harley for years only to get vetoed at home. My advise was to stop by the Harley shop on the way home and ....just buy it. When you get home, you'll get grief, but it won't last. A mans gotta "live" type of stuff and he works his tail off etc.... I think every husband has a few "isn't this great" excuses built into the wedding vows that wives will tolerate after they throttle them. (psycho wives excluded)

He laughed and gave me a warning.

Cops are people too. Sometimes you can run into a real prick, but to antagonise them thinking your smart ass behavior will be tolorated is a mistake. I'd rather play the odd's and get along with them if possible. The dumbshit Canadian turned into a mouthy punk and received his smackdown for it.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am

Washington State Patrol officers I've known are usually better educated and trained than the border agent on the recording. I would say the same is true of CHP officers too. I was lucky back in the 1980s when I was living in eastern Washington by the local state patrol chief .... to talk about computers. He and his wife ran a computer store on the side. ;)

Another pulled me over one night to tell me I had a tail light out and said that "he hated to bother me on my way home from work" and I wonder why he assumed I was on my way home from my playing gig at the country club. Next week there he was in the audience and that's how he knew who I was. We even played for his unsuccessful run for sheriff.

In this town when the rookies have someone on the street for questioning I will often see another police car roll up. It is usually a senior officer to make sure the rookies don't make any mistakes or get out of line.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I certainly appreciate Mr. Hartmann's warning the illegals to stay out of Arizona because AZ is full of nazis and racists - I hate to ask more, but if it is possible, when he explains how racist AZ is, could he please add that they can go to california where there are desired and also because Cal has more money than AZ and likes to support the drain on their economy

Right on!! all illegals stay out of AZ because AZ is full of nazis and racists

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Frank Raines
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Apr. 26, 2010 10:24 am

Four years ago my wife and I took a trip to Canada. We entered Canada through an upstate NY entry point. We planned to drive all the way across Canada to Vancouver. This the fifth or sixth time we had visited starting with our honeymoon in 1962. When I returned from Vietnam we spent two weeks in the Maritime provinces with our kids. We have friends in Canada that I served with. We and our children have visited them there. But I will never go to Canada again.

When we entered Canada three years ago, we were asked to pull our car aside for inspection by Canadian Customs. We were in our late 60s and driving a Lexus SUV. Neither of us fits the profile of a drug runner, escaped con or whatever. When we got out of our vehicle, two Canadian customs officials went through our suitcases item by item putting their gloved hands on and through every bit of our packed clothing. We stood there while this went on for over an hour. I was denied permission to use the restroom. Meanwhile, cars of Canadians loaded with God knows what and including some pretty seedy characters drove right on through. When the inspection of all our belongings ended, we had to go inside the customs building and get questioned and then wait for the results of their computer queries about us. This lasted for another half hour. They refused to accept my retired US military ID as identification despite the US and Canada being military Allies in NATO. They preferred my Oregon driver's license.

They found nothing adverse about us because there was nothing to find. They would not provide any reason on why we were the only car pulled over for their repulsive treatment. The only reason I could surmise was that they hated George W. Bush for the invasion of Iraq. Well, so did I. They then had the audacity to stay "Enjoy your stay in Canada." I told them that, if it were not for our pre-paid hotel reservations across Canada, I would have turned around and re-entered the US right there never to return. We went across Canada, left Vancouver a day early, and will never return.

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Regis
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May. 12, 2010 3:46 pm
Quote Regis:

They then had the audacity to say "Enjoy your stay in Canada." I told them that, if it were not for our pre-paid hotel reservations across Canada, I would have turned around and re-entered the US right there never to return. We went across Canada, left Vancouver a day early, and will never return.

I've crossed in and out of Canada several times over the past fifty years and never had a problem -- which is not to say it couldn't happen. Because the ten-percent factor applies to Customs Officers as well as to most other law enforcement categories on both sides of the border, as your anecdote and the audio recording of the Canadians' experience affirms.

But just as the petty authority freak on the U.S. side who stupidly mishandled the Canadian couple does not represent the general disposition of all Americans toward our Northern neighbors my experience has been that most Canadians are friendly and welcoming toward Americans and are generally nice people. So you shouldn't let your negative experience with two or three exceptions to the rule operate to deprive you of whatever benefit your trips into Canada might offer. But if I were you I would complain about that unnecessarily offensive treatment to the American Consulate in Canada, cc the Canadian Customs Authority and, most importantly, Canada's tourism bureau.

If you happen to push the right button you'll be helping a lot of other Americans to avoid similarly bad treatment.

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MikeK
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I entered Toronto last summer with my 13 y/o daughter, and the questions that surprised me, were 'Why are you going to Niagra Falls' [a: to see the falls] and 'Do you have a written authorization from her mother' . We were sent to secondary interview. I asked what what was the reason, calmly, - after politely complying with all requests and answering all questions, and only after the secondary, and was granted entry.

I have made a few international border crossings, customs, immigration, passport control. Until you have entered the country, you have no rights, and you have left the country of your departure so no rights from there either.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The border guards have absolute authority to do anything they want; you have absolutely no rights of any kind. With scared citizens demanding that no nastiness traverse national borders, expect questioning designed to throw the traveller off balance, never crack wise with the border guards, have all your paperwork in meticulous order, and don't blame a whole country for an unpleasant crossing experience.

Enjoy the 21st century! If you'd like less confrontational border crossings, try the EU countries.

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rickf
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote douglaslee:

I entered Toronto last summer with my 13 y/o daughter, and the questions that surprised me, were 'Why are you going to Niagra Falls' [a: to see the falls] and 'Do you have a written authorization from her mother' . We were sent to secondary interview. I asked what what was the reason, calmly, - after politely complying with all requests and answering all questions, and only after the secondary, and was granted entry.

I have made a few international border crossings, customs, immigration, passport control. Until you have entered the country, you have no rights, and you have left the country of your departure so no rights from there either.

I wonder what would have happened if you'd answered "to go over the falls in a barrel of course".

I can see the question about your daughter as estranged parents often basically kidnap their kids to get away from the custodial parent. Crossing states lines and international borders is a problem. My brother in law is trying to marry a gal from Mexico and import her to the states. Getting her ex-husbands permission to take her daughter out of country has been a headache.

slabmaster
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Apr. 1, 2010 11:12 am
Quote rickf:

The border guards have absolute authority to do anything they want; you have absolutely no rights of any kind. With scared citizens demanding that no nastiness traverse national borders, expect questioning designed to throw the traveller off balance, never crack wise with the border guards, have all your paperwork in meticulous order, and don't blame a whole country for an unpleasant crossing experience.

Enjoy the 21st century! If you'd like less confrontational border crossings, try the EU countries.

There are those who claim that a North American Union is in the works and papers were published from meetings between the US, Mexico and Canada to set up the process. I would move to Mexico in a heartbeat because the climate suits me if the damn place weren't so corrupt.

Security experts will tell you all that crap at the borders and even at the airports is "theater" to assure the public that they are on the lookout for "terrorists." Of course a lot of it is BS.

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captbebops
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I just experienced the Canadian Border treatment at peach arch.

Drove through, was asked why I was coming, yada yada.. Said I was going to gamble. The lady proceeds to ask me why I would be gambling alone. WTF, these people are retards. Then asks me if I have any knives, weapons or pepper spray.. Remembering that I purchased pepper spray, a week or so ago I was not sure if I removed it from my car.. Me being the model citizen, admitted to not knowing if I had pepper spray.. I could have just lied and she would have never known.. Turns out I had no pepper spray in the car.. So I said im not sure on the pepper spray, tried to look then she gives me this piece of paper and has me go for the "special treatment".

I park my car walk inside and these drug sniffing dogs are all around me. Another guy proceeds to ask me the same questions, takes my keys and my cell phone. Says no phones are allowed inside. (Bullshit of course but we will get back to that later)

Asks me more questions. I then sit down for 30 mins. He comes back asks me literally THE SAME FUCKING QUESTIONS again. Says he looked through my phone and that no canadian numbers were in there.. Said he was worried I might be moving to Canada.. Ya dude I'm moving to canada, with the clothes on my back. ALONE. WTF

I almost wanted to tell him to watch his tone. I don't know who these punks think they are. But I am far more important then him or anyone else there will ever be. I could never understand why these jerkoffs can't treat people with respect. Is it that big of a deal? Don't worry compadre you are still carrying your gun, which I doubt you know how to use. You have all the power. Go beat up your wife or something and save your fucking attitude for her.

So as I was waiting I look around. These "officers" are literally children. None could have been older then 30. Walking around with guns, making innocent people feel uncomfortable. Hey this is all the power these losers will ever have in their lives. This goes for both US and Canadian border crossing agents.

Ya protecting the country from harm. My ass, these retards couldnt protect a fly.

That said. They are within their rights to ask you any questions, search anything they want. You are technically under arrest until they are done with you. Rarely will anything serious happen to you, as it's lots of paperwork, and I doubt any of the noobs there would know what to do.

On a related and funny note a friend of mine passed into the Canadian border with 3 drug warrants, they asked him all these questions searched everything and let him go.. Missed the warrants apparently. Like I said. RETARDS!

I use to feel sorry for these officers, and actually were grateful they were there protecting my homeland.. However, I realize they arent protecting anything. They belong at walmart as greeters.

So my reward for being honest? An hour long WASTE OF FUCKING TIME, with preschoolers. Don't lie to me about my phone and why I can't take it with me. It contains information that is classified for my work purposes.

Lol @ the stupid buffalonian "supervisor" giving his speech and trying to teach him a lesson by saying "do you know where you are?" "it's assult for pulling away and not letting them handcuff you" No it isnt! I'd be like, im here because your staff is retarded and likes to pick on people.

They probably got released with no charges nothing and sent back to Canada.

Anyway like a prior poster said, I was really close to just turning around and heading back into the US. Ya good job border agents. I likely will never return to canada again.

PS terrorists take airplanes or boats to cross the border. They don't do it by car.. Sigh what morons.

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canadianbordere...
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May. 22, 2010 5:40 am

As you point out they hire young people under 30 who are easily brainwashed into believing that there are terrorists hiding under their bed. Anyone older might start wondering about such a thing.

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captbebops
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