Border Patrol's Horrific Treatment Of On The Media's Producer, Family & Friends Highlights The Lack Of Accountability From DHS

from the shameful dept

By now we've all heard plenty of stories about ridiculous goings on at the border by Homeland Security's Customs and Border Patrol agents. We've written many times about questionable electronics searches. Still, I urge people to listen to the story that On The Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman did for last week's episode, all about how she, her family and friends were all detained at the Canadian border for around six hours, the treatment they received and the lack of answers that anyone is willing to give when she asked questions (as a journalist) about these actions. Listen to it and try not to get angry at the shameful behavior of these agents supposedly representing our country.

Everyone they detained was an American citizen, coming back to the US after attending a wedding of a cousin. They were treated terribly, put in a cold room with no food or drinks, and no information on what was going on. CBP demanded they hand over their electronics, and made it clear they might not get them back. The thing is, this isn't a unique situation. As the report notes, there's almost no oversight over CBP actions, allowing them to act with impunity. In the report, the story is told of a 4-year-old girl, an American citizen, who was detained for 14 hours, in a cold room, without being allowed to speak to her parents and given no food beyond a cookie. And then she was deported. Even though she was a US citizen. She was allowed to come back weeks later, but now has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Abdurrahman's own story is perhaps not that crazy, but is still ridiculous. She tried to find out information during the detainment, but was repeatedly told "it's not your right to know." She wasn't even allowed to know the names of the CBP agents who detained them. When she asked, agents turned their backs to her so she couldn't see their name tags. Multiple attempts at getting Homeland Security or CBP to respond to questions failed.

She also tells the story of some other wedding attendees who were similarly detained with incredibly obnoxious behavior from CBP agents. The first one they met was quizzing everyone in the car on their names, and the 3-year-old kid in the back cheerily volunteered his name and the CBP agent snapped at him. The agents initially promised that they wouldn't search their phones, but then demanded that people unlock their phones, and even told them the phones would be confiscated and not returned. People complained that they needed their phones for work and were basically told too bad. Abdurrahman notes that three full cars of people from that one wedding all had their phones confiscated, and she notes that DHS claims only about 15 phones are confiscated each day by CBP, and wonders why everyone from one wedding appear to have nearly reached that quota.

Then there's the really ridiculous part: one of the people detained went through mutliple invasive body searches, and then after five and half hours was suddenly handcuffed and locked up in a jail cell with no explanation at all. He asked the officers to let his family know what was going on, but they didn't. Instead, they told his family to leave, and when they asked what happened, his family was told that "an agency" was coming to "pick him up," without giving any more details -- obviously leading to the worst assumptions. Instead, it turned out the guy had an unpaid ticket for a crooked license plate from 2006. CBP called the Michigan State Police to come "get him" over this -- and, again, didn't explain any of this to his family.

Basically, the CBP seems to act like you'd expect pretty much any group in authority with no oversight to act. They seem to feel free to terrorize people just because they can and because there are no recriminations. And there's basically nothing to be done about this. Abdurrahman finds out that they can submit a complaint, but that such complaints rarely lead to anything, other than getting a cursory letter saying that the complaint has been "dismissed."

The stories and quotes from the various individuals who went through this -- all American citizens just trying to get back into their own country -- are heartbreaking. They talk about how dehumanizing this is, how unwelcome it makes them feel in their own country, how it feels like an attack on their dignity, how it makes them feel like an animal. It's horrifying and shameful. It's also depressing. This is not how any country should act, especially towards its own citizens, and when it's my country acting this way, I'm horrified. Yes, all the stuff about America standing for freedom and whatnot can be seen as its own form of propaganda -- and most people realize that the US has never really lived up to the ideals it sets forth, but to have them stomped on so blatantly, and then having no one willing to answer for them is just... horrific. Sarah, her family and friends, all deserved much better. And, we, as American citizens all deserve much better.



Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 6:23am

    Notice the surnames seem to be Arabic. I wonder if the Nazi Germany did that before going all out.

    I wonder how many have the valors, morals and ethics to wield power without falling into the same abuses we see over an over. I don't include myself in that group but I do think that those who actively seek power for itself are on the far opposite end.

     

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  2.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:10am

    A puzzle?

    You'd think that such a blatantly wrong call by someone as to stop these people, do this and apparently come up with no more than a minor unpaid fine for their clearly over-the-top efforts would be somewhat of a story for mainstream media wouldn't you?

    One has to wonder why things like this don't make a bigger splash.

     

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  3.  
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    Jake, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    If I were you, Mike, I'd set up a video conference rather than going there in person next time you have some Canadian clients. Actually, if I were you I'd be holed up in a cabin in the backwoods with a high-powered rifle and plenty of ammunition by now.

     

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  4.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:16am

    Re:

    I Googled her name and took one look at the picture here:

    http://www.onthemedia.org/people/sarah-abdurrahman/

    Yeah, woman of Arabic descent, wearing a traditional headscarf? I wouldn't be surprised if the apes running security merely assumed they just had to be foreigners despite all evidence to the contrary. Either that or someone made the wrong assumptions about her work in Libya and the like.

    Either way, it doesn't seem like a particularly good way for a country to be treating its own citizens.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Barret Brown articles, "What does the government want with LinkedIn data", a profile for Al Jazeera America, anti-Syria propaganda, face it, she was data mined and is on the list.

    http://www.onthemedia.org/

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Our country frames and kills its own citizens, including children. At least the people in this story get to go home to their families.

     

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  7.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    If I were you, Mike, I'd set up a video conference rather than going there in person next time you have some Canadian clients.
    Funny that isn't it... it makes less people want to cross the border. Perhaps that's the idea.
    A dumb one if so... how much does tourism make for the US economy? I know it's has probably 10's of thousands from me over the years - up to the point where they started shit like this and I haven't been there on holiday since.

     

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  8.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    Next time I go overseas I plan on going to a pawn shop and getting the cheapest laptop I can find. I am also saving my old cell phone to carry on the trip. I am just assuming that those things will be gone when I get to customs. I will probably wipe both on my flight back.

     

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  9.  
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    The Real Michael, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re: A puzzle?

    You mean the MSM which is largely told what to cover by the same government which runs the DHS? They don't want people knowing that this is what would happen nationwide if the government suspended the Constitution like they do along the border. That's why they don't cover it.

     

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  10.  
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    John Doe, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Coming into the US is a pain even if you aren't on any list

    I went to Canada for the day with my wife and we were questioned pretty hard coming back into the US. I went another time with a friend on our motorcycles and we were detained while our bikes were searched. And I am about as American looking and sounding as it gets. I can only imagine how people are treated that fit the terrorist profile, whatever that is.

     

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  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re:

    She's lucky they didn't suspect her of being Canadian.

     

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  12.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 8:53am

    Re: Coming into the US is a pain even if you aren't on any list

    You sir, fit the profile of "homegrown" terrorist. Dont worry, there is a terrorist classification for everyone.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    thats what happens when the people become the enemy of the government. Terrorists don't even have to do anything at this point. America is tumbling down all on its own.

     

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  14.  
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    dutch commie bastard, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    second amendment

    you have a second amendment to deal with a government like this. use it!

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 9:18am

    Our government learned one lesson from the cold war era. It is futile for a country to attempt to keep its citizens within its boarders through force, or the threat thereof. It is also impossible to call your country "free" when it is surrounded by guard towers, barbed wire and walls erected for the purpose of containing citizens. The sole purpose of these entities is to keep us contained by making us afraid to leave for fear the we may not be allowed to return.

     

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  16.  
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    Ninja (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re:

    That. Reminds me of that "nothing to hide, nothing to fear". Well, I have nothing to hide but I fear being locked up for hours being humiliated and having my most basic rights ignored. I'm growing increasingly wary of going to the US. Unfortunately they're joining my 'no-go' list along with the UK and other not that flattering countries such as Iran, Pakistan and so on. A shame.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    Welcome to the USSA

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    and this isn't more examples of Fascist type behavior exactly how? the usa seems to be doing it's best to force every country to copy it one minute, then trying to segregate itself the next. perhaps if it were to close it's borders completely, making itself a mimic of N Korea or similar, it would be better? just remember what happened, eventually, to East and West Germany. the behavior of theses 'guards' is not only appalling, but real scarey too! they have the 'authority' and the power' to carry on like this. it doesn't mean they have to and the person instructing this behavior needs to be seriously questioned. i am going to assume it is a person with the same attitude as the heads of the NSA, DHS and FBI, ie, they have the opinion that they can do whatever they like. i would like to know what they would say if treated in a similar manner, going to another country? i know that most USA citizens seem to have the attitude that they can go anywhere, at any time, for any reason, unrestricted. holding them up is perhaps the way of making them realise they dont run the world!!

     

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  19.  
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    Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:13am

    Her fault

    This is totally her fault, she was TWB (Travelling While Brown). Her husband was named Abdullah, what more evidence does the government need?

     

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  20.  
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    Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: Her fault

    there was supposed to be a

     

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  21.  
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    Trails (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re: Her fault

    oh lord, a sarcasm html tag, techdirt's comment system keeps filtering it cause the above is true I guess.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    It's disgusting that they can __________.

    A) Detain everyone even though they only have a reason to be interested in one person.

    B) Confiscate anything at the border from any of the individuals detained even though they only have a reason to be interested in one person and even for that person the items detained have nothing what-so-ever to do with the alleged infraction.

    C) Strip search a US citizen over a simple ticket.

    D) All of the above.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Re: Her fault

    Traveling with password protected electronics too.

     

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  24.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:27am

    Re:

    "Yes we can!"

    We. We are the authorities.

    You. If you are anything at all you are a potential enemy.

    We. We decide who lives or dies.

    You. You deal with it.

    We. We own you and your property.

    You. You are free.

    Well, I'm pretty fucking disgusted all around but that's just ME. Apparently there is not enough ME to go around so WE get to fuck YOU.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    History was wrong

    The Nazis won the war.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Sarah, her family and friends, all deserved much better. And, we, as American citizens all deserve much better.

    No, we don't.

    If people want to elect, and reelect over and over the likes of Dianne Feinstein, Mike Rogers, Orin Hatch, Lamar Smith, Chris Dodd (until he jumped ship for a bigger paycheck), Dick Durbin, Barack Obama, George Bush - politicians who pay lip service to whichever of the two philosophies they pretend to espouse while basically bowing to whatever particular corporate interests they've chosen to become beholden too.

    If people are too busy watching American Idol, Big Brother, or spend their time paying attention to the like of Honey Boo boo, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Miley Cyrus or Paris Hilton that it too much effort to hold their government accountable for the actions they take.

    Then no, they don't deserve better. They deserve exactly what they are getting.

     

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  27.  
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    crade (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now this guy has no excuse. He's Canadian, he should know better than to go to the U.S.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    Then no, they don't deserve better. They deserve exactly what they are getting.

    I heartily agree. Your average American is an imbecile: he/she believes in primitive superstitions (e.g., "gods") yet rejects rejects science (e.g., "evolution"). He/she knows who the Kardashians are but cannot name any members of the Cabinet. He/she wastes money on a car that can go 135 MPH in a nation where the speed limit is about half that and where in many areas one's lucky to drive one third that fast. He/she elected George W. Bush, a first-class moron, not once, but twice. He/she pay far more attention to sports, prime-time television and fashion than to politics, economics and law.

    The Americans DESERVE to be beaten, detained, raped, tortured, and killed by their own thugs.

     

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  29.  
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    Watchit (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    absolutely despicable!

     

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  30.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    Your bigoted impression of Americans as some kind of uniform stereotype is incorrect.

     

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  31.  
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    PopeRatzo (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Re: A puzzle?

    One has to wonder why things like this don't make a bigger splash.
    Because people who work in the media like their jobs. And their lives. And when you live in a police state, the government has control over both. And they do it in the name of "national security" which is the same excuse they use for the misdeeds of the NSA, DEA, FBI, CIA, and even the CFPB.

    All we can hope for now is that more whistleblowers step forward. It's a hard way to go, but every whistleblower who steps forward is a great patriot.

    One can only hope that someday the people who have used their power to bully people are held accountable. Hopefully, that can happen before it gets really really ugly.

     

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  32.  
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    PopeRatzo (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Re: second amendment

    Don't be a fool. The Second Amendment is a solution to nothing.

    You're a lot better off using the First Amendment.

    Not all solutions are materialist.

     

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  33.  
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    JustMe (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:20am

    I've been wondering

    How long until people start suggesting armed resistance to these tactics? I do not advocate same, just wondering how long people are going to put up with these extra-Constitutional tactics when they occur within the so-called Constitution Free zone that extends 100 miles in to the US.

    (Posting under my usual name because I figure I'll save Mike the trouble of extra log searches when he receives the subpoena)

     

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  34.  
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    Oblate (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Her fault

    Techdirt does not allow you to display HTML <tags /> in comments.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:28am

    This is boderline criminal.

     

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  36.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re:

    Ah. Right. That line item attitude that's right up there with 'you having nothing to fear if ..'.

    Good one. I guess the children are just casual afterthoughts after all.

    If you don't recognize the rigging then plotting a course becomes challenging at best. Clearly that holds true for arm-chair quarterbacks like yourselves, parent poster included.

    And I'll have you know that my car came that way as all the slower models made it necessary that I strap my cat to the roof for fitment.

    I'll also have you know that 1/3rd of 135 MPH is less than my vehicles AVG speed while rolling and 2/3rds is a daily threshold. Unfortunately a full 3/3rds is most often prevented solely due to the potential for extreme financial discomfort albeit 90% of your wasted money theory speed total is not unheard of by any measure. While you have valid points your car theory is pretty far off and your 'they all DESERVE..' is indicative of your need for an unlubed fisting. But don't take my word for it. The proof is in the pudding theory.

    To say nothing of your religious zealotry theory - like 85% of the global population has no religion, superstition, unfounded belief or similar. You're so special, and unique in your superiority. We are all truly blessed to be able to gain from your profound insight.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re:

    Your average American is an imbecile: he/she believes in primitive superstitions (e.g., "gods") yet rejects rejects science (e.g., "evolution").

    You don't even know what you are saying. If evolution is true, then this is just evolution in action. The strong will survive and you are not one of the strong. So no, science nor evolution will save you. Border detention cannot be wrong as there is no real right or wrong w/o God. Only whatever you can get away with. Right now the government is getting away with a lot.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, there is no right or wrong without the goddess.

     

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  39.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re:

    here are two other strategies to foil the stasi:

    1. put all your important/spy/terrorist crap up on 'the cloud' in dropbox, or whatever (hell, you can hardly turn around these days without somebody offering you 10 gigs of cloud space), that way you have nothing on you...

    2. make a live USB stick with puppy linux or similar, and have all your important/spy/terrorist crap on *that*... go into bios of laptop/whatever (and if not already so configured) configure so it boots from USB, do your evil stuff, shut down, put USB in pocket (or more intimate hidey hole), no worries...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, there is no right or wrong unless you listen to what someone wrote down (badly) in a book hundreds of years ago.

     

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  41.  
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    Internet Zen Master (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: second amendment

    While it may not be a solution, the Second Amendment might eventually end up as a way to defend America's right to everything under the First. And Fourth. And Fifth. And Sixth... Did I miss any other Amendments that the government's violated lately?

    Hopefully something like that never happens.

    The Zen Master says, "We'll see."

     

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  42.  
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    Time Lord Today, Gone Tomorrow, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    What be an american?

    Bigoted
    Arrogant
    Know it all
    Wasteful
    Stupid
    Red Necks
    Black Necks
    Sophisticated Hicks
    Unsophisticated Hicks
    Gun Lovers
    Left Liberal Leaners
    Right Tea Party Leaners
    Corrupt Paid Up Politicians
    Lovers of three letter acronym freedom hating organisations
    Complainers
    Invaders
    Drug takers

    You are right John, Americans are not a uniform stereotype.

     

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  43.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Re: I've been wondering

    I have a sneaking suspicion that much like bullies and thugs everywhere, they are highly unlikely to treat someone who looks like they wouldn't have any problems standing up for their rights like that, and instead just pass them through.

    That said if they continue to treat people like this, I'd say it's a when not if, that someone will return the favor and cause some damage, though hopefully nothing as extreme as a shooting.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    Really Confused

    You start the story with Homeland Security then change to CBP.. I can only assume this stands for Canadian Border Patrol? I don't see the reference in the article.

    What does one have to do with the other? Is this about profiling or unusual search & seizure? We expect the world to conform to our rights... when you travel you have no rights except those granted by the county you visit.

    Yes the treatment was abysmal. Yes it was wrong... Don't dress to fit the terrorist profile.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Clarification

    You start the story with Homeland Security then change to CBP

    Customs and Border Patrol

     

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  46.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: second amendment

    so, i can curl up in a fetal position in my free speech pen; be enjoined from saying anything about anything of any importance (and can't say, i can't say anything about anything because of *something* secret); be swept away under secret laws to secret courts with secret judges to secret prisons where i'm secretly non-torture tortured; and then have no recourse through 'our' (sic) justice system, because of ubiquitous 'state secrets'* which trump EVERYFUCKINGTHING...

    you mean *that* powerful 1st amendment mojo ? ? ?


    (*only states are allowed to have secrets, not mere humans...)

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is right and wrong without god. Morality. Ethics. These things do not require a higher power to be upheld.

    Heck, in many ways we believe more in rights and wrongs than ye old religion ever managed "under god."

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Listen, or rather read, what you are saying. There is no God, only evolution. Then you complain when someone stronger than you oppresses you? Do you not see the irony? There is no such thing as right and wrong without God. Only what society decides. Only thing is, not all of society agrees so they are free to do as they please until someone stronger than them puts a stop to it. Just evolution in action, right? So in effect, you guys are complaining about the very thing your theory of evolution tries to explain. You just think it only applies to the animal kingdom I guess?

     

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  49.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Re: What be an american?

    Hey man, you got most of the American government covered and stuff and a good chunk of the population with drugs and guns too and, unfortunately, stupid is a force to be reckoned with.. but you got me thinking.. just where the fuck is your nirvana? Because if your population base doesn't have exclusive list membership attributes similar to these then you've got to be on another planet. That or you're completely under religious or some other oppressive sort of government control setting or, simply, perfect.

    I would add that you should probably visit but I'd rather not suggest subjecting yourself to US Government scrutiny - they don't take kindly to superior, perfect type folks too often, unless you have a lot of money.. or oil.. or maybe drugs.

    *People* are not of a uniform stereotype but are continuously subject to myriad stereotypes. Try to stop thinking like a manipulated little bitch and you might find yourself in the company of interesting people wherever you find yourself.

    The global politics of governments is slowly being introduced to the voices of more and more people. Governments are douches (globally speaking if not locally) and people are people.

     

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  50.  
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    Wolfy, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Getting the government you deserve

    I second that. Too many people would rather focus on sports... they can tell you what football player X did ten years ago, or other trivial things, but they couldn't tell you who their Reps are, or what they've been doing in the last session.

    We in America have let the bible thumpers do our thinking for us, and this is what we get.

    If you want to be a "sheep", expect to get sheared.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is no God, only evolution. Then you complain when someone stronger than you oppresses you?


    You clearly don't understand evolution at all. Hints: god and evolution are not mutually exclusive and evolution does not mean that the stronger oppresses the weaker.

    There is no such thing as right and wrong without God. Only what society decides.


    Bringing religion into it does not let you escape from the notion that right and wrong are "only what society decides". Societies decide what religion is the "true one" (and they don't agree), and so are still deciding what is right and wrong in the end.

    Saying that without god there is no morality is nonsensical anyway. If you behave in a particular way merely because an authority figure tells you to behave that way, then you aren't acting morally at all. You are only obeying instructions.

    To act morally (or immorally) demands that you make the distinction for yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    They don't seem to have any problem killing us, so....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Digger, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:51pm

    Time to post CBP employee names and addresses online...

    Then see how many people they illegally detain.

    I for one would love to see a US Military unit walk up to them, ask them about their Constitutional violations, then public executions of these CBP terrorists for committing acts of treason against the constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: second amendment

    Confirmed.

    (stamps visa and passport and returns your phone freshly embedded with stealth(ier) tracking kit)

    Welcome to America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your whole argument here doesn't hold water. Without God, there is no true right and wrong. Only however people want to define it. So complaining about people believing in God instead of evolution and then complaining about being oppressed is rather ridiculous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Getting the government you deserve

    We in America have let the bible thumpers do our thinking for us, and this is what we get.

    Exactly. So when are you going to do something about it? If I recall correctly, at the moment, you don't even tax religions. You let these idiots decide your laws, your curriculum, you allow them to own real estate, and meanwhile they're engaged in systematic organized rape of your children (in the case of the Catholics), mass fraud (televangelists and others) and the destruction of scientific research.

    I have no idea why you haven't simply slaughtered them en masse. Let them go meet the gods they claim they believe in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Getting the government you deserve

    Bible thumpers? No, I don't think so. I think that you're falling for the basest of divisive tactics. The people with the slightest control over our direction are subject to the influences of money to such a degree that merely fleshing out what an actual fucking problem is is nigh impossible. Good luck with addressing it once it's flushed out too.

    If you desire people to bend over, forcefully or otherwise, what do you think is the better influence? God or money? "God" can't do shit but give a bible to some cunt with money and .. good luck standing up. Look what Osama did with the Quran and a fucking trust fund. He managed to crush a country with a bunch of fucking religious monkeys in airplanes. (rather caused said country to crush itself is probably slightly more accurate)

    This is going downhill fast boys, strap the fuck in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    loaderboy (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    It's ironic

    CBP is putting american citizens through this kind of crap to find terrorists. All the while they are unknowingly (or not) potentially creating the very thing for which they search.



    Job security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Start publishing the names of the people doing this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Without God, there is no true right and wrong."

    What? What the fuck is "true" right or wrong? Something decipherable based upon your particular version of your particular religion? Talk about not holding water.

    If your beliefs are formed and based merely on the theoretical presence of a superior being I'd dare say that you're not quite ready to dictate what is and what isn't based upon what is or is not "true".

    If fact, your last sentence makes no fucking sense at all. Complaining about God instead of evolution vs complaining about being oppressed.. wut?

    And "your theory of evolution" - fuck.. is that stitched on all your sleeves? Because you wear it well.

    And here's something for your brain to masticate on: God is Man in his infancy thus, we are, in the rudimentary sense, before God. The proverbial Hand, if you will.

    Like he's a wizard or something. Fabulous. You just keep doin what you're doing I guess. No harm done.

    Christ - who the fuck got me riled up today? Fucking USA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think we're all "riled up", to use your phrase, because this latest episode is the epitome of injustice. People who have a modicum of power are using it not to provide safety, not to assist travelers, not to enforce a few modest regulations, but to intimidate, to bully, to coerce, to threaten, to lie -- and yes, to terrorize, as that is, I think, the most accurate description of what was done to that poor little girl.

    This makes us angry -- well, any of us with any sense of justice. It's wrong. It's WAY wrong. It's HORRIBLY wrong. And the worst part is that it's just a microcosm of what's going on every day all around us. Whether it's the NSA or the CBP or the FBI or the DHS or the police, people in positions of power are operating with increasing impunity outside the law, both the spirit and letter.

    Given that Americans are more likely to be killed by their furniture than by a terrorist (yes, really: look it up) it is a measure of their unbounded national fear and paranoia that they've inflicted all this on themselves in response to a tiny and unimportant threat. They have spent enough money to provide health care, food, clothing, housing and education for every single one of their less-fortunate citizens...but they've spent on the agencies above and on their military, which has never seen a useless weapons systems that it couldn't spent trillions on.

    The US, it is said, has the largest prison population in the world. I submit that's true -- but that the number involved is 300 million: they've built it and now they're all living in it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    Abolish the Border.

    The best thing to do to the Customs and Border Patrol employees on the United States-Canada border would be to abolish them. The United States and Canada need an "Open-Border Agreement," similar to the European Schengen Agreement.

    The level of economic differences between the United States and Canada are small compared to those between, say Greece and Sweden. This means that some measures adopted in Europe are unnecessary in North America. For example, the Schengen Agreement has a fallback in the fact that European hotel-keepers are required to check and report identity documents. Obviously, this is justified by Greek unemployment levels, and the tendency for Greeks to seek menial employment in North Europe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Ar ea

    In the United States, you have to show your papers to get a non-temporary job. The kind of work which illegal immigrants can do, without papers which can stand up to extended examination, is extremely restricted. It mostly consists of jobs which Americans will not do, eg. agricultural stoop-labor. Likewise, you have to show your papers to collect certain welfare/social benefits, to establish that you are not collecting twice under different names. And the same for voting. This is a sufficient level of immigration control against the kind of people whom Canada would let into Canada. A Chinese engineer wants a regular job with Intel, or Microsoft, so he needs a proper visa, no matter where his body is.

    I would invite comment from Canadians. What are your requirements for dismantling your side of the frontier?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    C'mon folks, don't feed the Trolls!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
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    Oblate (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Really Confused

    ou start the story with Homeland Security then change to CBP.. I can only assume this stands for Canadian Border Patrol?

    Couldn't Become Police?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice summary, thanks.

    I think we're going to need a bigger boat.

    It might also be about that time - time to submit to that qualified American stereotype of becoming a drug user - and then sharpen some sticks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Hey?! Everyone's got to eat man, have a heart.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
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    JMT (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Really Confused

    "You start the story with Homeland Security then change to CBP.. I can only assume this stands for Canadian Border Patrol? I don't see the reference in the article."

    Read the first sentence!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You've misunderstood my argument as well. It's that people are always the ones defining right and wrong, whether they think they are or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
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    anonymouse, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    I wonder how long before people start fighting back, i am sure it is just a matter of time before some extremist starts doing what they do in iraq and driving into these border controls with tons of explosives.

    What is Obama doing about this, is he blind to the fact that his country is being closed down at the borders.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Yes, all the stuff about America standing for freedom and whatnot can be seen as its own form of propaganda

    It's a shame Masnick that you can not live up to those ideals either, your standing for 'freedom' is your own form of propananda, why should we believe what you say, when what you do has so much more impact..

    Let me guess, this will be forever 'HELD FOR CENSORSHIP' because it's a form of free speech you don't agree with..

    SO YOU CENSOR... !!!!!

    so why do you think you are any better ???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 24th, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    Another vote for a "Groan" button. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    My country is shameless..

    "And, we, as American citizens all deserve much better. "

    American or not, nobody deserves to be treated like that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 7:26pm

    I found this article most disturbing. It seems once you leave US soil, you also leave your rights as a US citizen behind.

    Kind of like what happened to Edward Snowden when his passport was revoked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Time Lord Today, Gone Tomorrow, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 7:41pm

    Re: Re: What be an american?

    You miss the irony.

    Substitute X for american and you have anywhere, everywhere. Even my own people lost it in the end and declared war on the universe. It took one to stop us and we were still arrogant enough to think we could still get away with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Reading the post and the comments I noticed that there is much emphasis on American citizens, Our own citizens etc. But do the foreign have no rights then, are they not people too? Do they not deserve some decency?

    Its clear Americans don't want to be treated like this at home, but do Americans wish to be treated like this when they arrive someplace else?
    This has been OK and accepted treatment (on a daily basis) to foreign visitors entering the USA for the last years 12 years or so (since 911).

    It's not so much about how CBP treats Americans or their own citizens, its about human dignity and mutual respect. How about some tiny level of courtesy? You want to do a checkup or investigation because of someones surname? It's understandable, you can go right ahead but at least make some attempt to not criminalize and dehumanize the subjects.


    PS: In my case, I can still cite all the CBP officer's names from memory, even though it was more then 5 years ago since I had to go trough a "secondary" (whatever that is) and had to wait for 4 hours in a cold waiting room, with no food or drinks, not allowed to stand up and no phone. Those restrictions are even ok compared to not even knowing why or being able to tell my family waiting outside the airport why they can't find me or that I am ok.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    I know how to read, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:40pm

    Re: Really Confused

    Line 2: "Customs and Border Patrol"

    Cheers!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Devon, Sep 24th, 2013 @ 10:44pm

    They're not actual law enforcement

    DO NOT stop for them. Tell them you only pull over for actual law enforcement, then keep on going.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Getting the government you deserve

    First of all, you realize that seperation of Church and State would no longer exist if the latter decided to tax the former, correct? Churches do not pay taxes because of the free exercise provision within the 1A. For all your blind hatred against it, Christianity has done tremendous charity work through social service programs, orphanages, soup kitchens and other such means. Go ahead and pull their tax-exemption and watch what happens when the Church's burden suddenly falls on the American taxpayer.

    You blindly attack Catholicism as being "child rapists" and yet...

    "The surveys filtered information provided from diocesan files on each priest accused of sexual abuse and on each of the priest's victims to the research team so that they did not have access to the names of the accused priests or the dioceses where they worked. The dioceses were encouraged to issue reports of their own based on the surveys that they had completed. Of the 4,392 priests who were accused, police were contacted regarding 1,021 individuals and of these, 384 were charged resulting in 252 convictions and 100 prison sentences; 3,300 were not investigated because the allegations were made after the accused priest had died. So in total, out of the 109,694 priests who were surveyed, only 252 were convicted.

    Thus, 6% of the 4,392 priests against whom allegations were made (252 priests in total) were convicted and about 2% of the 4,392 accused priests (100 priests) received prison sentences. According to the John Jay report, one-third of the accusations were made in the years 2002 and 2003 and another third of the allegations were reported between 1993 and 2001."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jay_Report

    252 convictions total out of over a hundred-thousand priests. Needless to say, not the widescale epidemic you would like to portray it as being. But then such is the case with low information citizens being spoon-fed propaganda from mainstream sources...

    As far as televangelists, yeah, they're frauds, but that's in no way is the fault of Christianity. Jesus spoke up against the pharisees of His day who preached one thing yet did the opposite. Correlation does not equal causation.

    "I have no idea why you haven't simply slaughtered them en masse. Let them go meet the gods they claim they believe in."

    Ah, and so the extremist element shines through. It's rather difficult to preach down upon others while you yourself openly advocate genocide. But par for the course with regards to militant atheism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    identicon
    Craig Martin, Nov 30th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Involuntary Manslaughter

    My 24 year old son, Alex, was killed on 03/15/12 outside of San Diego by the Border Patrol. He was heading on Spring Break to his birth place of Carlsbad, CA from our home in Southlake, Tx. to visit childhood friends when he was pulled over late in the evening. We have been told that they funneled him into an ambush position, deployed spike strips, 3 agents approached his car, broke windows and shot him with a tazer. If that isn't enough, they then claim that the car blew up burning him alive. OMG WE WANT THESE MEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR KILLING OUR SON. We have professional counsel and have been patient....going on 2 years without an explanation or prosecution.

    I served as a Captain in the USMC, know excessive force when I see it! My son never got out of his seat belt.

    Believe that Involuntary Manslaughter charges should be sought.

    Craig Martin

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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