Friday, August 13, 2010

Not Guilty (again)

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The two traffic-related misdemeanors that my husband was charged with following the abuse he suffered at the hands of DPS and Border Patrol were dismissed with prejudice back in December of 2009.

The state prosecutor appealed this ruling, and his appeal was accepted, which led to the jury trial that took place in Yuma yesterday and today.

The verdict of the jury was "Not Guilty" on both counts (obstructing a public highway; disobeying an officer's orders directing traffic). I believe that this ruling cannot be appealed by the prosecution.

I don't have any more details at this time, but I am sure my husband will be posting more information soon.

Thank you to all who prayed and showed their support!

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Edited to add: There are a few more interesting facts I wanted to add about the trial:

  • As it turns out, the dog never alerted to my husband's car, as per the dog handling expert that was called on the witness stand. The wording that he used was that the dog was "on the fringe" or probably about to alert, but never did. The supposed "dog alert" was the probable cause that border patrol was citing for sending my husband into secondary inspection. On my husband's video tape, at the very start, one of the agents can be heard while my husband was still rolling up to the stop, telling the agent doing the stop to send my husband to secondary inspection for having a video camera on. Then that agent approaches his car, telling him he needed to pull into secondary inspection because the dog had alerted. Obviously, they were just lying to justify their harassment of him. My husband repeatedly asked for the dog to be brought back out to prove that it would in fact alert, and that it wasn't just fabricated, but border patrol would not do so, even after being asked by DPS to bring the dog back to the vehicle.
  • DPS (highway patrol) officer Jones, who was called on scene by border patrol (as they have no jurisdiction to hold people for no cause or force them into secondary inspection), never one time told my husband to pull over into secondary inspection, in spite of the fact that under oath he testified that he had told my husband twice. This was supposedly him "directing traffic", hence the charge of disobeying an officer's orders directing traffic. Thankfully, the whole hour-and-a-half incident was chronicled on my husband's video camera, so there was no denying the facts. In fact, before officer Jones ever even approached my husband, he had put stop strips (nail strips that would have slashed the tires) in front of my husband's car tires, as well as a "stop" sign, which would have made it impossible to obey such an order if it had been given (which it wasn't). Hence, the jury unanimously concluded my husband did not disobey an officer's orders directing traffic.
  • The other charge was "obstructing a public highway". For this charge to apply, my husband would have had to knowingly cause a dangerous obstruction of the highway. For one, this was happening in the middle of the night, when there was very little traffic, with two inspection lanes open. My husband was only stopped in one of them, and what little traffic there was moved seamlessly through the other lane. Secondly, he was not the one causing the stop - they were forcing him to stop. He was willing to leave anytime they told him he could (leaving before they say you can is a felony). In fact, the whole border patrol checkpoint is THEM obstructing the freeway. If it were not for that, people would be traveling down that strip of freeway at 75 mph (the speed limit there), rather than slowing down to 5 mph and then having to stop completely. Again, the jury came to the verdict of "not guilty" based on the video evidence.
  • My husband had been told he had been tasered for 18 seconds - first a deployment of 13 seconds, and another one for 5 seconds immediately following. As it turns out, there was a 3-4 second break between the two taser shocks, something my husband did not feel at all, because obviously his body was still feeling the pain during that time. That means that to him, it felt like he was being tasered for upward of 21 seconds, although it probably took his body several seconds to stop feeling the pain after the second deployment as well. In contrast, the DPS officer who deployed the taser, officer Mitchell, testified that he first deployed the taser for 5 seconds, and then a second time for a little longer, maybe about 10 seconds. That was the guy who bust out my husband's window and tased him with a smile on his face, as again caught on camera.
I am so glad my husband had his camera on that night. He has been through these checkpoints hundreds of times while traveling for business, and without that solid evidence to prove his innocence, the jury might well have believed the lies (intentional or due to poor memory) of the involved agents.

17 comments:

  1. I wish that we had 'loser pays' when the government goes after a citizen who is innocent, and loses. It doesn't seem fair that the innocent has to pay to prove his innocence.

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  2. Thank God! Hopefully all this mess is over with now!

    Also, Happy Anniversary :)

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  3. This opens a WIDE door for a major civil judgement. Please,Please thank Pastor Anderson for standing up for our beloved Constitution. A multi million dollar judgement against these thugs will ring the "Liberty Bell" loud,long and far across this great country. I swear, I hear a bell ringing now. May the Lord continue to bless and keep all of you in His divine protection. Amen

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  4. Congratulations on your victory. I am so proud of you and your family for standing up against an insane injustice. This police state has got to stop! The dogs are not proof positive just a way to blame it on something that can't testify against you. You truely have helped all Americans!!!

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  5. I am so glad to hear this , congratulations . I wish everybody would stand up for our rights , maybe then we wouldn't be in the shape were in now . Also thanks for the post on the homo depot , I will not be shopping there anymore .

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  6. I am not much in favor of suing the Government, but in your case I'd sue for MILLIONS & hope you do!

    -Chantal

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  7. Hi! I have not talked to you since I ran into you at Sam's Club. I am here working at the polls with guess who???? Audrey from your church! Boy, it's a small world. :) So, she was curious about he whole story of what happened to your husband so I brought her here to your page to read all about it. We read it together.

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  8. I'm thankful that your husband knew his rights and stood up for them. And I am so glad that the jury obviously did not assume that the police were right just because they said so. Someone has to oppose this tyranny and I'm glad your husband was willing and able.

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  9. I don't agree with a lot of what your husband says from the pulpit but I'm with him 100% on this.

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  10. Steve, I am Rev Sal DiSciascio from North Carolina. I am a Disabled Vet and former US Army Ranger. I am glad the Lord gave you the strength to deal with the out-of-control "lawmen". If it had been me, there would have been blood on the moon. I own and train 3 big dogs, 2 huskeys and a Shepherd. I have trained them to "alert" to a simple hand gesture that looks completely innocuous. That whole "the dog alerted" thing really needs some kind of correbiration. But, crooked cops are gonna git ya, I guess. Fight on and may He bless and keep your whole family and flock.

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  11. Roll through any checkpoints with a camera since...?

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  12. This is terrible! The police just attack and tase people with wild abandon these days, one day they kicked in my door and tried to tase me in my own home (his taser dart missed me)! These people should do time in jail for what they did to you, and you should also be compensated! NO MORE POLICE STATE! Checks and balances and punishment for the police!

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  13. Praise God for answered prayers!

    Please give my regards to Steven.

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  14. I agree. Time to sue and put these public "servants" back in their place. I was just compelled through a "safety check" tonight right here in my neighborhood. Gestapo tactics designed to harass and intimidate. I should have had my wife video the whole thing, but it was a total surprise and I didn't think fast enough.

    Check out http://www.copblock.org/ and "Photography Is Not A Crime" http://www.pixiq.com/contributors/248

    Blessings to you

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  15. Just saw your video on youtube. Its obviously been awhile since your check point ordeal. Did any disciplinary action get taken against the officers involved?

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    1. Heartily agree that a suit against the violence, unlawful arrest, and assault would go a long way to providing for Pastor & his growing family.

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