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May-20-2009 02:19printcommentsVideo

More Videotape Released in Alleged Border Patrol Checkpoint Beating of Preacher

This is a follow up to an earlier report about an incident in mid-April involving Border Patrol agents and police officers from the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety.

Pastor Steven Anderson
Pastor Steven Anderson after being injured by Arizona police from DPS who were assisting Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint Anderson believes violates his Civil Rights.
Photos of Anderson and his car after the incident courtesy: stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com

(SALEM, Ore.) - A Baptist minister from the Phoenix, Arizona area, received numerous injuries from police during a dramatic incident April 14th that stemmed from his refusal to submit to what he considered to be, a search of his private property, and a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Arizona DPS Officer J.
Mitchell breaking car's window

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that Steven Anderson is an American Civil Rights crusader.

But in the eyes of some who commented on our earlier story, presumably from the law enforcement community, Civil Rights crusader equates to something short of dirty rotten thug. (Preacher Says he Was Beaten and Tortured by Arizona DPS & Border Patrol Agents - Social Perspective by Tim King Salem-News.com)

The Border Patrol agents who initially stopped Anderson's car at the checkpoint in April, reportedly used a drug dog to get a "hit" on his car, which they said warranted his pulling into the secondary inspection area.

The Civil Rights minded minister didn't get that far that night, and the idea that he was tased multiple times while his face was ground into the jagged glass of the car window broken by police, is what we are talking about. That is what Anderson says happened, and based on the video and the injuries, it appears entirely possible.

The sounds coming from this man as he is repeatedly tased by the law enforcement representatives is pretty tough to listen to.

When he was released from police custody and allowed to go home to his wife and five children, Anderson looked like he'd been through the mill, and was clearly the victim of what appeared to be serious, physical abuse.

One person commenting on the story who didn't use a name said, "He got a few cuts on his head because he resisted and now he is crying about it and making a national media circus about it."

'Mike' wrote, "The preacher got what he deserved!!" and an anonymous poster wrote, "I live in the United States also Mr. King. Mr. Anderson wasn’t what you and he referred to as “beaten” he was arrested. Sometimes using the force necessary to affect an arrest result in a few injuries… can you understand that?"

'Voice of Reason' wrote, "I have never been treated with anything but respect by the Border Patrol and have never witnessed anything like this man described happening to anyone. I have seen numerous people detained for further questioning and searches and have seen countless arrests and nothing like this have I seen. I'm not buying his story."

But all of the comments are not supportive of what happened. Not at all, in fact.

A contrasting comment came from 'Dave' who wrote, "Many have said that he intentionally provoked the BP agents, that he is a jerk, that he should have allowed them to trample his rights.

"How very wrong they are. Pastor (Anderson) knew his rights, and that citizens' rights are inalienable. This idea of a BORDER CHECKPOINT 120 miles inside the border is ludicrous at best. YOUR PAPERS, PLEASE!"

'Jeff' wrote, "Great story. It's amazing how few Americans value our precious liberties. Thanks to brave men like Pastor Stevens for standing up for our right!"

'Mike H.' echoed similar words with, "Wow. Obviously this is not right. What happened to this man is not fair and is highly unconstitutional. I guess they just want us to be cowardly, submissive bitches and say, 'Yes, officer' 'Yes, sir.' 'Go ahead, search my car without probably cause.' What happened here is messed up. I know they have to be strict and practice their command presence but that is ridiculous."

That is just a glimpse of the comments on my original Social Perspective published April 22nd 2009. Sometimes the comments become as interesting as the actual story, we have learned.

If you watch the video and see Anderson's mostly calm but determined demeanor, you might agree that he doesn't look like much of a threat. Police on the other hand, say you can't always tell when someone is a threat just by looking. Either way, the choice to assert his rights to the final degree, left Anderson with 11 stitches and extensive bruises and abrasions.

Many people who commented on the story and sent emails accuse me of being anti-cop and that is anything but the truth. Accuse me of writing that what happened to Anderson seems extremely excessive; and you have me dead to rights.

It seems obvious that police officers who are incapable of personal restraint, especially in the form of physical reprisal and out and out revenge beatings, have no business wearing a uniform or carrying a gun.

In the end I suspect we will learn that it was preposterous to suggest that the action taken against Anderson was the only option for these law enforcement professionals.

It is also impossible to state or claim that the preacher didn't know what was coming down the line from these officers. Maybe he did violate the law, maybe the police did violate his rights; even the rights of all Americans who are forced to stop at Border Patrol checkpoints, but that is another matter next to the alleged physical abuse.

Anderson is an average size man. It seems like a much more thoughtful approach could have been taken to removing him from his car. But he had riled Border Patrol agents a few days earlier by refusing to roll his window down at the a federal checkpoint, and he wasn't allowed to pass 'go' in this game.

It should be noted that according to Zsuzsanna Anderson, the Pastor's wife, this next clip of footage is not from the actual camera, one of which is shown at right, but from a disc provided by Arizona DPS.

She says in spite of repeated requests, her husband's two $400 video cameras remain in police custody.

It is an element from this case that suggests police could be holding onto cards that they don't want the other players to see. It seems that if the police went to the trouble of dubbing Pastor Anderson's footage to disc, they could have kept that as evidence and released his property. That is not the case.

Here is the clip from Anderson's camera:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Robert February 10, 2011 9:06 pm (Pacific time)

Well, I'm a retired K-9 Officer/Trainer.I've always liked the Border Patrol US Marshals, FBI not so much. I don't like that the 4th ammendment is being bulldozed by the Federal goverment. TSA in the airports, now Border Patrol a 100 miles from the Border. This guy got arrested for the Oldest law that's not on the books "Contempt of Cop" P.S. I can make a dog hit on anything I want it to hit on.

Freddie December 1, 2010 1:49 pm (Pacific time)

I use to live in Arizona but now I live in Indio, CA. and I fully support the checkpoints! All you idiots that don't know what it's like to deal with the cartels and gangbangers should shut up and live your cozy lives up in the inner states. I'm tired of the drugs, I'm tired of the gangs, I'm tired of my kids not getting a decent education because of the overpopulation in the schools due to kids of illegals, and I'm tired of hospitals being so full. My car was even broken into by some illegals trying to hide. Come to the border towns and see for yourselves.

Ted June 16, 2009 2:57 pm (Pacific time)

They didn't even charge him with anything related to failure to obey, drugs, or anything they talked about in the video. They are charging him with blocking traffic even though he repeatedly asked to be allowed to move on.

Jesus H Christ May 31, 2009 10:49 am (Pacific time)

I'm amazed at all of the brain-dead idiots who are marching in lock-step support of the Border Gestapo and the jack-booted thugs from Arizona's Public "Safety" Department. Here's hoping you cretins actually get the government you appear to want: an unchecked government able to do what it pleases with anyone it please for no real reason at all. Remember Nazi Germany? Sieg Heil, Paco, et al.

A Domestic Patriot! May 31, 2009 6:52 am (Pacific time)

Jason May, the only idiot here is you! I don't care if the courts have said it is legal to have a check point up to 100 miles inside the border, and yes they do have to have probable cause-4th Amendment dumbass! Next the video clearly shows when the dog was brought out, and that was way after he was stopped, and refused to allow them to search. Also the dog did not get a hit! Those DPS and border agents contrived the whole event to enact revenge on a citizen who was exercizing his legal rights, and your support for their outrageous behavior is not only stupid, but it is borderline traitorous! We have a US Constitution, and I don't careif dipsticks like you, or the traitors in Congress and the Supreme court are trying to dsubvert that document, it still is in authority. Their time will come when the revoution begins. I would hope that most of them and their supporters will be hung once we defeat the traitors to this country. I suggest that you choose your side carefully! In the Spirit of Liberty!

Desert Rat May 30, 2009 5:20 pm (Pacific time)

Migra May 20, 2009 7:21 am (Pacific time) "You need to re-check your facts here. the Checkpoint is not 120 miles away from the border. No one is asking why the pastor had two cameras in the car, mounted no less. Sure it is his right to do so and his reason may be prefectly reasonable." 1. How far in from the border is this check point? There are two located within Southern NM one on North Bound Hyw 50(North of El Paso, TX 70 Miles and South of Alamogordo NM 30 miles) and the second on North/ East bound Hyw 70 Southwest of Alamogord 20 miles and East of Las Cruces, NM 60 miles +-10. 2. As for the cameras you are right, it is his right and perfectly reasonable, not a crime so th equestion does not need to be asked what he was doing mounting two cameras in his vehicle, it is not a crime and should not have to ask why. A vehicle is an extesion of your home and a "reasonable" amount of privacy in ones vehicle is expected and secured by your inalienable right to be secure in home and property (affirmed by the US Supreme Court). Because there are people out there think this is wierd or *gasp* looking to find trouble I am going to mount four cameras (taffic approaching, traffic in front, Dash camera of instruments panel and a passenger A pillar camera of driver and driver side window. a video splitter all recorded to a 500 gig HD DVR with sound. If the police can do it to thier patrol cars for "thier protection" then the citizen can fight the same battle for his protection of abusive police powers. Whats the problem with that? If I instigate a problem and am abusive to the public servants then it is recorded as well and can be submitted as evidence, but if I am cooperating with the police or whoever, and they turn abusive in excising thier police powers I am protected as well.

Jason May 30, 2009 1:56 am (Pacific time)

The author of this article is an idiot. You can't even get basic facts correct. Pathetic. 1. The checkpoint is less than 100 miles from the border, not 120 miles! Where did you even get this garbage from? 2. The use of narcotics dogs is 100% legal. There is zero suspicion required to perform a k-9 sniff of a vehicle. Again, something that the author is wrong about. Don't believe me? Ask any lawyer. 3. A K-9 hit to a vehicle, which is under law classified as a "Readily Mobile Conveyance" constitutes probable cause, and no warrant is needed to search said vehicle because of the readily mobile conveyance doctrine. It was a legal search 3. Yes, USBP dogs are trained to detect concealed humans. Keyword: CONCEALED. They are professionally trained and certified. Do I understand how they do it? No, I don't, but they are certified by law and their certification has been upheld by numerous professional non-governmental organizations. And yes, they are also trained narcotics dogs. What more do we want? None of us are trained K-9 handlers, so the best we can do is look at their certifications. 4. Just because a search doesn't reveal drugs means nothing. The mere presense of drugs on or near the vehicle within the past few days is enough to cause an alert. The odor is still present, and thus a search is lawful. 5. The USBP have no special border search privileges as these checkpoints are not on the border. The entire incident complied with the 4th amendment completely. They had lawful probable cause at a LAWFUL checkpoint. 6. If they authorities have the lawful authority to search your vehicle you must exit the vehicle. Failure to do so is illegal and they can forcibly remove you. Thats what DPS did. Failure to follow a lawful order is a crime, which is exactly what that DPS officer told the zealot, Mr. Anderson. 7. Mr. Anderson should go backing to calling President Obama a devil and telling homosexuals that they are going to hell, which is what he seems to do best. 8. The best argument that Mr. Anderson has is that the checkpoints are illegal. Well, guess what the difference between a widely supported US Supreme Court ruling is and one that is controversial? NOTHING!!!! The Supreme Court ruled. The checkpoints are legal. You're wrong, deal with it.

Fascist Nation May 29, 2009 6:30 pm (Pacific time)

All the guy did was exert his 4th Amendment Right against searches. This is still Amerika? The Border Patrol had no power to enter the vehicle without Mr. Anderson's consent. If they did, they would not have involved a state police in a federal internal checkpoint that is solely for the purpose of looking for illegal immigrants. A dog alerting as the border Patrol claims on either people of drugs is ludicrous and against the terms the Supreme Court permits the Border Patrol to set up roadblocks and stop traffic. It must be only for the purpose of looking for illegal aliens. Any other federal "crime" detected after the stop may be pursued, but the use of drug sniffing dogs IS PROHIBITED under the Supreme Court's ruling. I doubt they have a single dog trained to sniff both humans and drugs. One or the other. Besides it is ludicrous. A dog trained to smell humans will alert on all vehicles. Because 1) there is at least one human inside and 2) plenty of human activity all around in in the vehicle including the trunk area leaving scent behind. When the AZ St Police (DPS) showed up an hour later, the Border Patrol refused their request to bring the dog back out and demonstrate his alerting on the trunk. The DPS is in trouble because they had no lawful power to break into Mr. Anderson's car, assault him, especially when he was invoking his 4th Amendment right not to be searched. The charges demonstrate this. The DPS had nothing to charge him on, and should have sent him on his way...as should the Border Patrol.

Silent Majority May 28, 2009 6:48 pm (Pacific time)

Has any reader gone through a BP checkpoint recently? They sure have changed over the last few years. Although they are supposed to "immigration" checkpoints, they are anything but. Even after showing a US Passport to these agents, they will still continue to ask where you're coming from, where you are going, your profession, where you live, and several other questions of a personal nature. They derive their authority to do so by way of the Martinez-Fuerte decision by the US Supreme Court. However this decision which allows for the suspension of 4th Amendment Rights at these checkpoints was made in the context of Border Patrol search for illegal aliens when their agency was part of the INS. Now the Border Patrol is part of the DHS with a much broader mission and scope of authority and in doing so they continue to rely on this 1970's decision. It will only be a matter of time until this case gets reviewed again and reversed by the Supreme Court. Even Justice Clarence Thomas, one the Court's most conservative members, has commented that the Martinez-Fuerte decision was not correctly decided.

K-9Hndlr May 27, 2009 11:29 am (Pacific time)

Joshua, you are an idiot. Please do not quit your day job and decide to be a teacher. You know nothing about drug dog detection and how it works. Go back doing whatever it is that you do and let law enforcement do their job. Thank you

Editor: You sure about that K-9 handler?  I think is is a simple, common sense statement.  I think the guy knows plenty.  You however, are a guy with an agenda and you show little concern for facts.  I almost didn't approve your post over your childish use of "idiot" but I wanted to let you show your true colors just the same.

Joshua May 26, 2009 10:18 am (Pacific time)

I think it is completely hopeless to affect any understanding of U.S. law from some of you. And some of you seem to only side with violence, even when higher authorities decry it. But consider this, drugs dogs don't lie. Let me say this again, because I think some of you are not really paying any attention, DRUG DOGS DON'T LIE.  If the dog really did smell something, then the guy would have something.  The guy DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING.  So did the dog lie? No, Border Patrol lied about the dog. I hope this has been educational.


Rob May 25, 2009 9:46 pm (Pacific time)

Attitude and arrogance were allowed in this country as far as I knew. Mounting a camera or two or even five are not offenses and since they are not fatal weapons should still be allowed. Thirty years ago any citizen would be outraged. It seems that this supposed terrorist fear tactic is working to insure we are stripped of the last of our human rights. But to me if one believes the actions of brutality should be allowed in this age of terrorism is really a terrorist themselves. Simply changing a word such as enhanced interrogation techniques does not change that it is torture. We seem to have a lot of excuses for the behavior of our law enforcement and military nowadays. In reality we have seriously lost the values that used to be what set America apart. Citizens now need to make sure they are of good cheer just to cross the border because we might tick off our law enforcememnt and get beaten if we do not. And dare not question if they have legal right to arrest because that may get you killed today.

Pecos Bill May 23, 2009 11:57 pm (Pacific time)

This country would be so much safer if we just let cops do what they want to. They're professionals let them do their job. If they want to search your car, let them. If they want to take a few things, let them. If they take a liking to your daughter, hey, you can trust them. Look this is how Stalinist CCCP worked. The Russians loved it. Russia knows that what you really need for a orderly society is a good strong executive backed by a good strong police force. 50 years later Russians still pine for Stalin. Do you see Americans pine for Eisenhower? Cmon a good strong police force makes for good TV, and its something even the most ignorant snot-nosed American can uderstand. Cmon' America let a cop beat you today. Just a little crime will save you a dime....

Stardust May 22, 2009 6:57 pm (Pacific time)

An attitude, arrogance and stupidity bought the preacher man the farm....he looked for a problem and he found one. Ignorance, or professed ignorance gets you zero sympathy, skippy.

Vic May 22, 2009 7:09 am (Pacific time)

I dont think there is anything wrong with starting a confrontation if the situation needs to have attention drawn to it.

Mark May 21, 2009 12:53 pm (Pacific time)

The gentleman went through the checkpoint looking for a confrontation, and he got it. At the point of the dog alerting to the car the BP and police were justified in asking him to step out of the car for a search. His refusal to do so was a breach of the law, so the officers removed him with a taser. Standing up for your rights is completely different from acting like an obtuse idiot. It's shameful that he's started a "legal defense fund" and is aking others to pay for his stupidity.

Vic May 21, 2009 7:17 am (Pacific time)

We are a middle-aged couple with no police records (not yet)and we got treated like crap at the US border. After being in Mexico where people are courteous and polite and respectful, it was a shock to come back to Amerika. My wife and I were separated, our van emptied, and I was threatened with arrest for not declaring a "weapon"...a compound bow that I had packed away and forgotten about. I was repeatedly asked the same questions..and all our music equipment was taken out and x-rayed. Musicians HAVE to have drugs, right? The experience was uncomfortable and intimidating...Two days before, coming out of Sinaloa, we were searched by the Mexican army...completely different experience. We joked around with the soldiers, took pictures with them and when they were done, they loaded everything back in (unlike the US) and apologized for the hassle. Total time, about 15 mins compared to over an hour at the US border. The good news for you haters out there is that illegal immigration is at a 35 year low...but dont worry about not having anything to whine and bitch about, cause food prices will be through the roof, so you perpetual babies can cry about that....

Mike H. May 20, 2009 4:55 pm (Pacific time)

I agree Tim, it wouldn't be a stretch at all. Maybe this incident will make people see. The problem is that everyone is willing to spew their opinions without imagining themselves in the situation. How would they like it if they were forced to do something for no reason? How would they like it when their windows were smashed in then they were tazed? I bet they wouldn't be too happy if it was them and people said things like,"He got a few cuts on his head because he resisted and now he is crying about it and making a national media circus about it." Making him seem like a baby crying out for attention or something, when in fact he is not at all. Just a man willing to stand up for his rights and wont let anyone take them away from him. I may seem anti cop or anti BP but I am not. I just think those men acted in an unfair manner. He is obviously a citizen of the US. The only thing I didn't agree with the pastor about is how he didn't show his ID when asked to. May have helped a lot and they may have been lenient towards him if he complied there.

yourface May 20, 2009 4:39 pm (Pacific time)

i think that anyone that thinks that violence is needed to solve a non violent situation i wrong, they are supousto be an example not people that power trip on others, the dog didnt alert anything they should of just gave in, they knew they werent going to find nothing, and still they insisted untill they made it a situation, the guy is a pastor and im sure he gave them id, no record, no drug dog alert, whats next they are going to come over to make sure i go to bed on time. and you that thinks he got what he deserves, lets see how you feel about it when it happens to you or your family...

just me. May 20, 2009 2:46 pm (Pacific time)

I agree with Migra It is very clear what this self-righteous pastor was looking for. If some one has an issue with the law they should take it up with those who write them, not those who enforce them. Also if a K-9 alerts they do not have to run the dog over and over just to satisfy the criminal. This was not his first encounter where he looks for a fight with BP he has other videos where he acts just the same.

Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change May 20, 2009 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

I honestly can’t see how the opinions of the various commentators makes any sense at all. He is obviously an American Citizen and not an illegal. And evidently had enough common sense to know to take a video camera with him possibly having heard other stories and/or rumors about the border patrol activities and/or previous actions. He knew he had no drugs, the dog that supposedly “signaled” drugs was wrong and it does happen more than most main stream media will ever tell, because it’s not news worthy for them. And if the border patrol’s taser equipment had been functioning properly there would not be any need for more than one hit! And they had way more than enough officers on hand to have subdued him without harm! I am definitely pro-cop, pro-border patrol, but to me having seen things like this at the San Diego/Mexico border crossing has been known to get way out of control on the part of Border Patrol, not the US Citizen! Additionally, a border check point so far inside the United States border… another issue I take as it’s ridiculous at best! In 2009 Congress passed a bill and it was signed into law by President Bush to build a WALL, what we got was a cheesy fence and not even the full distance as was promised. Then we have House Speaker Pelosi condemning ICE and Border Patrol, then the conviction of two border patrol agents who did the job they were hired to do. Our economy only gets worse because we continually allow more Amnesty, more illegals and provide them with free education, free medical, free or subsidized housing, free food stamps, free welfare, and it’s only serving to bankrupt our country! IF law enforcement, Border Patrol, and ICE were all allowed to enforce the immigration laws we now have on the books, and by the way the system is not broken just not enforced, we’d not have any where near the problems we face today. I give the minister my stamp of approval for trying to protect his legal rights to illegal search and seizure!

Alex May 20, 2009 1:28 pm (Pacific time)

If we are not crossing the border- we should not expect to stop and explain ourselves to federal agents.

Checkpoint Charlie May 20, 2009 8:53 am (Pacific time)

I think the thing that some are overlooking is the idea that our "Border Patrol" is setting up traffic checkpoints 120 miles away from the border. I am pro cop, I am pro border security, but with the recent release of the story about boy scouts working with guns and DHS agents, kinda makes me wonder why no one has asked a few questions about this.

Anonymous May 20, 2009 10:22 am (Pacific time)

What does it matter where the checkpoint is? last I checked its still in the United States.

Migra May 20, 2009 7:21 am (Pacific time)

You need to re-check your facts here. the Checkpoint is not 120 miles away from the border. No one is asking why the pastor had two cameras in the car, mounted no less. Sure it is his right to do so and his reason may be prefectly reasonable. But no one is asking that, are they? This guy was looking to bait the officers. He shouldn't complain about riding the lightening on the end of a tazer if that is what he was looking to do. The concept of martyerdom is nothing new. Unfortunately, most folks rarely take the time to understand the faith aspects that are required of a martyer. Self-imposed marterdom will end in failure as will this pastor's efforts. But I'll be he gets a great book deal, maybe even a prime time movie. How about a weekly segment on TBN?

Paco May 20, 2009 4:09 am (Pacific time)

I think it should read: DPS Beating at Checkpoint. I don't see Border Patrol breaking glass and tazing the guy. He got what he deserved for being an idiot.

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