User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: Response to civil disobedience not always civil – Pastor tazed, beaten at immigration checkpoint

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Response to civil disobedience not always civil – Pastor tazed, beaten at immigration checkpoint

On July 15th, 2010, there was a symbolic act of civil disobedience at the foot of the Federal Court House in Denver, Colorado.  Fourteen activist were arrested when they refused a lawful order to leave the street.  Denver Police, having been alerted to the event, were fully prepared and with cameras pointed in their direction, very gentle.

Those who take the drastic step of civil disobedience understand the response by law enforcement may not always be civil.  The idea behind civil disobedience is to passively refuse to obey “lawful orders” by authorities.  It generally results in a peaceful arrest and a royal pain in the tail for the authorities.  But not always. 

Pastor Steven Anderson was passing through an immigration checkpoint between San Diego and Phoenix on April 14th, 2009.  Pastor Anderson passes through these checkpoints on a regular basis.  Each time he challenges the border patrol agents as to their right to inspect him 100 miles away from the border, their right to detain him for secondary inspection, and their right to search his vehicle without a warrant.  In previous trips, Pastor Anderson has buffaloed the sometimes baffooning officers.  His luck ran out on a fateful Tuesday night.



This time an officer from the Arizona Highway Patrol was called.  He demanded Pastor Anderson exit his vehicle.  He indicated the Pastor was under arrest for failure to follow a lawful order, essentially an act of civil disobedience.  When Pastor Anderson refused, the front passenger side and driver’s side  windows were broken.  Pastor Anderson was tazed for 13 seconds.  Meanwhile, one of the officers jammed the helpless man’s head into the broken glass cutting his face.
 

 

A judge wisely dismissed Pastor Anderson’s case rather than let a bull-dog D.A. try to spin the yarn of active resistance on the part of Anderson.  The truth usually comes out in these matters and the longer a case like this one drags on, the more the ugly truth gets told.

 

We are in a bitter battle for comprehensive immigration reform.  The battle has claimed many lives.  Pastor Anderson is lucky he did not pay the ultimate price.  While most of us would like to frame this as an immigration right’s battle, it has many faces.  There is the gay rights angle to it, as the GLBT community has suffered much like the immigrant community.  In addition, gays still suffer discrimination when they try to immigrate to the U.S. 

 

From my point of view, this is a battle that transcends both immigrant’s rights and the rights of GLBT people.  This is a fight for basic human rights and human dignity.  While Pastor Anderson does not make a case for immigration reform.  Rather, he makes a case for the conscience of the Amercian people, to say, “papers please” does not work in this country. 

 

A judge wisely dismissed Pastor Anderson’s case rather than let a bull-dog D.A. try to spin the yarn of active resistance on the part of Anderson.  The truth usually comes out in these matters and the longer a case like this one drags on, the more the ugly truth gets told.

 

We are in a bitter battle for comprehensive immigration reform.  The battle has claimed many lives.  Pastor Anderson is lucky he did not pay the ultimate price.  While most of us would like to frame this as an immigration right’s battle, it has many faces.  There is the gay rights angle to it, as the GLBT community has suffered much like the immigrant community.  In addition, gays still suffer discrimination when they try to immigrate to the U.S. 

 

From my point of view, this is a battle that transcends both immigrant’s rights and the rights of GLBT people.  This is a fight for basic human rights and human dignity.  While Pastor Anderson does not make a case for immigration reform.  Rather, he makes a case for the conscience of the Amercian people, to say, “papers please” does not work in this country. 




A judge wisely dismissed Pastor Anderson’s case rather than let a bull-dog D.A. try to spin the yarn of active resistance on the part of Anderson.  The truth usually comes out in these matters and the longer a case like this one drags on, the more the ugly truth gets told.

We are in a bitter battle for comprehensive immigration reform.  The battle has claimed many lives.  Pastor Anderson is lucky he did not pay the ultimate price.  While most of us would like to frame this as an immigration right’s battle, it has many faces.  There is the gay rights angle to it, as the GLBT community has suffered much like the immigrant community.  In addition, gays still suffer discrimination when they try to immigrate to the U.S. 

From my point of view, this is a battle that transcends both immigrant’s rights and the rights of GLBT people.  This is a fight for basic human rights and human dignity.  While Pastor Anderson does not make a case for immigration reform.  Rather, he makes a case for the conscience of the Amercian people, to say, “papers please” does not work in this country. 



A judge wisely dismissed Pastor Anderson’s case rather than let a bull-dog D.A. try to spin the yarn of active resistance on the part of Anderson.  The truth usually comes out in these matters and the longer a case like this one drags on, the more the ugly truth gets told.

We are in a bitter battle for comprehensive immigration reform.  The battle has claimed many lives.  Pastor Anderson is lucky he did not pay the ultimate price.  While most of us would like to frame this as an immigration right’s battle, it has many faces.  There is the gay rights angle to it, as the GLBT community has suffered much like the immigrant community.  In addition, gays still suffer discrimination when they try to immigrate to the U.S. 

From my point of view, this is a battle that transcends both immigrant’s rights and the rights of GLBT people.  This is a fight for basic human rights and human dignity.  While Pastor Anderson does not make a case for immigration reform.  Rather, he makes a case for the conscience of the Amercian people, to say, “papers please” does not work in this country. 



A judge wisely dismissed Pastor Anderson’s case rather than let a bull-dog D.A. try to spin the yarn of active resistance on the part of Anderson.  The truth usually comes out in these matters and the longer a case like this one drags on, the more the ugly truth gets told.

We are in a bitter battle for comprehensive immigration reform.  The battle has claimed many lives.  Pastor Anderson is lucky he did not pay the ultimate price.  While most of us would like to frame this as an immigration right’s battle, it has many faces.  There is the gay rights angle to it, as the GLBT community has suffered much like the immigrant community.  In addition, gays still suffer discrimination when they try to immigrate to the U.S. 

From my point of view, this is a battle that transcends both immigrant’s rights and the rights of GLBT people.  This is a fight for basic human rights and human dignity.  While Pastor Anderson does not make a case for immigration reform.  Rather, he makes a case for the conscience of the Amercian people, to say, “papers please” does not work in this country. 


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