Last month, Nick Gillespie interviewed Jason Talley and Pete Eyre for Reason.tv. The two libertarians had rented a mobile home, and planned to drive across the country to meet with fellow libertarians, interview figures in the libertarian movement (like Ron Paul, and Libertarian Party founder David Nolan), and report back on government abuses they encountered along the way. They were tracking their trip on the website motorhomediaries.com.
It looks like they’ve found one. It’s not clear why, but they were apparently pulled over yesterday in Jones County, Mississippi. Passenger Adam Mueller attempted to videotape the traffic stop, and was arrested for doing so. It isn’t clear what happened next, but Talley and Eyre were also eventually arrested, Eyre for possession of a beer in a dry county, and Talley for disorderly conduct, disobeying, and resisting arrest.
They’re due to be arraigned tomorrow. These guys are very well-connected in libertarian legal circles. They’re quite aware of their rights, and what they can and can’t do during a traffic stop and detainment. I suspect the authorities in Jones County are about to realize that they harassed the wrong motorists.
MORE: They may face firearms charges, too. And I don’t think the guys have a local attorney yet. If any defense attorney in the area is interested in helping out, email me.
MORE II: It looks like there was an initial inquiry into possible federal firearms charges, but the ATF passed. The three are being held on bond. Someone from the Campaign for Liberty has made her way to Jackson, and I’ve passed on the name of a good local defense attorney my contacts in Mississippi gave me. What’s most important is that we get them the hell out of that jail. From one of my trusted contacts down there:
The folks I know who’ve spent time in the Jones County jail say it’s bad. One had prior time in Angola and Orleans Parish Prison during Katrina and still said Jones County was bad; the other had spent time in Cook County jail and said Jones was worse.
Mississippi’s county jails are among the worst in the country. That this would be one of the worst in Mississippi is hard to imagine.
The Jones County people have been flooded with phone calls, so they’re probably aware by now that it would behoove them to treat these guys appropriately.
MORE III: Just noticed from the photo Jason Talley snapped during the first arrest that both the cops are black. Weird. Two black cops in rural Mississippi violate the civil rights of three white guys. There’s some perverse, post-racial symbolism there, no? You’d sure as hell have never seen a photo like that in the 1950s.
Of course, it isn’t exactly progress, either. That is, I’m pretty sure the 1960s civil rights activists weren’t fighting for the day when black police could harass white motorists. But that they can would probably have astounded someone like MLK. Maybe this is what equality in post-racial America will look like: Doesn’t matter what color you are, if you’re on the wrong side of the badge, your rights don’t matter.
Gillespie’s interview with Eyre and Talley: