Motorhome Diaries Crew on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

It’s great that this ridiculous abuse of civil liberties is getting some exposure. Looks like the cops deleted the video the guys took of the first few minutes of the stop. If that’s true, the cops themselves ought to be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

29 Responses to “Motorhome Diaries Crew on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch

  1. #1 |  Marty | 

    I’d love to hear how the conversation when they were off the air!

    great news for the mhd guys…

  2. #2 |  Edwin Sheldon | 

    Excellent. I was hoping someone in the MSM would pick this up.

    One thing bothers me: the judge said the recent SCOTUS case regarding vehicle searches incident to arrests says that police cannot even ask to search the vehicle unless they have probable cause. Somehow that seems untrue. Comments from someone who has had time to read the case?

  3. #3 |  LibertyTiger | 

    I had the pleasure of speaking with Pete and Adam about the deleted video. From what I understand from our conversation the video contained video from the time they were pulled over, until the time that Adam was arrested for not shutting his camera off. The guys said they were respectful. Pete was cooperative and answered, in my opinion way too many questions. The officer asked if there were drugs or guns. He said there were two disassembled firearms in a locked case, ammo kept separate. Although the deputies that made the stop were pretty nice about the situation, everything turned sour when the backup deputy arrived on the scene and attacked Adam for not turning off the camera. The sheriff’s deputies deleted the video because it showed them as the instigators and aggressors. I think these guys knew what they were up against, completely out of their element in rural Mississippi. I doubt very much any of the accusations against them, manly because Pete was so forthcoming about what they were doing and what they had aboard the RV.

    One of the deputies became outraged when he saw the hundreds of bumper stickers from LibertyStickers.com including one that said “Be Mean to Government.” Pete said the deputy said, “Oh, I know what you guys are about.” Pete then said he overheard one deputy say to another that they were white supremacist. I just wonder if those “profiles” were assumed because of recent DHS reports like the MIAC report and the other DHS report that was recently uncovered. The DHS is trying to paint liberty activists as white supremacist. This form of political profiling is outrageous and offensive to the First Amendment.

  4. #4 |  kyle | 

    This is going to turn out like the presidential election. Whoever gets the most airtime and blog coverage is going to win. And like the JFK conspiracy, there never was any digital video of the mahatma getting arrested on the side of the road to delete the table of contents of. And raise johnny cochrane from the dead. Go ron paul and product placement! And conjugating tweets. Buy our t-shirts and contact our agent if you are interested in the movie rights. Its not about us; its soley about raising awareness to a crisis of overreaching and unchecked authority being exerted upon an unknowing populace.

    So have the trio resumed the trip yet? Or did they find what they were searching for?

  5. #5 |  freedomfan | 

    1) Judge Napolitano may be the best thing about Fox News.

    2) So, where can I buy a video camera who’s “delete” function copies anything deleted to a hidden microSD card? That will have to do until I can afford one where “delete” silently uploads to my web account.

  6. #6 |  freedomfan | 

    (Argh! “who’s” –> “whose”, obviously)

    BTW, hearing that the MotorHomeDiaries guys are going back to spend several days in Jones County got my attention. I really wonder if there will have been enough negative coverage of this that the sheriff will have his dogs on a leash for that return visit, or if they are so confident in their authority that they will harass and intimidate even more?

    I just hope the MHD keep the cameras rolling, and get a couple hidden cameras on the RV that keep rolling when the hand cams are “confiscated”.

  7. #7 |  Edwin Sheldon | 

    2) So, where can I buy a video camera who’s “delete” function copies anything deleted to a hidden microSD card? That will have to do until I can afford one where “delete” silently uploads to my web account.

    I open carry regularly and I carry a voice recorder (recording constantly) when I do so. I set the recorder’s menu language to Spanish. It won’t make deleting files impossible, but any LEO who wants to do so will need to consult a Spanish speaker or be a really good guesser if he wants to navigate the menu options to delete audio.

    When I set the menu language to Spanish to make deletion harder for non-hispanohablantes, a part of me thought doing so was a little paranoid. This LEO encounter proved that little part of me wrong.

  8. #8 |  Ron | 

    As long as the guys didn’t tape over it, the deleted video shoud be recoverable. I hope that option was or will be explored.

  9. #9 |  MacK | 

    Edwin Sheldon, I heard that same remark about not even being able to ASK to search. I had read the decision, but must confess that I did not see any such opinion. Maybe in a hour, or so I can post with more on that.

  10. #10 |  J sub D | 

    Looks like the cops deleted the video the guys took of the first few minutes of the stop. If that’s true, the cops themselves ought to be arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

    Yeah, that’ll happen. Right after the CIA poobahs who ordered disposal of the “enhanced interrogation” videos (which really, really, honest injun wasn’t torture) are prosecuted.
    [/jaded cynic]

  11. #11 |  Marcus C | 

    The (black) officers are the ones supporting the REAL white supremacists.

  12. #12 |  Patrick | 

    Yeah, that’ll happen. Right after the CIA poobahs who ordered disposal of the “enhanced interrogation” videos (which really, really, honest injun wasn’t torture) are prosecuted.

    While I agree it’s unlikely the cops will be prosecuted (though anyone else would be), in a civil case destruction (“spoliation”) of evidence can lead to the jury being instructed that they can presume the evidence destroyed would be unfavorable. Jurors also sit up and take notice when they’re told evidence is destroyed.

    As it stands, this case sounds as though it may be headed to a civil rights suit with or without any further misconduct by the police.

  13. #13 |  MacK | 

    Edwin Sheldon I have fully read Arizona vs Gant again, and I believe the judge simply misspoke on the vehicle searches.
    Here is the PDF if maybe someone else would like to look.
    http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/07-542.pdf

    I did particularly enjoy judge Alito’s dissent in which he pretty much cries about how police have been violating individual rights for 29 years, and we should just continue on that path.

  14. #14 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “While I agree it’s unlikely the cops will be prosecuted (though anyone else would be), in a civil case destruction (”spoliation”) of evidence can lead to the jury being instructed that they can presume the evidence destroyed would be unfavorable. Jurors also sit up and take notice when they’re told evidence is destroyed.”

    Well here’s the hook.
    There’s Brady vs Maryland which says exculpatory
    evidence must be turned over as discovery. (good faith/bad faith not an issue)
    If they don’t hand it over there’s penalty.
    Another case , maybe Trombetta, ruled if the exculpatory
    evidence is destroyed, defendants have to prove Bad Faith.
    In Bryant vs D.C. Appeals, the judge said hold on, this
    is going to motivate cops to destroy evidence because proving Bad Faith (ie Intentional destruction) is virtually impossible.
    (This “inadvertent” destruction of evidence happens over and over and over in DUI cases (videos) and people don’t realize it’s often Bad Faith.) Cops simply destroy inconvenient evidence.

  15. #15 |  MacGregory | 

    #14 Yizmo
    “…destruction of evidence happens over and over and over in DUI cases…”
    If DUI persecutions are used as a model in all criminal cases then anyone, anywhere, accused of anything is pretty much fucked. Even worse so than they already are.

  16. #16 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Wow, that was great! I don’t have much regard for FOX in general, but the network did show some stones by giving Judge Napolitano a show. No doubt he pisses off the right-wing authoritarian element of the FOX audience.

    And thanks to Peter and the Motorhome diaries crew! This incident was a perfect example of various kinds of state overreach, and the public needs to be made aware of it.

    Asking the crew about drugs, bringing in the K-9, and threatening the guys with ATF were perfect examples of the drug war mentality. This showed how this mentality degrades both our civil liberties and the quality of policing. The deputy’s aversion to being filmed, and deleting portions of the tape were egregious examples of government employees shunning transparency. And when the deputies began making reference to the crew’s politics, it suggested that the traffic stop had turned into an opportunity to intimidate dissenters. Basically, it was a whole mess of civil liberties violations rolled into one incident.

    The judge was right, sue the bastards!!!!

  17. #17 |  Fascist Nation | 

    If something will help the state it is permitted, if it hurts the state iti is denied. Go in with that attitude and you won’t be surprised.

    Is that you Sheriff Mack? My understanding is the Gant decision has made it harder to search a vehicle under the pretense of officer safety when the occupants of the vehicle have been handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. A cop may still search a vehicle for possible weapons if the occupants are in a position to reasonably get to them.

    A cop is now expected to go through a judge for a search warrant unless their is reasonable suspicion the evidence would disappear in the time it takes to get a warrant (“like what, a stolen ice sculpture?) or there is some reasonable threat to officer safety in not searching. I suppose a case could be made if a kidnapped infant or victim was suspected of being in the vehicle that to would allow a warrantless search provided concern for their immediate well being was in question.

    Gant goes to cops using a permission of the court for their safety to search a vehicle for weapons to being used to conduct a warrantless search and the courts not tossing out the evidence and rebuking the cops for failing to get a warrant. Hopefully this provides some correction…but I would not count on it.

  18. #18 |  ZeroSkill | 

    What is really needed here is a video camera with a Cellular modem that sends a copy of the video to a remote server somewhere. This way the cops can delete/destroy anything they want. There will still be a copy that they can not access and delete somewhere in the world.

  19. #19 |  MacK | 

    Fascist Nation, I’ll be honest I do not understand your last paragraph.
    I’m not a sheriff, or LEO. I’m in documentation / logistics. Retired 20 year Army vet.

    I think you are right in that Gant has made 4th Amendment protections stronger during an arrest. Prior to Gant police mostly used the decision in NY vs Belton, and some courts allowed the vehicle search even after a person had left for jail.

    The decision in Gant is not only about officer safety, but also evidence discovery.
    I believe you do not necessarily need to be inside a cop car, just not within reaching distance of the vehicle. A search for evidence must be for evidence related to the arrest.

    I’m no lawyer, but I did have sex at a Motel 6 once.

  20. #20 |  MacK | 

    This is the final paragraph section (VI) per Judge Stevens in Arizona Vs Gant.

    “Police may search a vehicle incident to a recent occu­
    pant’s arrest only if the arrestee is within reaching dis­
    tance of the passenger compartment at the time of the
    search or it is reasonable to believe the vehicle contains
    evidence of the offense of arrest. When these justifications
    are absent, a search of an arrestee’s vehicle will be unrea­
    sonable unless police obtain a warrant or show that an­
    other exception to the warrant requirement applies. The
    Arizona Supreme Court correctly held that this case in­
    volved an unreasonable search. Accordingly, the judgment
    of the State Supreme Court is affirmed.”

  21. #21 |  NotAFakePatriot | 

    Hey MHD guys. If you are reading this I highly suggest putting at least 3 on board cameras on MARV. If I weren’t a broke ass I’d help fund it. I’d put one looking out the front window, one pointing out the back that could also be used as a back up camera, and another at the door looking down and back. They’ll need good microphones with filters to pick up voices and drown out road traffic. Would be cool if they broadcast to the net as well. So if anyone else thinks this is a good idea to keep our homies @ MHD safe, speak up :-) Honestly I’d love to see this as a regular TV show but we all know that aint happenin’ since it has something to do with Freedom from the establishment lol. Be safe and keep the good times Rollin’! Peace~

  22. #22 |  Pinandpuller | 

    Apparently there is a law that has passed the TN house and is now being deliberated by the senate. It states that if you are pulled over for a traffic violation you must submit to roadside digital (no pun intended) fingerprinting to see if you have any outstanding warrants. You can get arrested for refusing-I guess it must be modeled on DUI refusal. Scary stuff.

  23. #23 |  Pissed off Vet | 

    Why do you think the police departments hire these idiots…because they have very LOW IQ`s and are very easily conditioned.
    Most of these Beat Cops can be convinced of dam near anything.
    The families of these types are not even safe..

  24. #24 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I love MHD. I like Judge Nap. But the 15 year old in me (Fox demographic) says you’ll know Fox is taking libertarians and the Judge seriously when they put some of the hottest blondes in their stable on his show.

    Horrible comment, I know, unless you’ve watched Fox (NILF TV) for a full day.

    Asking cops to know and obey the law is way too much until you get an army of opportunistic lawsuits out there. A dozen crews targeting counties/cities with history of abuses and $$. Get pulled over a dozen times. Bring in the lawyers. Move onto the next target.

    Sounds like a business plan.

  25. #25 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The TN law doesn’t scare me that much in that you are already required to provide identification as a requirement for operating a vehicle.

    If they make everyone in the car submit, then I have a problem as there is no cause.

  26. #26 |  Andrew Williams | 

    If the Hon. Judge Napolitano (and I do NOT say this lightly) ever decides to run for office, I will support him in any way I can. He is the real deal, and that comes through in this interview.

  27. #27 |  Pinandpuller | 

    Boyd

    Well first of all traffic violations are a civil matter. So should all people filing lawsuits be subject to fingerprinting?

    Second, you are already showing identification, presumably. It’s supposed to make it easier for cops to sort out similar names during the records checks.

    Look what’s happening in England, if you get arrested for anything they are taking your DNA.

    I have a CDL with a HAZMAT so I did get fingerprinted and a background check-if that’s not enough for them I don’t know what to say. Do you mind getting a GPS in your car for the gas tax?

  28. #28 |  steveo | 

    this is mississippi right? the leos could have released the guys like they did those civil rights workers in the 60’s, only to have them disappear in the construction pit.I guess by giving the “yankees” bail and their motorhome back is progress.

  29. #29 |  Shell Goddamnit | 

    I believe that traffic violations are criminal not civil

Leave a Reply