'Shut up and listen': BP scrutinized after checkpoint video goes viral
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Thousands of you pass through them every single day. Border Patrol checkpoints are sprinkled throughout southern Arizona. But more and more people are acting defiant in the face of Border Patrol questions including one local woman who captured it on video.
Check out the video here.
"We have suspicion of criminal activity," says the BP agent. "Can you park over there?"
"No, are you detaining me?," says Jill Lix. "I did not give you permission to search my car."
Lix, a 26-year-old Patagonia Lake resident, refused to comply, refused a search. She has a right to. But the conflict escalated from there.
"You have no right to detain me," she says on the tape.
The agent replies, "I do have a right to detain you."
Agents can detain you, but must have some reasonable suspicion. Lix says there was none.
"I just want to go," says Lix on the tape. "I told them I'm a U.S. citizen. Now they've been holding me for 15 minutes, that's not appropriate."
A supervisor comes over and things get worse.
"Listen, shut up and listen to me," says the BP supervisor. "Or you'll be cited."
Eventually she's let go. But Juanita Molina with Border Action Network says civil rights violations happen all the time at checkpoints.
"He was overstepping his bounds," said Molina. "It was a power struggle."
There's several videos online capturing moments just like Lix's.
"There are a lot of violations that go unnoticed," said Molina.
Molina says Border Patrol often goes unchecked. Video like Lix's help cast a bright light on a system that she says needs reform.
"Essentially we're looking at a Constitution free-zone," said Molina. "Areas where people can be searched. People can be stopped for almost any reason. It's something that didn't effect the entire community, until now."
Late last week, the ACLU filed a complaint against Border Patrol. They are asking for a probe into allegations of constitutional rights violations. 9OYS reached out to Border Patrol tonight, but because of the government shutdown. We did not hear back.