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Cops as a whole have one of the lowest IQs of any profession. Border guards, additionally, are paid less than cops. There had been a number of incidents on the border in the weeks leading up to Watts’ arrest.
The lesson Watts has hopefully learned: when people with guns are shouting at you, you DO WHAT THEY SAY. Right or wrong, they have guns and the law on their side. I get searched all the time because I fit a profile and I never, ever say anything other than “Yes sir” and do what they ask immediately.
Of course they treated Watts badly, that’s what cops do. So you don’t take chances. As soon as I heard Watts say, “I got out of the car,” I could have told you exactly what would’ve happened after that, which would have been what he experienced. No offense, man, but that was a colossally stupid thing to do.
If a person in legal authority authority asks you to get back in the
car, you get back in the car. It’s not an outrageous order. It’s quite reasonable. They don’t know anything about you. They don’t know your state of mind, nor your intent. Peter was clearly assaulted. The border guards were narcissistic personalities, who over-reacted. But it disturbs me he cannot understand he gave these personalities the opportunity to domineer and humiliate that they live for, by being a smart-ass in the first place. If you
can’t swallow your pride enough to conform to simple, reasonable
orders, without talking back, you’re not being courageous. You’re just being annoying.
Ahem: Yaaaaay being an american.
Some people wonder why the rest of the world hates us.
They should probably listen to this.
His tale reminds me very much of what often was going on at the border of the GDR. So, will Americans continue to let their border guards act like this in the future? If yes, then foreigners should maybe avoid visiting the US.
FWIW, Border Agents, both CBP officers and Border Patrol agents (2 very different groups)usually are paid MUCH better than the average cops, especially small town cops. smuch as he thinks he does. Commenter # 1 obviously does not know as much as he thinks about Border Officials.
That being said, what happened to Peter was bad but not following directions at a border crossing is just damn stupid.
You silly group of sheep. Are you seriously defending the polices actions. Let me clarify something in your heads.
Just because you know that cops abuse laws to assault innocence and just because its obvious to you that you will be assaulted for the slightest misstep when dealing with police DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. For instance, you are walking down a street and see a vicious dog, you make one of hundreds of choices and get bitten every time. Is it your fault for walking down the street or is it the dogs fault for being violent? Pretty clear isnt it.
Its not unreasonable to expect a border patrol guard or any paid public SERVANT, to treat people with respect. Although everyone knows you will not get any. It is not unreasonable or wrong for a person to stand on his belief in the constitution and peacefully assert his rights.
Lets get something straight he broke no laws, he simply upset the officer which any american knows results in a beating and extra trumped up charges.
F the system and F you for being a Sheeple. So yeah keep saying yes sir and bending over for your anal cavity search. Good luck being a part of the heard instead of a living breathing thinking red blooded american Man ready to die for truth and True Justice.
If you still do not understand here is a simple example.
It is NOT illegal to give a police officer the bird, aka flip him off or give him the finger to let him know what a great job he is doing. Although you will be beaten senseless, fined, jailed, and charged with resisting arrest, assaulting a cop, etc. etc.
Good luck being sheep, Ill be a good honest god freedom loving American man even if it gives me scars and felonies. You only live once, a couple hundred spins around the sun and the games over boys.
@james bailie: nailed it!
Wow, I’m amazed how easily you guys (the two comments above) accept the totally uneccessary and excessive brutality of the US police forces! I guess you’ve already rolled over in submission. Hmmmm, starts sounding like Germany of the 1930’s happening all over again on a far grander scale, all in the name of “Freedom” and “Homeland Security”. Ouch. Heaven protect us…
I live a mile from the Canadian border. Border Patrol has always been courteous to my family. We get approached a few times a year when walking the family dog near the Detroit River.
Frankly, I haven’t been out of the US since 2001. This reaffirms my reluctance to travel abroad. It’s fear of crossing the border. Fear of my fellow citizens.
The odd part of this story is that the local police were the ones to press charges. The local police were not involved in any way. That tells you how screwed up this whole case was.
Question authority, but be prepared to pay for it with some pepper spray, a few thousand dollars, a banishment and a felony conviction.
In a country that respects civil rights, it is reasonable to expect that the police will not act with immediate disproportionate violence to ordinary innocent non-violent acts.
No reasonable person expects to get beaten for merely stepping out of his car. No reasonable person expects to get pepper-sprayed for asking “what’s happening?”
Good to hear Peter’s side of this in detail. Totally f’d up. In line for entry to the National Park at Grand Canyon back in ’04, I got out of my car to ask a question (I’m a naive brit) instantly, 2 huge park-ranger types were running towards me screaming, one of them with raised fists. I was back in that car so fast, and nothing came of it. Peter’s case has answered the question I’d long had in the back of my mind tho – “what if I’d done what I would’ve done in the UK, namely stood there and politely repeated my question”.
Well, we really don’t much talk about the good things cops do – no, wait – we have endless television shows that mostly make them out to be good guys.
But, you know what they say about power corrupting. It may not always be true, but it’s true often enough that you can’t trust them. I keep thinking that cops have a lot in common with gangs, only with the law on their side. I also keep thinking that cops are a necessary evil. That’s not fair either; we need them. But they really do need to be monitored and watched with an extremely sharp eye, because there’s lots of evidence that they’ll get WAY out of hand, without that. TV makes us see them as hating Internal Affairs oversight. Good. Now they know why the rest of us don’t much trust cops.
Oh, and I thought the guy who talked so much about being a real man – it might have been Einstein, was both right, and an idiot, at the same time. You got your idea about being independent and standing up for principles from the people around you. In other words, they brainwashed you into acting the way they wanted you to act. None of us is independent. They just train guys to act that way, more. And we do it for the approval and social rewards it brings. And, that means we’re no more independent than anybody else who acts so as to gain approval and social rewards. We’re social animals; it’s inescapable.
But, you’re right. People should actually break laws before they get beat up and arrested. Cops who abuse their power should, themselves, be arrested and beat up. But, the gang-like thing means other cops just aren’t going to do that. They’re above many of the laws they enforce on the rest of us, and they consider that a perquisite of the job. That’s hard to like. So, they’re a necessary evil.
I got 4 words for anybody pushing the limits of their dubiously-gotten authority to the point of criminal intimidation & assault:
“Fuck you. Shoot me.”
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Very good interview. I think all that could have been said has been said about this case…
It was very nice of Peter to point out how he was still privileged while in this terrible situation because of all the support he had compared to all these other people we don’t even hear about.
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What a horrific story! I haven’t been to the US in over ten years and I have no plans to visit again in the near future. Like a schoolyard bully who gets his own nose bloodied, the US is now behaving worse than ever, overcompensating his machismo to save face. You can keep your country to yourselves if that’s what you want.
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If a person in legal authority authority asks you to get back in thecar, you get back in the car. It’s not an outrageous order. It’s quite reasonable. They don’t know anything about you. They don’t know your state of mind, nor your intent. Peter was clearly assaulted. The border guards were narcissistic personalities, who over-reacted. But it disturbs me he cannot understand he gave these personalities the opportunity to domineer and humiliate that they live for, by being a smart-ass in the first place. If youcan’t swallow your pride enough to conform to simple, reasonableorders, without talking back, you’re not being courageous. You’re just being annoying.
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