Driver files federal complaint against Texas troopers for civil rights violations after recording evidenceSubmitted by Resistance_2009 on Sat, 11/20/2010 - 14:38
Driver files federal complaint against Texas troopers for civil rights violations
Also: TX Trooper violates federal law 'because I have the badge and the gun'; driver records interaction (full transcript) http://www.examiner.com/la-county-libertarian-in-los-angeles...
Martin Hill, who works part time for a large corporation engaged in interstate commerce, was in his 18 wheeler in Texas last week. He was off duty in the sleeper berth, taking his mandatory 10 hour shift break required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations. All Commercial truck drivers must take a 10 hour break between shifts, including eight uninterupted hours in the sleeper berth. The sleeper berth is generally like a small cabin which includes a bed, dresser, drawers, and may include accessories such as a small refrigerator, television, stero, etc. According to state and Federal law, drivers will be cited, fined, and possibly placed 'out of service' for not taking eight uninteruppted hours in the sleeper berth between their shifts. Driver's shifts may include up to eleven hours of driving time in a period which may last up to a maximum of fourteen hours, including breaks.
...In early November, Hill was off duty, asleep in the sleeper when his co-driver entered a DOT weigh station off Interstate 35 in Devine Texas, south of San Antonio. After less than four hours of sleep, Hill was awakened by his co-driver, who said that the female DOT insepector wanted to see their drivers licenses. Annoyed at what he considered an illegal and unnecessary interuption of his off-duty sleep time, Hill begrudgingly got out of the truck.
Audio of the incident is in three short clips. The initial interaction can be heard here. http://www.toofiles.com/en/oip/audios/wav/aguinagaaudiofinal... Click on the words 'Aguinaga Audio Final Wave' and it will start playing. The second clip is on youtube, here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BznROIY3RLI and can also be heard below. The final clip is here, Here is part 3, the conclusion with the 2nd cop.
http://www.toofiles.com/en/oip/documents/wav/trooperfinalaud... Total length of all three clips combined is less than 5 minutes.
Martin: Hi maam
DOT inspector: Is your CDL in there?
Martin: No, I didn't know what you wanted me to wake up for.
DOT inspector: I just wanted your CDL.
Martin: Oh okay. is that..
DOT inspector: Do you have it with you?
Martin: Of course I do, but I have a question first. I'm an American. You know, right?
DOT inspector: Uh huh
Martin: This is Texas, right?
DOT inspector: Yes.
Martin: Why did you wake me up when I'm off duty, I'm in the sleeper?
DOT inspector: I don't know why he woke you up, I just asked him to get your drivers license.
Martin: He doesn't have my drivers license, I have it in my pocket.
DOT inspector: Okay.
Martin: So he has to, by definition, wake me up to get it.
DOT inspector: Okay.
Martin: I'm asking why -
DOT inspector: Because I asked him to get it from you.
Martin: Is that a legal demand or a request?
DOT inspector: It is a request.
Martin: I'm not driving, so that's..
DOT inspector: Correct.
Martin: If it's a request, I'm refusing.
DOT inspector: Okay. That's fine.
After returning to his truck to enter the sleeper berth and forced to completely re-start his federally mandatory ten hour off duty time, the driver was approached by a white male Texas State Trooper, who ran up to the vehicle and jumped up on the running board, demanding to see the driver's CDL. The driver, a Constitutionalist libertarian from California who supported Congressman Ron Paul for president in the 2008 election, recorded his interactions with both officers, for his own protection as well as the fact that he was in public where there is no expectation of privacy.
The driver initially pressed the video recording feature of his cell phone soon after the Texas Trooper arrived at the truck's window. The video can be seen below. Since the video recording capability only lasts twenty seconds, the driver then pressed the audio recording button, which recorded the remainder of the conversation with the trooper. Before he was able to press the video record button, he informed the the man at his window that he had already settled the matter with the female DOT inspector, and added "I don't even know who you are", to which the trooper replied "I have the badge and the gun".
Hill noted a number of cases which have been dismissed against the Department of Transportation across the country, some of them because the litigant failed to follow correct procedures. "That will not be a problem in my instance", Hill said. "So many truck drivers are annoyed and disturbed by rogue cops, yet many of them, harried and burdened with the tasks of earning a living and raising a family, have no time or knowledge on how to fight back against the system or file complaints against police. Well, I don't have that problem. I'm relatively new to trucking, and I don't even need this job. I have plenty of time to do what I need to do, thanks solely to the gracious blessings of Almighty God. This issue will be addressed by the legal system, and the officers will be held to account."
The driver, both in his Texas complaint as well as federal civil rights claim, insisted that all video and audio recording evidence recorded by the officers and DOT not be erased, destroyed, lost or discarded, as it will be later subpeanad as evidence. Knowing that officers will often falsely arrest people at roadside stops who question the legality of their tactics, the driver driver asked questions of the Trooper yet clarified that he would obey orders, meaning he was not 'resisting arrest' or 'impeding an officer'. .. [continued at link above]
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Rense, National Motorists Association, and many others. You can view a full archive of his Examiner articles here http://libertyfight.741.com/examiner.html
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