Conservative/libertarian activist takes on the policeSubmitted by radiofriendly on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 12:14
Chico campus police harrass and lie--demanding my ID. Your fellow Dailypauler doesn't give in. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbSHwR8zAGk
From the Orion, California--Chico State student paper:
Jones is one of 50 Leadership Institute-trained field representatives who are posted all across the country to start conservative student groups and newspapers.
A libertarian himself, Jones, 29, wants students to explore the Constitution and learn to protect their rights. He practices what he preaches.
Jones arrived in Chico late Aug. 27. He explored the campus to post fliers and figure out where he could engage in political talk with students, Jones said.
Around 2 a.m. Aug. 28, he sat in his parked car on the corner of West Second Street and Normal Avenue using wireless Internet to search for a hotel, he said. The red and blue lights from the flashing police siren caught his eye immediately. Then Officer Michael Swithenbank appeared by his window.
When asked by Swithenbank to show his driver's license, Jones questioned why he should show identification if he hadn't done anything illegal, he said. Because he thinks he has "the right not to show papers," he refused to give the officer his driver's license.
"I'm not the kind of guy who is always paranoid about the police - they are there to protect us, and I respect that," Jones said. "But they are also there to protect our Constitutional rights."
In the dispatch recording of the incident Swithenbank, who was on DUI patrol that night, is heard saying: "Be advised - he's a Constitutionalist."
A little more than 20 minutes into the incident Jones clicked on a pocket-sized video camera he had in his car, he said. Swithenbank returned to Jones' car asking him if he is Aaron Lawrence Jones, of Gridley, who has a warrant out for his arrest for a parole violation.
Swithenbank took Jones' Leadership Institute business card and accepted he was Aaron Robert Jones of Springfield, Miss. Sgt. Brian Farrell tossed the card into the car and said, "You win this round, man."
Lt. Matt Hansen of the University Police Department said that Swithenbank acted within the boundaries of the law, but "perhaps he could have done a better job explaining the situation."
"Consider your source. You're aware (Jones is) a political activist, and he informed us he was a Constitutionalist," Hansen said. "Constitutionalists have an ax to grind with government, and they see police as an extension of government in which they don't recognize their authority, because they think their authority is the Constitution."
Jones said a prior experience with police framed the way he handled this situation. After being pulled over in the small town of Ash Grove, an officer insisted on searching his car for drugs. There weren't any because Jones doesn't use drugs.
"After that experience I vowed not to give in to violations of privacy by the police -especially if the police can provide no rational reason for their demands," he said... (video coming soon)
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