Massive Checkpoint Operation in Tennessee Violated Posse Comitatus, Fourth Amendment
April 6, 2009
On April 3, Infowars reported on the decision of the Tennessee Governor’s office to call off an illegal seat belt checkpoint operation that was scheduled to be conducted by the Whiteville police with DHS and military participation on April 4.
Earlier today on the Alex Jones Show, Tennessee Representative Johhny Shaw admitted he was unaware of the planned operation. He also said Governor Phil Bredesen did not know the DHS and military planned to collaborate with local police in Shaw’s district in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.
Shaw’s admission state government was unaware of the scheduled checkpoint is more evidence the feds are contacting local police agencies directly without going through the state or informing them of operations that are in violation of the law.
It appears this is not the case in regard to another illegal operation. Last month, DHS, federal and state agencies, the Air Force, and local law enforcement worked together to violate the law in Tennessee.
On March 31, 2009, the Marion County News reported on a truck checkpoint set-up by the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Homeland Security, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the Monteagle Police Department, the Tennessee National Guard, the Arnold Air Force Base Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the Department of Commerce and Insurance and the FBI.
“Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers led explosive and drug sniffing dogs around the bases of trucks while National Guardsmen circled overseas containers with explosive and radiation detecting hand held devices in a scene reminiscent of ‘24’. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles, lights flashing, lined the brake inspection station, as trucks, both private and commercial, queued in the far right lane of 24 for what seemed like miles,” reports a Marion County News reporter.
According to a Tennessee Department of Safety press release, the object if the Homeland Security type checkpoints is to stop, evaluate and inspect as many commercial vehicles as possible, focusing in commercial vehicles, rental trucks and cargo tanks. Furthermore, these checkpoints will be held randomly throughout the year.
“The object (of the checkpoint) is to look at as many trucks as possible. I want to find something,” Sergeant John Harmon told law enforcement officials during the pre-checkpoint briefing. “I want to prevent something from happening.”
Harmon didn’t discover anything one might find in an episode of 24. However, over a span of ten hours, cops issued dozens of tickets on 285 eastbound for everything from safety defects to DUI.
Posse Comitatus was violated during the massive operation held on March 24 due to the fact the Arnold Air Force Base Police participated.
As noted above, DHS and the military intend to participate in additional sweeps — not simply in violation of Posse Comitatus but also the Fourth Amendment — randomly throughout the year. Tennessee residents need to contact local and state officials and demand the Constitution and Posse Comitatus be respected.