Border Patrol breaking traffic rules? Is the law above the law? – VIDEO – UPDATE with BP response

UPDATE – BP response right above poll; original post directly below

We hate picking on law enforcement officers.

Behind Border Patrol vehicle on Interstate 10/submitted photo

Behind Border Patrol vehicle on Interstate 10/submitted photo

Their jobs are difficult enough without some petty complaints from the people they are hired to protect. But sometimes the complaints are not so petty – and the concerns quite valid.

Like cruising down Interstate 10 at speeds nearing 100 mph, careening through traffic, with neither lights nor sirens activated.

One Tucson guy, who wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, said he witnessed such activity with not one, but three U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol vehicles just after noon June 21 on his way to Chandler. He said the Border Patrol trio was cruising on Interstate 10, not far from exit 203 near Toltec Road.

“While driving the speed limit (75 mph) a border patrol truck raced up to my vehicle and tailgated me for several miles,” the concerned motorist wrote in an e-mail. “I opted not to let road rage take over, and I changed lanes to let the vehicle pass safely by me. Turns out it was three border patrol vehicles. These officers were driving extremely aggressively, weaving around traffic at speeds in excess of 90 mph, blatantly disregarding traffic laws and personal safety. They did not have their lights or sirens on.”

Note the driver’s speedometer in the above photo and in the short but effective video he sent.

[tnivideo caption=”Border Patrol cruising down Interstate 10 ” credit=”Submitted by TC.com reader”]brightcove:106456288001[/tnivideo]

___

Perhaps there is a simple explanation for this. Maybe the caravan was on a secret mission. Perhaps an illegal alien, or 33, was in the back of each truck needing swift emergency treatment at the nearest hospital.

Maybe somebody had to pee.

Full shot of speedometer pic from above/submitted photo

Full shot of speedometer pic from above/submitted photo

Border Patrol has not yet responded to an inquiry sent June 30, but it will be added if received.

“I have a simple question,” the concerned motorist continued, “When is it acceptable for border patrol agents to blatantly disregard traffic laws, and speed in excess without lights or sirens? Lately it seems to be that some border patrol agents are oblivious to the rules of the road. Are they not bound by the same rules and regulations as the rest of us?”

Anybody?

Thankfully, local police and sheriff aren’t wont to be spotted speeding at nearly 100 mph in and around Tucson.

But they, too, may dabble in a few traffic infractions. Some have been seen changing lanes without their blinkers – gasp! – but we see that from many daily. We have actually come to wonder if there is a Tucson ordinance that makes blinkers optional.

There is one other traffic rule , however, that is even more of a detriment to Old Pueblo’s roads.

They have been spotted driving way below the speed limit.

When a police or sheriff vehicle decides to go 28 in a 40 mph zone, you bet all nearby traffic all of a sudden follows suit. No one wants to be noted passing a cop or sheriff car, after all. It’s much safer to stay behind them, creating a giant sea of barely mobile traffic, or “rolling roadblocks” as my friend likes to call them.

Guess that’s preferred over getting cut off by one at some 95 mph.

While some of these complaints may, in fact, be petty, they may also open the door for another concern. If nobody cares if law enforcement officers break traffic laws, will it only be a matter of time before bigger and better laws are equally disregarded by officers and met with the same nonchalance?

UPDATE – Response from U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

Border Patrol wants to know about such incidents, Rob Daniels of the Tucson Sector’s public affairs office said.

Daniels did not offer any theories on why the aforementioned trio of vehicles may have been speeding on July 21 – “Without knowing any specifics, it’s not a good idea to do that” – but he did encourage people to report such behavior.

“Border Patrol agents are required to comply with all traffic laws, no different than anyone else,” Daniels said. “In instances which anyone has identified and reports inappropriate driving behavior by our agents, those situations are investigated and appropriate action is taken.

“(I want to) reassure the public that this is the case and agents are no different than anyone else when it comes to obeying traffic laws.”

Daniels noted the Border Patrol helpline was set up for people to report everything from agents’ driving to suspected illegal border activity.

Reach the helpline at 1-877-USPB-HELP

People can also call the Tucson Sector at 748-3000

[tnipoll]

Border Patrol cruising down Interstate 10/submitted photo

Border Patrol cruising down Interstate 10/submitted photo

wb-logolil


What do you think?

Have you seen Border Patrol or other law enforcement breaking traffic laws?

Do such infractions concern you or do you look at it as just one of the perks of the jobs perhaps?

Do you ever report it?

Have you seen law enforcement breaking laws other than traffic rules?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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46 Responses to Border Patrol breaking traffic rules? Is the law above the law? – VIDEO – UPDATE with BP response

  1. HonkyDonk says:

    Border Patrol Agents are a bunch of cowboys. I’ve seen them break traffic laws more than a few times. Pesonally, I think they believe they’re above the law. Why else would you hear so many stories about them gunning down innocent people or getting busted for aiding and abetting drug smugglers. Let’s face it – can’t pass the police examination, no college necessary – all you have to be is white and armed. (speaking spanish gets you a pay raise!)

    • Rynski says:

      cowboys! hahahha – thanks for your input, honkydonk.
      there are those stories you mention, sure, but i hope most are upholding laws instead of breaking them….know some good ones! but yes, every batch has the proverbial bad apples.
       

    • jim says:

      Actually the Border Patrol process is more rigorous than most Metro P.D.s. Most stations have about a 90 to 95% hispanic agent make up and speaking spanish gets you no more or less money. You do seem to be quite the expert though.

  2. Bill Hilser says:

    Hey Rynski: It’s called Code 2 1/2.  God love those Border Patrol units for not scaring the bejabbers out of the taxpayers with all those red/blue lights and sirens.
    It was probably an inportant back-up call, and the officers didn’t want to alarm Mr. or Mrs. John. Q. Citizen.
    Or . . . check out this scenario. What if there was a suspect under survelliance, and you needed back-up before you made your presence known to him/her/them and made the arrest by suprise.
    Would you want your back-up to come in at 100 mph, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, giving your survail away?
    Why not bring along the Tucson Gay Mens’ Marching Band too, while you’re at it?
    Might as well. <g>
    Your thoughts. oh, lady in green?
    Yer humble servant, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      hahahhahahah! absolutely LOVE the marching band idea, ferrari bubba – too funny.
      the tactic you describe sounds similar to one i recall from american history that involved fifes and marching down the middle of the street, no?
      thanks for the code 2 1/2 input, too – hopefully bp will confirm that was the case…nobody needs to be without bejabbers after they’ve all been scared away -haahahah.
      sincerely,
      greenfuzzyslippers

  3. Shawn Moran says:

    There could be many reasons that the agents were exceeding the speed limit in the course of their official duties.  One thing the Border Patrol as an agency will not tell you is that those agents are assigned to work areas that are 90 minutes from their station.  So they will spend over three hours just trying to get to where they are assigned to work for that shift.  If there is a group of illegals or smugglers they will want to get there as quickly as possible to start tracking them.  The fact that the government will not build a Border Patrol station closer to the border in that part of AZ causes much of this.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for additional info, shawn moran.
      how crummy the stations are so far from the border – that doesn’t seem to make much sense – unless the stations are safer from ambush farther away?
      glad to hear valid reasons may be on the horizon, as well.

      • dumbass says:

        Border Control guards are ambushed all the time. The liberal media elite just choses not to report it.

  4. John Kennedy says:

    Usually there’s a pretty good reason when they “break” the law on the road. Also remember, cops are just like us, they have bad days, need to pee, get angry or forget to use the turn signals. Silly to expect 100% from them, yet we whine when we get pulled over for forgetting our turn signals.
    I work with a lot of cops, and they’re all humans.

    • Rynski says:

      hey john kennedy,
      thanks for the reminder that law enforcement people are people too! we often do hold them to higher standards – but in reality we’re all a bunch of people.
      glad to hear your vote for valid reasons for ‘breaking’ laws as well.

  5. Mark B. Evans says:

    Perhaps you should call Border Patrol for comment?

    • Rynski says:

      i am awaiting response from e-mail i sent yesterday. found most agencies respond better to e-mail than telephone.
      for the record, i did call this morning as well, was asked to call back after noon-ish.

      • Rynski says:

        for the record again, just called back at 12:14 p.m. and contact who told me to call back had ‘just stepped out.’ left my number so he can return my call.

      • Rynski says:

        response given, recorded and posted about 1:15 p.m.-ish (see above post).

  6. fraser007 says:

    Your blog site is much more fun if you stick with wife beater t-shirts. If your blog site is going to jump on the band wagon for anti-Border Patrol rant them I am sure you will get less readers. (As if the Citizen gets that many as it is.) Guess your liberal bias is coming through.
    For a moment I thought I was reading the Arizona Daily Star online.

    • Rynski says:

      ??? anti-border patrol rant??? anti-anything rants don’t usually start with ‘we hate picking on…’
      i’m not ranting, just passing along info i received and prompting discussion.
      but glad you enjoyed the wife beater shirts, fraser007.

      • leftfield says:

        fraser sees liberals everywhere.  He somehow thinks the worst insult you can throw at someone is to call them a liberal.  He’s wrong and I can prove it.  I almost got into a fight today because some guy spit tobacco juice on the sidewalk.  I called him a “fraser”; he took deep offense and said I had besmirched his honor.

  7. Hugh Holub says:

    We had an incident in Nogales where a Border Patrol agent blew through a school zone going 75 without his lights and siren on. He was prosecuted. The mission of the BP does not include recklessly endangering the people of Arizona. A basic problems we have is the BP thinks their mission trumps everything else…and in fact they are a limited jurisdiction police force and their activities are still subject to state and local criminal laws.

    • Rynski says:

      hey hugh,
      thanks for sharing example….hope not kids had been in school zone at the time – eek.

      • Hugh Holub says:

        Nope…but the BP fumed over the prosecution…and for a long time after (since I was the one who charged the guy) I got harrassed…BP would park in my drive way and block me from leaving, follow me all over Santa Cruz County…stupid stuff.

  8. steev says:

    thanks for this post.  in general, law enforcement officers are given far far too much respect and tolerance in this country.  they need to be constantly questioned and held to the highest standards so that they don’t  abuse their power quite as much (they will always always abuse it but we can keep it to a minimum).  That’s why there are groups like Cop Watch and Migra Patrol.

  9. Alan Melroy (Alan from Kent WA says:

    Apparently they are trying to reach those crossing into the USA before the NYU graduates representing the ACLU get there.  Remember, New York Lawyers are famous for responding in a New York  Second.  When I lived in Poaqaque NM, it wasn’t unusual to see Gov. Bill Richardson’s motor entourage moving at 100MPH on Route 285, but there was always a citizen or two following behind knowing that the State Police wouldn’t pull them over, as that would implicate the Gov.  Plus, there in NM, fair for one was considered fair for all. 

    • Rynski says:

      new mexico is fun, isn’t it, alan from kent wa – hahahhahaha.
      (i’m also a big richardson fan – did you hear he recently hosted/helped with wedding ceremony for hans solo and gal?)
      you are right about the ny second – and much enjoy your theory! hahahah. thanks.

  10. Rynski says:

    frank –
    your comment turned into jimmalajazz – do you have a link, perhaps, for what looks like a youtube video you were trying to share?
    thanks!

  11. koz says:

    its clear that they are responding to a call… hence the three vehicles in a caravan. And as one person said before, if they are responding to a load vehicle, and trying to catch up to it, they arent going to try and catch up to it with lights and sirens blaring. You need to get off the bandwagon and stop picking on these agents. They do good work and take a lot of slack for absolutely no reason.

    • Rynski says:

      then you agree with my secret mission theory – yahoo! – thanks for speculation, koz.

    • radmax says:

      Kez, jump on the ‘it is clear’ ? bandwagon why don’t ya. I believe that Rynski has put forth the facts known at this time…why no response from BP? Damage control?
      I for one commend any watchdog. Authority without oversight is dangerous.
      PS – The fourth estate is supposed to keep tabs on authority in this country…or at least some very wise founding fathers believed it to be paramount to a thriving democracy. You’re not a ‘my country, right or wrong’ guy are ya? 😉

      • Rynski says:

        hiya radmax –
        all these dang bandwagons all over are gonna get us all run over – hahahhahaha!
        only thing i want to get hit with right about now is the sleep cart. hahahah. thanks, as always, for laugh – and input.

  12. koz says:

    no im not a ‘my country, right or wrong guy.”  But im also not a liberal who will attack our officers for no reason at all either.  Ever think that they have more important stuff to do than respond to the tucson citizen about agents responding to a call?  If they felt it was important, or that they were in the wrong, they would have issued a statement to clear the air.  This is such a non-story, that its funny, hence they dont even bother to respond.

    • radmax says:

      It is in the public domain now, right or wrong. A simple response would clear this up in no time. I want to believe that they were responding also, but we may never know.
      Actually, there are some very long, boring roads these officers patrol, especially on the Tohono O,dom reservation.
      That being said, there are also many folks who live out in these parts.
      All it takes is some kid chasing a ball to ruin the fun and games if these guys are doing this regularly.
      Betcha it’s not BP policy to speed…

  13. koz says:

    yes, bp is the only law enforcement in these areas, and are the only guys driving these roads. what makes you think bp is less responsible than dps or ccso or any local pd? Ill tell you why, bc i cant tell your a liberal who thinks mexicans who come here are good people looking for a better life, and choose to pick on bp bc they shatter those dreams.

    • radmax says:

      Haha! You aren’t familiar with these here parts, are ya pilgrim.
      Got me pegged kos.
      PS- My politics run just a little right of Gen. Buck Turgidson. 🙂

      • leftfield says:

        My politics run just a little right of Gen. Buck Turgidson

        Ha!  What about good old Jack D. Ripper?  He saved us all from the contamination of our “precious bodily fluids”.

        BTW, koz: don’t believe Radmax.  He’s a red agent intent on destroying the moral fiber of decent Americans. 

  14. Ron H. says:

    Border Patrol is like any other organization, they have rules, regulations, and training to work without causing trouble for innocents around them; however, there are still persons who get hired and proceed to act the Fool.  I commute daily from Tucson to Sells, and I see all manner of law Enforcement vehicles, but none tops the scale of recklessness as does the Border Patrol.  Has someone given them permission to ignore our traffic laws, chase vehicles without regard to traffic safety?  I know of two incidents where BP caused accidents with loss of life, but nothing was done.  I routinely follow them cruising at speeds of 75+, seldom do they adhere to the speed limit.  90 miles away?  Common sense says to leave earlier.  If they were serious about immigration, outposts would be established on the mountain tops to monitor movements with binoculars.  But that’s too logical, Washinton would never buy it!  Kinda like the “Drug War”, throw money at the problem, even if it doesn’t solve anything.

    • realist says:

      Maybe they drive fast on the SR-86, FR-15 and FR-19 to reduce the amount of time in danger.  The T.O. Nation members spend a great deal of their time driving while intoxicated.  Every time I have to drive on their Nation I see more crosses on the side of the road most are due to an intoxicated driver.  I fear driving on FR-15 and SR-86 and will never do it at night.  These guys (BP) have to do it everyday.  Enjoy your job in Sells, be safe driving and watch out for the other guy. As for the forward outpost idea, talk to your Indian friends in Sells.  For the United States Government to do anything on the T.O. Reservation they need Indian approval,  they continually say “no” due to everything being sacred on their land.  Educate yourself first before making comments please.  And before you try to spank me for “hating” on the Indians realize this.  I once stopped at the Shell on SR-86 in Sells.  They were selling a shirt that stated “Tohono O’Hodam Nation!  Native Hustlers….. Born to hustle, hustle to live. Be proud of our heritage” Seriously!

  15. maryk says:

    “A basic problems is the BP thinks their mission trumps everything else…and in fact they are a limited jurisdiction police force and their activities are still subject to state and local criminal laws.” …truthhttp://www.idiotstrafficschool.com http://www.dummiestrafficschool.comhttp://www.freetrytrafficschool.com

    • jim says:

      Limited jurisdiction police force…Last time I checked sworn Federal Agents able to uphold any and all federal laws weren’t a limited jurisdiction police force…check your facts.

  16. leftfield says:

    What part of illegal do these invaders of Southern Arizona not understand?

    No amnesty for the BP!   

  17. koz says:

    leave earlier!? so they should work 15 hour days instead of 1o as they do already? and ten is the minimum.  get a clue!

  18. realist says:

    Ok time to be real.  Watch the video closely.  As the “UNKNOWN” driver tilts down to view the speed on his dash and tilts back up, his position is relatively closer to the BP vehicle when he shows the vehicle again.  This would make an unbiased person believe that the “UNKNOWN” driver is actually traveling faster then the BP vehicle.  His speed as shown is about 87-90 mph.  Speed limit on this section of highway is 75 mph.  This would lead to the non biased person to figure the BP vehicles to be traveling at about 85mph.  Now to discuss the real problem here.  A citizen with no high speed drivers training (such as the BP has at the academy) is traveling faster and taking video to catch the big bad Federal Agents.  HE WAS TAKING VIDEO WHILE DRIVING AT THESE SPEEDS!!  That sounds and looks to me as the real danger in this video.  Dear “UNKNOWN” driver.  Please forward this video to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  Please include your name and address so after they investigate the can issue you your tickets and advise you of the outcome of the investigation into why the Federal Agents were speeding.  Furthermore, what gives you the right to speed faster then the Federal Agents, who may have been responding to a call  code 2 1/2 (sometimes on our roads the red and blues and sirens make people drive very dangerously).  Were you traveling to the same call?  Please enlighten us as to why it is them that are wrong and not you?

  19. marc says:

    The author breaks the law to capture footage of someone else breaking the law and thinks it’s ok? That’s definitely the pot calling the kettle black. If he was the upstanding citizen that he wants everyone to believe he is, then he  should immediately turn himself in along with his footage and accept any punishment given to him.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  20. grumpy1342 says:

    I have been all over the country, and it is with ease that I say that Arizona drivers are some of the worst in the country.  60% of the public (rough guess) in Arizona drives below the posted speed limit.  Living most of my life in New York, if the speed limit says 55 MPH, 55 MPH is the slowest that you drive.  Cops won’t stop you for going 60 MPH unless you are driving like an idiot.  Police have to get to places quick, and sometimes without alerting people of their presence.  If your house was being robbed, would you want police responding lights and sirens that could be heard miles away allowing the criminal to escape?  Do you think that a group of illegals (I dare not say Mexicans because there are people from all over this world sneaking across our borders) are going to sit down and wait for the Border Patrol to arrest them after they hear the sirens or see the lights?  It’s common sense people.  Law enforcement is not above the law, but they are trained in high speed driving.  I will leave you with one final question.  If a vehicle is traveling the posted speed limit, lets say 75 MPH, and a cop witnesses a traffic infraction while parked on the side of the road, is that cop going to catch up to that vehicle by driving the posted speed limit of 75 MPH?

    • Lizard Man says:

      I had a similar experience twice on Interstate 10 heading East out of Tucson, I had been working  (Driving ) for 13 hours, I was tired, my eyes where burning..a truck pulls up to the rear of my car as I am driving at 80 miles per hour, shines his bright lights into my rear  window tailgating me. Two things he could have done if he wanted me to pull over: Blinked his high beams to let me know he needed to get by or, like other law enforcement, put on is emergency lights, I would have pulled over.
      There was no excuse for endangering my life, he chose to risk my life for no good reason. I’m a citizen not a liberal or a conservative, I believe in protecting the border as well as protecting the citizens of this great country, and I believe strongly in the rule of law.

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