published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Police Roadblocks

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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Yano said...

People minding their own business have a right not to be harassed and inconvenienced by government agents fishing for illegal activity despite lack of evidence. Whether "innocent people have nothing to fear" or not is irrelevant.

The Fourth Amendment protects us all by preventing the government from enforcing laws that regulate behavior that is none of its business. It's purpose is actually to protect people who are guilty of laws that shouldn't exist in the first place. It's purpose is to limit the power of government.

If that means the government finds it harder to catch a few illegals, then so be it.

Any power given to the few will inevitably be abused sooner or later. Righteous politicians will abuse power for whatever cause they believe is for the greater good. Crooked politicians will abuse it less hypocritically.

The only way for free people to protect themselves from the abuse of a government power is not to let it exist in the first place.

Say no to giving the government the power to pull you over and search your vehicle, your person, demand your papers, without any reason at all.

July 19, 2011 at 12:18 a.m.
fairmon said...

Yano said...

Say no to giving the government the power to pull you over and search your vehicle, your person, demand your papers, without any reason at all.

I am not saying the law is good or bad but I didn't see that provision in the legislation. The legislation is about employers being required to use the e-verify system and penalties for employers failing to verify. It penalizes those involved in transporting those here illegally in number. It penalizes those that obtain illegal documents.

Mexico is suing Georgia over this law. What other country would allow another country to use it's legal system to sue a government in their country? Something about that doesn't seem right but if it is legal so be it. It does mean some citizen may be delayed in getting their day in court. It does mean significant tax payer money will be spent on the litigation.

It is a controversial and emotional issue. Obviously none of us are experts and none have an easy answer. However, the federal government should enforce the law or change or abolish it. Ignoring illegal activity is not an acceptable option. The congress and administration fear the loss of votes from such a controversial issue and keep procrastinating. A guest worker program with a reasonable path to legal citizenship seems reasonable. It would enable those here with good intentions to come forward and not always be concerned about being discovered and deported. But, such a program may increase the number. Glad I am not a member of congress having to find a solution.

July 19, 2011 at 4:26 a.m.
woody said...

The authorities (whoever or wherever they may be) may package their various "roadblocks" any way they may like, but it is still an infringement upon the "4th Amendment." The biggest and boldest of these is called "The Patriot Act" and is played out all across this great land of ours on a daily basis and is not now nor ever will be justified constitutionally.

Arguing the point here is just about as useless as it would be at any U.S. airfield except for the fact I can do so here without fear of immediate arrest and incarceration for speaking my mind in this "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave."

I could on, and I believe rightfully so, however, I'll leave my closing remarks to the "Late Great" Benjamin Franklin, who said it best then and whose words still ring true..especially today...

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Okay, the argument has been made and the floor is now open..Woody

July 19, 2011 at 6:39 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

it is about the loss of votes. it's a mad dash by democrats, and to a lesser extent republicans, to slap their brand on the largest minority in this, which is composed of many who are here illegaly. that's all it is. the first thing you libs do is blur the line between citizen and illegal alien. obama has done his best to put illegal aliens/criminals on the same plain as citizens.

if we would deploy our military to our border it would put a stop to it where it originates. citizens are being thrown under the bus so politicians can gain votes.

they're not immigrants..and need to be treated for what they are, invaders/criminals.

that's the problem. what a spineless country we must come across as if another country feels they can take us to our own courts and sue us for defending our borders and trying to get rid of invaders.

"a few illegal", yano?.....idiocy.

the constitution does not apply to invaders, terrorists, illegal alien criminals or anything like that.

since obama has been in office citizenship has been devalued and the constitutions is nothing special.

it's laughable to see how you libs splatter this forum with your sophistry and contort your brains to try and convince everyone else that lawlessness is acceptable. your motives are transparent.

July 19, 2011 at 7:28 a.m.
limric said...

Here here, Yano and Woody. Well said and right on target!

The Dalton roadblocks (Dalton is not unique) reminds me of the story about Wild Hogs and the trapper.

A herd of wild hogs was rooting up crops from local farms. It got so bad that rewards were being posted for anyone clever enough to catch the hogs. Some tried, but this resulted in only limited success.

One day a stranger (who was a wily old trapper) came into town and–entering the general store–ordered a truckload of fence posts and fencing, along with some feed. When asked what he was going to use it for, he said, “I’m going to get those wild hogs y’all are having trouble with.” Of course, everyone in the store laughed at the overconfident stranger. A few weeks later, however, the stranger rode into town with the back of his truck tightly packed with the smelly swine.

When asked how he was able to accomplish what no one else had been able to do, the old trapper replied, “Simple. I started putting the feed out in a small clearing and the hogs began freely eating the feed. It didn’t take long and they were there every day. Then I put up the fence posts, but with no fencing. At first the hogs were a little skittish, but it wasn’t long and they ignored the posts. Then I began putting the fence up, but I left the gate off. Again, the hogs were skittish at first, but soon realized they could come and go freely, and before long, they were devouring the free food with a vengeance. Then, one day when the hogs were aggressively consuming the vittles, I slammed the gate closed.”

I submit that what the old trapper did to the wild hogs is exactly what is happening in this country today. What's worse, most Americans seem about as oblivious to the whole thing as the pigs in the story. For anyone who is paying attention however, the signs of a growing corporate police state are everywhere.

The Revolution Will be Televised

July 19, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
fairmon said...

The carton is misleading. The 4th amendment is to protect citizens from "unreasonable" search and seizure on or in their property. Evidence obtained in an illegal search is inadmissible and cannot be used in a court of law. Are illegal immigrants protected by the constitution? If here illegally then no court process is necessary.

It is legal for a property owner to enforce no trespassing on personal property. Why should a state or country not insist on immigrants following the law for immigrating or be considered a trespasser if they enter illegally?

One issue not mentioned or recognized by many unfamilair with the problems are the ties to the Mexican drug cartels and the networks they are building in many locations across the U.S. America is losing the war on drugs.

July 19, 2011 at 9:14 a.m.
tderng said...

harp3339... America isn't losing the war on drugs,it has well and truly lost it.The amount of money spent on fighting the drug war is huge.If that money were spent on border defense we could be a lot closer to securing our borders,ease the overcrowding in our prisons,and greatly reduce the flow of drugs,and illegals into this country.

July 19, 2011 at 9:52 a.m.
limric said...


You seem to have missed the point of the cartoon, and on the surface I would venture to say you aren’t well versed in the text or meaning of the fourth amendment. The text of which is below: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Notice the bold text. It is not limited to being on or in their property.

Baghdad-style checkpoints are obviously a violation of the Fourth Amendment. It does not take a constitutional lawyer to figure this out.

I may be wrong, but I think you believe it is OK to subvert the Bill of Rights if residents in certain areas are ignorant of the Constitution or think it should be trampled because they are tired of Mexicans, gang-bangers or the flavor of the day.

Trashing the Fourth Amendment under the guise of snaring illegal immigrants (or terrorists) is an Orwellian ruse to confuse citizen’s ideas of their limited powers. Then assert this power as unchallengeable.

It is yet another example demonstrating that a growing number of people do not deserve a constitutionally limited republic, even if they are unwilling to keep it.

July 19, 2011 at 10:29 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Indeed, this is a sad, unsettling, and costly situation for a variety of reasons. Not only is Dalton’s approach a misuse of power and inefficient use of local law enforcement, but it will most likely lead to ongoing abuse, corruption, and costly civil rights litigation. I also suspect that it will eventually have a negative impact on their local economy. Lets face it, who wants to visit, relax, and shop in a city known for its time consuming police roadblocks. Clearly, since illegal immigration is all about jobs, the most effective way to deal with the problem is through the employers who may knowingly or unknowingly be hiring illegal immigrants. And if the businesses in the Dalton region truly need immigrant labor, the city’s civic leaders should be advocating for some kind of a guest worker program on their behalf.

July 19, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
tderng said...

man I must be in an alternate universe...I agree with limric! :).Roadblocks are a violation of our rights and should be curtailed.It is another attempt to erode our constitutional freedoms and condition the people to a police state type of checkpoints.I believe that some group of advocates and their lawyers will sue and prevail,at least I can hope so.These roadblocks began as a way to stop drunk drivers "for the public good",I figured that eventually they would include other "reasons".

July 19, 2011 at 11:41 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

If it's going to keep my family safe from the riff-raff that now pervades the south, I say road blocks everywhere. I'll spend some time backed up.

July 19, 2011 at 11:51 a.m.
tderng said...

whatsnottaken...then you deserve neither safety nor freedom.What other rights are you willing to give up?How about police raiding your home,with no warrant, to search for illegals?

July 19, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
hambone said...

When drug testing people on welfare or unemployment, where is the probable cause?

July 19, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.
jimbob said... we round up all the illegals and send them back to where a.ever thier from. Now who is going to pick the produce in Ca. the apples in New Englsnd,the citrus in Fl. clen out the chicken houses in Al. Not you Sea Monkey nor any other white person.

July 19, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
dude_abides said...

All right tderng! This is where liberals and libertarians should find some common ground. I wonder where L4F falls on this issue? SeaMonkey, once again, is arguing the call at second while two runs score.

July 19, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.
tderng said...

dude_abides...everyone in this country should have a problem with illegal search and seizure.Roadblocks should be illegal.The group M.A.D.D. had a lot to do with getting these intrusions to our rights passed.In Tennessee at one time a State Patrol Officer had to be involved in any roadblock,I am not sure if this is still true.Regardless it is still a violation of our civil rights againdt unlawful search and seizure.To be pulled over and scrutinized simply for being on the road.

July 19, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.
rolando said...

This is idiocy and a deliberate distortion of the law by our hometown cartoonist. It will stir up discussion, though...his true aim and why he is still employed.

The Supreme Court of The United States has ruled that roadblock checks to ensure the public safety are completely legal -- this includes check-stops for drunken drivers, those driving without a license or with a suspended/revoked license, those driving without proper vehicle registration, those driving without insurance, etc. Those performed by Dalton fall under that determination. They are completely legal; the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution doesn't come close to applying.

All the cops ask for is driver's license, car registration, and car insurance...the usual things. You can't supply those? You are Busted! And damn well deserve it! That's my life and my family's lives they are screwing around with.

July 19, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
dude_abides said...

How about door to door screenings, rolando? Sound good to you? You and your wife standing there at three in the morning in your pajamas answering a few harmless questions? Maybe checking your gun serial numbers and your prescriptions for your medicines? A quick, unobtrusive copy made of your hard drive, perhaps? Your ignorance is dangerous.

July 19, 2011 at 10:36 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ rolando

Your statements are correct. As for the newspaper, controversy generates advertising revenue. The agitators that they imported from El Paso, as a result of their proximity to the most illegal alien laden city in Georgia,(thanks to the carpet cartel), is good for their bottom line.(They should buy the carpet barons big bouquets of flowers at every opportunity, to show their appreciation}

The problem they are creating is with the gullible, lazy intellects, who are incapable of thinking for themselves, but are eligble to vote in elections.

As for the traffic checks, anyone who can use a search engine can read the Supreme Court's decisions, excluding them from the fourth admendment. There is no valid argument.

I think that my attitude about this issue reflects that of most of the citizens in Dalton. When I am stopped, I always emphatically thank the officers and encourage them to stop me more often. Short of prosecuting the CEOs of the lint mills, it is the most effective way to address Dalton's malady.

July 19, 2011 at 10:38 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Rolando said: “This is idiocy and a deliberate distortion of the law by our hometown cartoonist. . . The Supreme Court of The United States has ruled that roadblock checks to ensure the public safety are completely legal. . . Those performed by Dalton fall under that determination. They are completely legal; the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution doesn't come close to applying.”

Please, Rolando. You are the one who is guilty of distorting the law. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that roadblocks must be closely connected to highway safety, and, clearly, racial profiling and searches for illegal immigrants are not related to highway safety. And the Fourth Amendment is definitely involved. It’s why the Supreme Court ruled that it's illegal for law enforcement to search automobiles for drugs and/or other criminal evidence without probable cause. Illigal immigrant checkpoints are only legal in regions close to border crossings, which obviously doesn’t apply to the City of Dalton.

July 19, 2011 at 10:49 p.m.
tderng said...

yes,lets have door to door police checks!bring citizens out of their house while the police check for illegal drugs or meth labs "for the public safety".Lets drag citizens out of their house to check their papers to make sure who they are.

Having said that I feel I should make clear that I believe the border should be closed and well guarded.Not so much because I don't want Latino workers here but because I don't want terrorists to be able to just wander across the border to kill Americans.I don't want drug lords to be able to just walk drugs into our country.We need the Latino workers,but they need to come here legally.

July 19, 2011 at 11:30 p.m.
rolando said...

That's right, mtlaurel, that's what they said. Dalton is not stopping and checking anyone at their roadblocks to see if they are an illegal alien or not...just whether they have a traffic-safety- required driver's license, registration, and car insurance or not. If they don't, as I understand it, under Georgia law they must be arrested on the spot and detained. And these are NOT illegal alien checkpoints...they check everyone. That's not only "due process" but "equality under the law".

Offhand, I would say the lack of a valid driver's license, a valid vehicle registration, and current car insurance is definitely connected with highway safety.

There is no racial profiling involved; they ask everyone they stop at the roadblocks for the same information -- to ensure the public safety, you understand. Anyone, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual preference, religion, or anything else who is lacking any one or more of those items is arrested, provided Georgia law requires it. Otherwise they are evidently ticketed.

There are NO citizenship checks, NO racial checks, NOTHING except those three things...

The SCOTUS itself has decided there is NO Fourth Amendment violation involved in this type stop.

You presume to argue with the SCOTUS, take it up with them.

Clay is a rabble-rouser.

July 19, 2011 at 11:34 p.m.
rolando said...

If I am on public lands hunting or target shooting, dude, I would certainly expect an officer to ask me for the appropriate papers. My hunting/shooting is directly connected with the public safety and such a paperwork check is most appropriate...provided they check everyone else out there hunting/shooting as well.

You make up some rather strange and far-fetched scenarios, dude. Really reaching on that one.

July 19, 2011 at 11:38 p.m.
hambone said...

I see no one has answered my question while I was gone fishing. why should someone on welfare or drawing unemployment have to be drug tested? Where's the probable cause?

July 19, 2011 at 11:38 p.m.
rolando said...

You are right, Wilder. Clay's cartoon is one of the top comment-generating features of this newspaper. The owners love him...lots of advertisers [most of whom my browser automatically blocks]. I figure he earns his pay.

This is a liberal, left-leaning newspaper. Clay;s cartoons reflect that bias, just a's cartoonists and columnists reflect its conservative bias. But I preach to the choir...

July 19, 2011 at 11:48 p.m.
rolando said...

No probable cause required, hambone. Just make it a condition of "employment" [or to receive extended public assistance of any kind]. Sorta like "presumed consent" for a BAT if suspected of drunk driving or a pre-signed consent form agreeing to the drug test.

Were you really expecting an answer...especially one like that?

I bet it would drop the rolls to about 50% of current.

July 19, 2011 at 11:51 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando, you will forever live in the land of the eternally ignorant and hypocritical. You are fine with trashing the Constitution, so long as it doesn't affect you directly, eh?

Only because you are not likely to be inconvenienced by such roadblocks, are you taking the position you have decided regarding this issue. You and a couple of others who have decided to weigh in on this issue are apparently in denial or being coy as to what the true motivation is behind those roadblocks.

And of course, it is your decidedly often-expressed hatred of Hispanics, that drives your desire to defend roadblocks set up and demanded by authority figures in Dalton, eager to use law enforcement officers to do a little ethnic cleansing in Dalton.

Today it's illegal immigrants that Dalton is targeting. Next month it may be sexagenarians who ride motorcycles that the city decides that they want to stay out of Dalton.

Once they get a taste of how good ethnic cleansing can work, where does it end?

July 20, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.
Wilder said...

@ alprova

"You and a couple of others who have decided to weigh in on this issue are apparently in denial or being coy as to what the true motivation is behind those roadblocks."

I'm not in denial - they are removing people who are driving around without a license or automobile insurance. In Dalton, most of the people in that category just happen to be illegal aliens. It is random luck, a coincidence - who knew that would be the outcome?

BTW, it isn't an inconvenience for me, or lots of other people. It is what we have been advocating for years. I would like to thank Dalton/Whitfield law enforcement again. You are doing a great job. Keep it up.

July 20, 2011 at 7:50 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Rolando said: “There is no racial profiling involved; they ask everyone they stop at the roadblocks for the same information -- to ensure the public safety, you understand.”

Since the governor of the State of Georgia and most of its politicians have already revealed their intent to anybody and everybody who would listen, I think we all have a very clear understanding of what is really going on with these roadblocks, Rolando.

Indeed, the City of Dalton can waste its resources and taxpayer dollars on playing these legal word games about the actual purpose of these roadblocks, but we all know the truth. It’s not like any of these alleged civic leaders in the City of Dalton have any kind of notable track record showing they have ever given a notable hoot about highway safety prior to their recent political grandstanding on the illegal immigrant issue.

Personally, I think the City of Dalton's approach to the problem is a misuse and inefficient use of law enforcement and it will prove to be very costly to the city and its residents in the end. Again, illegal immigration is all about jobs, and the most effective way to deal with the problem is through the employers who may knowingly or unknowingly be hiring illegal immigrants.

July 20, 2011 at 8:53 a.m.
Wilder said...

@ mountain

"I think the City of Dalton's approach to the problem is a misuse and inefficient use of law enforcement and it will prove to be very costly to the city and its residents in the end."

As stated in an earlier article, Dalton's taxpayers are saving $8000 per every student removed from the school system. Added to all of the other very substantial savings, both financial and social, this is a huge win win for Dalton. Keep up the good work.

BTW, I agree with you about punishing the employers. A fitting punishment would be to revoke their US citizenship and deport them, along with their employees.

July 20, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
rolando said...

The governor and "most of [the] politicians" in Georgia didn't pass the law, mtlaura...Dalton did. I am sure Dalton does not consider the public savings to be of concern...quite the opposite.

[Great posts, Wilder.]

Three cheers for the Dalton Police Force in enforcing the law equally to all and protecting us from illegal drivers [of all types].

July 20, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.
rolando said...

"You are fine with trashing the Constitution, so long as it doesn't affect you directly, eh?"

As you are aware, Alpo, I helped investigate and enforce federal [read Constitutional] law, as interpreted, for over 25 years and defended it [with my life, if need be] for another 15.

That hardly constitutes "trashing" it...look to your own views for that interpretation. Considering the Constitution to be "a living document" is the highest form of conceit; placing your views above those of the SCOTUS as well as those of the Founders. You have an inordinately high and unjustified view of yourself...

And exactly where did I ever express "decidedly often-expressed hatred of Hispanics"? Of course, your thin-skinned, whiny, hate-America views would consider "Boy, those illegal aliens are really something" to express "hatred".

You should have cited your own negative views of American values as prime examples of "decidedly often-expressed hatred". Your posts reek of it.

July 20, 2011 at 11:23 a.m.
limric said...


Thank you for your public service. My Father was a Police Commisioner in the NY metro area for years. I was around law enforcement for most of my formative years. To bad I turned out so weird..but I digress.

The policies in Dalton are wrong. It is, as are the TSA's policies and the Indiana Governors recent home entry claim unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is wrong and has made perversions of the constitution a few times over the last ten the astonishment of the the glee of the rich and connected. I'm sure you know this to be true.

As a fitting end to this diatribe, click on the link I've provided. A tad too intrusive? What if it is challenged and goes before Supreme Court-and they find it within the bounds of constitutionality. Would you then defend it? We are on a slippery slope towards a police state. If we are not vigilant, we will wind up being the proverbial frog in the frying pan.

July 20, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
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