The Metropolitan Washington, DC Police department implemented vehicle checkpoints in several Northeast neighborhoods over the weekend, demanding ID of vehicle occupants and determining who may ‘pass’ and who’s denied entry to public spaces in the District of Columbia.
Brainchild of Mayor Adrian “Gung-Ho” Fenty, the constitutionally-questionable checkpoints are being phased into several ‘vital’ DC locations under the guise of “Neighborhood Safety Zones”.
Reminiscient of the Nazi Schutzstaffel, Police Officers stopped, detained and questioned both travelers and residents before they were allowed to proceed to their destination. If the operators refused (quite properly) to disclose their intentions for traveling, they were denied entrance to these public neighborhoods.
Of course, these checkpoints were as effective as they were intended to be. While police resources were being used interrogating average citizens with a ferocity which, one resident labeled, “made me forget it was 2008 and not 1968”, two men were shot not far from the checkpoint location.
Representatives of several civil and housing rights organizations protested the plan as they gathered in the 1400 block of Montello Avenue NE. Eleanor Johnson, of the D.C. Coalition for Housing Justice, said the police were “creating a police state.”
Remember, kids: When Law Enforcement stops you, you MAY be required to provide identification. You never, EVER have to say anything else. Where you’re going, what you’re doing and what your plans may be are all your personal, private business, and law enforcement seldom has a right to that information. If you are pulled over by police for any reason, the officers are very likely to ask you to consent to a search.
Don’t do it. Never, ever consent under any circumstances. It might be couched in terms of a command, but it is a request. If you consent, you are waiving your Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. They won’t ‘go easier’ on you; anything they find, they will confiscate, and arrest you and put you in jail. Don’t do their job for them.