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Apr-22-2009 07:41printcomments

Preacher Says he Was Beaten and Tortured by Arizona DPS & Border Patrol Agents

A look at how some cops really behave in America; the story of a pastor beaten and tased repeatedly for trying to assert his right to privacy.
Baptist Minister Steven Anderson before and after his beating by law enforcement at an Arizona Border Patrol checkpoint April 15, 2009

(TEMPE, Ariz.) - The April 14th 2009 Border Patrol and Arizona police beating of a Baptist Minister named Steven Anderson at a border checkpoint, may stand out as one of the most disgraceful recent examples of police brutality and official breech of authority.

The supposedly trustworthy state and federal agents appear to have made a game out of how badly they could beat and physically damage and humiliate a person, and while the man's cameras remain confiscated, it was recorded on tape.

There are those stories that sometimes are just so grating, so wrong, that they are like an abomination. As stories of torture at the hands of Americans grab the headlines, we are reminded that abuse of power is the ultimate betrayal of a person's character, and it defines the conduct of an agency.

The frenzy to increase border scrutiny near Mexico seems to have tensions unusually high, and perhaps that factors in as one of the reasons this man of God was so completely and ruthlessly beaten and degraded while he was totally helpless.

Police violence that was in the national spotlight in the 1960's and 1970's has apparently never gone away, and is showing its ugly head much too often.

Money making TV hits like COPS have glamorized police and sometimes that is great, they deserve it, when they do. But along with the celebration of watching the demise of our fellow citizens, we have forgotten to pay attention to things like police violence, unless something absolutely amazing is caught on tape.

Fourth Amendment Rights

Tempe, Arizona resident Steven Anderson, Pastor of the Faithful Word Baptist Church, was driving on Interstate 8, about 70 miles east of Yuma, Arizona, when he approached the U.S. Border Patrol Crossing and came to a stop.

Anderson is what you could call a Civil Rights Crusader, and he sticks to his 4th Amendment Right that grants him protection from illegal search and seizure. It is generally known simply as a person's right to privacy.

He stated to the Border Patrol agents over and over that he was not going to roll his window down; he simply wanted to be allowed to drive away. He asked if he was being detained repeatedly and asked if they had a search warrant.

"I have a copy of the Constitution in my backpack," he told the increasingly irritated agents.

At one point on the tape an agent takes out his nun chucks in apparent anger and displays them, and at another point an agent tells him in less than perfect English, "In the Border Patrol Checkpoint, the person's rights doesn't matter here."

The ordeal lasts approximately half an hour, and then Anderson is told that he can go. If the story ended there, media agencies like this one would not be covering it right now.

The story absolutely doesn't end there. It is worth noting that while Anderson is asserting his rights, it is obvious he is greatly trying the patience of the law enforcement personnel at the checkpoint.

Still, what happened will go down as one of the worst examples of police abuse. This wasn't Rodney King, keep that in mind.

It was his return trip on Interstate 8 that led to disaster. Anderson's refusal to allow what he perceives as an unconstitutional violation of his Civil Rights, led to a brutal beating and he has eleven stitches and cuts and abrasions and a battered face to attest to it.

History of Police Abuse

Police in America are a lucky group. They get to regularly violate the rights of people and beat them and abuse them and as long as they stick to the poor and unfortunate, the homeless and the gang members, they can get away with a lot.

The main reason this happens is that a suspect runs, and "makes a cop sweat" or is a "smartass" or "flippant" to an officer. Sometimes an officer is "having a bad day" and that is the excuse. Depending on the circumstances, any number of things can happen when one person has a badge and a gun and the other doesn't.

In a way, any cop who subscribes to this really big school of thought, of justifiable police brutality, is not a cop at all, but a Civil Rights violator and a disgrace to their uniform.

Ironically, I believe police and clergy, along with educators, belong to the top three professions where one has to tow the line and live a legal life and execute their jobs in a lawful manner. You can't be both ways and be worth your salt.

Cops, of all people, don't give a break to lawbreakers.

I look back at my life growing up in Los Angeles, seeing first-hand what happened when cops got angry. As a Marine, I saw it one night when I was taken to jail along with another El Toro Marine on a drunk in public violation. In the Orange County Jail, I watched the deputies ruthlessly beat this older homeless man because he wouldn't answer their questions. They hit him over and over like a bunch of sadistic devils. I always suspected he may have been a deaf mute.

Anderson shows a police taser wire
found in his car after the arrest April 14.

What happened to Mr. Anderson at the Border Patrol checkpoint has remarkable parallels and I wish for his sake that wasn't true.

Roughly 70 miles east of Yuma, he was again stopped as a matter of routine at the immigration checkpoint. He says he did nothing to deserve his eventual arrest and he believes his Fourth Amendment rights protect him against unreasonable search without a warrant.

Arizona DPS cites a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the constitutionality of checkpoints near border areas. But the enforcement under that technicality isn't the route they ultimately took.

Border Patrol agents brought a drug dog to the car and then, according to Anderson, it quickly moved away without interest. The Border Patrol agents were then joined by members of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, who surrounded Anderson's car, insisting that the dog "found something" as he continued to assert his right to privacy.

The officers reportedly told him that he should protect his eyes because they were going to break his passenger window with a hammer. As he shielded his face, an officer "came out of nowhere" and smashed the driver's window six inches from the pastor's face simultaneously as the passenger window was busted in.

He was immediately tased not once or even twice, but a total of three times while he begged for mercy. His description of the brutality is relayed in the second video posted below. The first is a half hour long video showing how long it took for Anderson to pass through the Border Patrol Crossing the first time. The second video is not as long.

The Pastor's wife, Zsuzsanna Anderson, has maintained a blog on the case and it is a fantastic resource for those who want more details and also for those who would like to offer supporting words and even donations. (Zsusanna Anderson blog)

Zsuzsanna said, "Please continue to keep our family and this situation in your prayers. We appreciate the many emails, calls, etc. that we have received from around the country and the world."

She also says that the incident involving DPS officers R. Jones and J. Mitchell led to the confiscation of Anderson's two camcorders.

"In spite of several promises from his agency that they would be contacting us this afternoon, we have yet to hear from them," Zsuzsanna Anderson said.

She continued, saying that despite numerous requests by media, attorneys, and themselves for DPS (highway patrol) and DHS (border patrol) to release their respective tape recordings of the abuse, they have not made them public yet.

Anderson is quoted in the Arizona Daily Republic, saying what he did not comply with was being interrogated or searched.

"Does that 1976 Supreme Court case give them the right to beat the hell out of somebody?" Anderson asked. "What they did to me was totally unnecessary. They're not even claiming I fought back."

If you have time, watch the videos and draw your own conclusions.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 in Afghanistan with Oregon troops. Tim recently returned from Iraq where he covered the war there while embedded with an Oregon Guard aviation unit. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Patti in AR August 16, 2010 12:27 pm (Pacific time)

All he had to do was just roll down the window! What did expect would happen? DUMBASS!!!!

Archie1954 June 1, 2009 9:17 am (Pacific time)

Please tell me what good it is to have rights guaranteed by the Constitution if they are regularly ignored by the police? Why does an American citizen have to be beaten when he demands his rights? Wouldn't it be more realistic to remove those rights from the Consitution so that all citizens know that they really don't have such rights in reality?

Rocky Frisco May 31, 2009 1:08 pm (Pacific time)

Perceived power over others turns human into psychopaths. If a Law Officer is not professional enough to resist this tendency, then (s)he should not be in that profession. Bullies should never be issued badges nor weapons. Every officer should be considered on probation for the first few years on duty and even one example of this kind of bullying behavior should be grounds for firing.

CheckpointUSA May 31, 2009 11:44 am (Pacific time)

PO'd - What would of happened if the Border Patrol agents had obeyed the law, respected Mr. Anderson's individual rights and waved him through after asking their initial immigration question and seeing no obvious signs indicating he was breaking the law? That's right, "NOTHING" and the agents wouldn't have wasted over an hour of everyone's time and wouldn't look like the violent authoritarians they've now proven themselves to be.

PO'd May 29, 2009 5:30 am (Pacific time)

Mr. King - What would of happened to Mr. Anderson if he would have complied with the request to lower his window and answer a few simple question? That's right, "NOTHING" and he would of been on way minus cuts and bruises.

Jerry May 21, 2009 9:06 am (Pacific time)

How exactly do you think this should have went down? These officers had an individual that was, through his actions, indicating to the officers that something could be awry. Should they just look the other way and let individuals who aren't willing to follow instructions go. Per national law, the check point was legal. What should the officers have done to complete their duties?

Tim King: Well I'm no expert in this area,  but since you are asking, I think they should have broken out the passenger window while maintaining their presence and taken the guy out of the car.  I think a better question is, what possible reason was there for being so damned violent about it?  Do you think they were trying to set an example?  Well they did, and it makes them look pretty damned bad.

Mickey May 20, 2009 1:32 pm (Pacific time)

all the preacher had to do was cooperate from the very beginning. i go through the yuma border patrol station a lot and NOT ONE OF THOSE gentlemen have ever acted in a manner that i would term unreasonable! i have seen other videos of this man taunting the agents .. to me he seems to get a real thrill out of doing it. he needed to roll his window down, answer the question and be gone. once a person shows signs of being hesitant to cooperate he is sending red flags of concern. evil people come in all races... as a Preacher he should know that the Bible in Romans 13:3-4 states 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. " we all have 4th Amendment rights... not just a few. i am not afraid of rolling my window down, telling a man who works to keep us safe that I am a U.S. citizen. he brought the problem on himself. and the stmt you quoted of him being threathened with NumChucks came not from the YUMA incident but a NEW MEXICO incident and you can view that on You tube. some people want to challenge authority, and that may be a goal in his life i guess.

La Migra May 19, 2009 11:02 am (Pacific time)

Ya got to love you Mr. King. You won’t change your opinion even in the face of overwhelming facts contrary to yours. It’s obvious by reading all your other articles that you just don’t like law enforcement and nothing is going to change that……That just the way it is.

But, have you viewed the video of the preacher getting arrested and tased. I’m surprised you haven’t commented. Do you see a beating as the preacher claims? I’m sorry, you probably do through your glasses, but take them off and look real close and maybe you can see the truth….

Hey the preacher is planning a protest at that very checkpoint in a few days. Maybe you should join him and support his cause of anti government, anti law enforcement, anti whatever is right……..

I do have to admit though, I do look forward to reading you articles because I disagree with you so much……….Have a good one…..

Tim King: La Migra, I've worked with your agents before and had good relations.  I mentioned that before.  I do not condemn all law enforcement, that's a really inaccurate assessment.  We all test the waters in this life and the preacher was finding out where his rights begin and end.  For all the things you say about him, right wrong or indifferent, this guy has guts, can't we all appreciate that?  I have a new piece underway with the new video.  If you think that makes him look worse, or law enforcement look better, we'll have to disagree again.  For the record, I don't have a problem with police or anyone else in this world who operates legally, above the board and morally.   

Allen May 18, 2009 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

Tim, I don't understand are you a party to this seeming con-artist's missleading nonsense? You can tell what he's doing as soon as you hear that repetitive and purposely confusing con-like patter he does. I'd think a guy like you would have better street smarts. :-(
He got cut due to a lack of coordination in breaking the window. You would have punched that guy within 2 seconds and YOU KNOW IT!

Tim King: Allen, maybe when I was 18 and politically and Constitutionally unaware.  I'm a humanitarian today and I wouldn't beat a person unless they were a direct and imminent threat.  What this comes down to is that the agents and DPS guys knew he had a video camera but they couldn't resist instilling the payback.  They clearly lacked the necessary discipline to make it through the experience without turning into animals.  Also, people like me can make it seem much worse.  There are things to compare this to that no member of the law enforcement community would want to see printed.  

Sure the guy pissed them off, no question about it.  But I suspect in the end the preacher's wounds will heal and eventually disappear, unlike the entries in the records of these agents and officers, if they even continue to work in law enforcement after this.  I've seen some really bad, abusive stuff done under the color of law.  I have a real problem with it and so do most Americans.  Thanks for your comments.

Allen May 18, 2009 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

He's got you all wound up with his constant and misleading talk. A good con artist knows that you can't both be in an emotional state and use your God given reason at one and the same time. Breath.

Allen May 18, 2009 1:49 pm (Pacific time)

The guy seems like a clever troublemaker and con. He twists everything. It was all about not rolling down the window BUT HE starts claiming they want to search his car. See what he does? Take a breath... he talks constantly fuzzing the facts... he reminds me strongly of a practiced con artist. See how patient the cops are? I commend them. He got cut when they smacked the window. He says stupid twisted things like, "Oh, you think I'm a terrorist because I believe in the US constitution." SEE WHAT HE'S Doing? What a jackass. :-( Hope he does time.

Editor: Allen, you are obviously part of this law enforcement community and you, like the agents seen in this video, don't seem like you have much of a grasp on what the Constitution guarantees us.  I know your line of work and the Constitution butt heads often, but try to appreciate that rolling down your window is at least the beginning of a search.  I listened to deputies from Oklahoma a couple of years ago, talk about how they had figured out a way to pull a car over, have a second unit with a K9 roll up, and randomly search the car with the dog.  It flew through the courts because of the second car.  Don't tell me cops aren't always and constantly testing the waters when it comes to our civil rights.  This Pastor made those cops look really, really bad and anything you say means squat.  Thank GOD for YouTube and video cameras. 

Nate May 15, 2009 11:41 am (Pacific time)

He could have pulled over, been inspected and at work for as long as he threw his little tantrum. I would have searched his car to if he didnt even roll down the window to greet me as a federal officer should be greeted. He asked for it all. Got what he deserved. There is another video online oh him arguing with border patrol and they let him leave. He is asking for a fight so he can throw ammendments in there faces lol guess pay back is a B**CH mr. preacher.

Al Capone May 13, 2009 2:42 pm (Pacific time)

I guess Border Patrol Officer's can now be called Beat Cops.

I guess you could also say some are on the religious beat.

Richard Wicks May 13, 2009 1:00 am (Pacific time)

"I have read the report on your web site and all the comments. Yes, we have civil rights and we also have laws. To refuse a lawful order of duly sworn peace officer is against the law. Period." The ignorance of Americans is just outstanding. Go ahead, and quote that particular law. I see a couple of pigs about to lose their jobs for doing something "legal"...

Legal Eagle April 30, 2009 6:15 pm (Pacific time)

Act like an a$$ get knocked on your A$$. He got what he asked for.

Mike April 29, 2009 12:21 pm (Pacific time)

The preacher got what he deserved!!

Wondering if.. April 27, 2009 8:12 pm (Pacific time)

I didn't see any note of attempting to contact DHS regarding this incident for comment or if they had released any statements on it. Also, would the surveilance video at the checkpoint be available through a FOIA request?

Curious April 27, 2009 8:01 pm (Pacific time)

Is there any room for dissenting opinion on the comment boards of Salem News? It would appear that any attempt to discuss differing points of view is squashed immediately. I thought jouralists valued freedom of speech and spirited debate.

David April 27, 2009 7:45 pm (Pacific time)

I have read the report on your web site and all the comments. Yes, we have civil rights and we also have laws. To refuse a lawful order of duly sworn peace officer is against the law. Period. The pastor should have rolled down his window and treated the officers with the same respect he expected to get. The way the pastor acted toward them was disrespectful and uncooperative. The question in their mind was no doubt:"Why?" The officers had no way of knowing who the pastor was or if he did indeed have a body in the trunk. The pastor may or may not have been beaten as he claims. I do not know. I do know the Bible teaches us to 'submit to civil authority.' Would he submit to an impartial lie detector test? Is he going to take those border patrol officers to court?

Dave April 25, 2009 12:11 am (Pacific time)

When I first saw this story being reported, I was a little dismayed with the way many had the knee-jerk reaction that he got what he deserved. Many have said that he intentionally provoked the BP agents, that he is a jerk, that he should have allowed them to trample his rights. How very wrong they are. Pastor Stevens knew his rights, and that citizens' rights are inalienable. This idea of a BORDER CHECKPOINT 120 miles inside the border is ludicrous at best. YOUR PAPERS, PLEASE!

Voice of Reason April 23, 2009 8:29 pm (Pacific time)

I have lived on the border in two different states for over 25 years- for the last 10 years I have worked in a non LEO type job at a border checkpoint- I have never been treated with anything but respect by the Border Patrol and have never witnessed anything like this man described happening to anyone. I have seen numerous people detained for further questioning and searches and have seen countless arrests and nothing like this have I seen. I'm not buying his story. If he had encountered one or two bad agents in the field- I might feel differently about his story- but at a checkpoint there are many agents, several supervisors and various citizen witnesses- even a bad BP would not be able to get away with anything that wasn't by the book.

Tina April 23, 2009 6:58 pm (Pacific time)

This is definitely a controversial case. I understand that the border patrol are there for protection b/c you never know what someone is hiding or whatever the case may be. But Americans do have rights, and I praise Paster Anderson for exercising his right. Yes, he could've answered their questions and go on his way without any conflict. And there could have been a better outcome, a mediator or someone who is better trained to deal with a person like Pastor Anderson. I know law enforcers are shady and if you anger them, watch out. That goes for the majority of them. But this should've never happened; no police brutality. If you can't exercise your rights, then what makes the constitution worthwhile? We have to remember that.

La Migra April 23, 2009 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

Also, your use of the word "jerk" for this Civil Rights crusading Baprist Minister does not reward you with a positive or believable point ??????????

Anonymous April 23, 2009 5:30 pm (Pacific time)

Editor: Fairness seems to be severely lacking in the way this man was treated. You can leave comments here but the second the name calling begins, it goes in the trash. Make you point, I have been engaging every poster in dialog on this story. For the record yours is the only comment that has been deleted, as far as I recall. It probably won't be the only one.


Editor: That's right, and you're lucky to be able to leave any comment at all.  Anything that appears here is 100% within our control and like any business, we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody.  If you leave a comment and there is some constructive thing to say, even in critisism, I'll almost always go ahead and publish it.  Everything is approved by live people.  I know you're disappointed to not have more control over it, I'll bet that's how Mr. Anderson felt as the officer stood on his head grinding his face into the broken glass, eventually requiring 11 stitches. 

La Migra April 23, 2009 1:34 pm (Pacific time)

JC you disturb me……

You need to do a little research on immigration law and enlighten yourself. Yes, an agent can run a dog around your car for no reason at a checkpoint. Nobody is exempt from inspection at a checkpoint. Yes an agent can refer you to secondary for little to no reason at a checkpoint. I’m not going to quote law to you but it’s there and it used on a daily basis to catch drugs, illegal aliens, and other illegal contraband. The law is there, just like it is against the law exceed the speed limit. This clown created this problem on his own. You have no idea what it is like to be out there trying to make the right decisions and then you have some clown like Anderson come up and try to push your buttons.  JC, Checkpoints are defending the Border for your information. Exactly, what if he was trying to cover up for something he had……How are Agents suppose to know…They don’t but they have to make the best decisions. 99% of the non law breakers that drive through a checkpoint don’t have Anderson’s problem. By sitting in his car and not following orders, he was resisting. Sorry, but that is resisting.   All the people bashing the Border patrol and the DPS have no idea what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer. All your thinking is based on your experiences and how you think it should be done. We are trained to take care of business not play games.  If you drive up to a checkpoint, be ready to state your citizenship and maybe a few other questions, and be on your way. If you don’t like it, move to Mexico with Vic or China or any other country of your choosing.

Editor: Are Civil Rights games to you guys?  The bottom line is not whether the person was technically violating the law, the agents and officers administered revenge.  It was by appearance as illegal and wrong as anything like it.  I think the tapes will either never appear because the evidence was ILLEGALLY destroyed, or they will verify everything this man said.  I think a lot of people are going to be called onto the carpet for this.

By the way, if he was so simply and absoluletly violating the law as you assert, why did they let him go the first time?  I think that will be a real problem in court for the suspects, and we aren't talking about the preacher.  Also, your use of the word "jerk" for this Civil Rights crusading Baprist Minister does not reward you with a positive or believable point.  Perhaps you are La Migra, perhaps not, but I'm saddened that this problem runs so deep. 

JC April 23, 2009 12:04 pm (Pacific time)

If a person is not suspected of violating an immigration law, a border patrol agent has NO right to detain, interrogate or abuse him. He should have been immediately sent on his way. Why were they using drug dogs on this man's car in the first place if they had no reason to suspect him of immigration law violations? This is really very chilling. What's even more disturbing are some of the comments here where Americans seem just fine with the idea of living in a country where their "papers" can be demanded of them at anytime by any government official for no apparent reason whatsoever. These agents weren't defending the border, they were sending a message that US citizens who know and exercise their civil rights will be seen as "suspicious" and detained and possibly even beaten... apparently without any repercussions since the agents happen to wear a uniform and a badge. Disgusting.

James April 23, 2009 10:18 am (Pacific time)

Tim, first and foremost, this pastor is a jerk who was looking for trouble. Second, this pastor would have made a lot more headway for his cause had he recorded the whole ordeal and had the headline "Peaceful pastor sues federal government for illegal detainment/search and seizure". He may or may not have won the case but he would have established some federal case law regarding Border Patrol checkpoints within the US. I would also hate to see this video on youtube with the headline - "just argue with the border patrol and they let you through." That would be a great read for the drug lords who would think "cool, i'll just get a well spoken white guy to transport my drugs across the border and he can argue his way through." When the video from the actual detainment comes out and it shows the border patrol doing something criminal they should be prosecuted and incarcerated. Thanks for the time.

Tim King: James, thanks for making your point; I think that your rational approach and what you illustrated are things that are good food for thought.  I know police agencies have plenty of concerns and you know what?  I've actually spent time with the Border Patrol, quite a bit actually.  As a news reporter and photographer, I've done overnight stuff with agents in the Yuma sector with their Blazer that had the big infrared camera on the mast.  I met many great agents and I was always reassured that so many are Hispanic and have an actual understanding of the culture they deal with.  Other agents I knew are white but had wives who were Mexican-American.  

I've seen I believe, the best and worst behavior in people and it is hard to sometimes stay contained over what I see as really unacceptable behavior when I write.  Also, whether it was dealing with authorities, the Marine Corps, etc., I saw no breaks growing up.  I remember having to be accountable for my mistakes and that is the only way it ever went.  

We as a society have to keep evolving in good ways.  I am a video person and perhaps I place a lot of stock in it, but it works both ways when it comes to law enforcement.  Thanks for writing.    

Jeremy April 23, 2009 9:52 am (Pacific time)

All of the police state loving rednecks on here would have made great Nazis. Of course, if their constitutional rights were ever violated: It would be a different story. The only other professions with this much corruption are politics and banking. The overwhelming majority of law enforcement I have met are jackboot thugs. Confrontation is their hobby, and they actually believe that anything they say is the law. I feel sorry for good cops who act within lawful guidelines. They will bear the brunt of the public's retaliation in the near future. To ignore the US Constitution and the publics outcries is akin to tyranny and fascism.

Vic April 23, 2009 8:05 am (Pacific time)

In November we returned to Oregon after living for 5 months in Mexico. When we crossed through Sinaloa state, our van was searched by the Mexican Army. They were polite and apologized for having to do it, and afterwards, thanked us for our time and cooperation. Then we came to the US border. After an hour wait, we pulled up to the checkpoint. The first border guard we encountered was rude and threatening. He kept asking us the same questions over and over and at one point yelled at my wife. We were directed to the search area and our van was emptied and once again, I was grilled about why we were in Mexico. My wife and son were taken into a different room and I was kept out by the van. We were treated like criminals...a middle aged couple with no police records. It was a rude welcome back to the US, thats for sure. In fairness, two of the border guards were actually nice, and seemed embarrassed by the thug we encountered first. As soon as we sell our house, we are returning to Mexico. Ill take the Mexican police any day over the American KGB.

Kurt April 23, 2009 7:27 am (Pacific time)

If you don't know all the facts you should be a little less confrontational, Tim. It seems to me that you are too quick to jump on this guys side and too quick to call these cops bad without even the full official story. I am sure you have never had to restrain a resistive suspect but nine times out of ten when you are finally able to get them to the ground and handcuffed there is going to be a scrape or two from the ground. This does not happen unless someone is resisiting. And "Real police officer" you should know better than to buy into a one sided story. False accusations unfortunately are a part of our job. If it turns out that they were wrong, and I seriously doubt it, then so be it and reprimand them, but Tim you act as if you were there and have all the facts and you clearly don't. You claim to have 20 years as a reporter so act like it.

Tim King: Kurt, this is not cop bashing, it really isn't.  Yes it is emotional because this is a very emotional time in our history.  We just got done having a President who thought it was OK to torture human beings, people are very confused.  Still, I fear that the average American who hasn't walked in my footsteps has no idea that law enforcement officers would savage a person the way they did out of revenge.  Sorry I'm not buying it, and I'm sorry for all the good cops who take offense to this; they shouldn't.  When Jason Blair turned out to be a nightmare in the reporting world, we in the media denounced him and were horribly embarrased.  We certainly didn't stick up for him.  I hear a lot of "If this turns out..." and that is what the officers should have considered before they decided to "have fun" with the guy.  that is the term isn't is?  "Having fun" means beating a suspect, right?  I'm sorry man, this is a hard thing for everybody.  I am a slave to fact and before I wrote this story, I looked at a lot of other media coverage.  Finally, this is a Social Perspective which is the same thing as an opinion-editorial.  You assume I haven't been around when violent suspects were restrained; you're completely wrong on that.  I have been around so many arrests rolling with a television camera, that I could never count them all.  We all know that the minister wasn't a threat.  This is the falacy of all police; that every person is such a threat and the officers are always in fear of their lives.  I think this is a "boy who cried wolf" story at best.  Come on, this is one where people seriously screwed up, and it would't hurt things if you and the other police and BP advocates took a little stock in the Civil Rights of their country's citizens.  

Brad April 23, 2009 7:26 am (Pacific time)

Police state in the making. We own the country not the Fed! Let's take it back through active civic participation and peaceful protest. Life is not just drinking beer and work. That's what they want you to do to keep you out of tune and to busy to care about the big picture. Pretty soon, unmonitored and uncorrected government actions and unconstitutional laws that have been passed in recent history like the "Patriot" act and the Military Commissions Act, are used to crush your free will and world. To quote an honest member of the House, Dr. Ron Paul - “Truth is Treason in the Empire of Lies.”

average american April 23, 2009 4:45 am (Pacific time)

so i cant express my opinions about the about the tim king and the pastor. i wonder how many comments youve deleted because they didnt fit your agenta. this is BS.  i didnt use any foul language. what my critism of the pastor or tim king too strong? nothing is fair about this site.

Editor:  Fairness seems to be severely lacking in the way this man was treated.  You can leave comments here but the second the name calling begins, it goes in the trash.  Make you point, I have been engaging every poster in dialog on this story.  For the record yours is the only comment that has been deleted, as far as I recall.  It probably won't be the only one. 

You all are confused April 23, 2009 4:20 am (Pacific time)

Please people lets get the facts strait. The video with the Agents talking to Anderson is not the incident that he claims he got beat. In that incident he was released by the Border Patrol. That video is of a different incident where Anderson challenged another checkpoint. There is no video yet of the incident that Anderson claims that he was beat.  Once again everybody is jumping on his bandwagon without proof, only what this clown Anderson is claiming on media appearances. Thanks again To Mr. King for smearing the Border Patrol based on statements from a Looney.

Tim King:  So you advocate for police beating preachers?  Maybe the agents will release that man's property and their own publicly owned cameras.  That is the worst part; these characters only have their jobs because of our tax dollars.  They abuse people on their own dime.  There was no proof that he was a threat to that gang with badges was there? 

Mike H. April 22, 2009 11:24 pm (Pacific time)

Wow. Obviously this is not right. What happened to this man is not fair and is highly unconstitutional. I guess they just want us to be cowardly, submissive bitches and say, 'Yes, officer' 'Yes, sir.' 'Go ahead, search my car without probably cause.' What happened here is messed up. I know they have to be strict and practice their command presence but that is ridiculous. By the tactics they used it seems like they almost treated him like a suspected terrorist or something. Let's just say when I had to go to the bathroom I would have let the DPS know and if they refused, I would show them I wasn't kidding.

average american April 22, 2009 7:20 pm (Pacific time)

where's my comment?

Editor: In the garbage where it belongs. 

Arc Dome April 22, 2009 7:14 pm (Pacific time)

What a load of bulls*%t, these cops ought to get their asses kicked, they're an embarrassment to real cops. I guess it's okay to beat up Americans while they pocket the cash from the coyotes bringing illegal aliens into this country. BTW numchuks are considered illegal weapons by most law enforcement agencies...kind of weird that these clowns had them in their possession.

jimmy April 22, 2009 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

Both parties here were in the wrong, but beating an individual for failing to comply with an unconstitutional demands is totally uncalled for. He asked over and over "am I under arrest, am I being detained", and was not told yes. Maybe if members of law enforcement remembered the whole "Protect and Serve" thing as opposed to "Frighten and Intimidate" act that most members of law enforcement seem to believe in, this wouldn't be an issue. Having been overseas, specifically to places like New-Zealand or Australia where the regular police do not have guns, they don't have these kinds of issues. And they dont seem to have the level of crime that we do either, think abou that next time you are roughing up some kid for a petty crime. And to the Anonymous posters, that is some great police work there officer, were you in your patrol car posting that?

April 22, 2009 3:12 pm (Pacific time)

How could anyone stick up for this?? STICK UP FOR WHAT? The guy violated the law and was arrested. He got a few cuts on his head because he resisted and now he is crying about it and making a national media circus about it.
Mr. King, now you’re saying the Border Patrol lied about the canine alert. HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?????? Another unfounded no proof accusation. Canines can alert to residue left from prior contraband……….Mr. King I would love to keep going with this!!! Your story is simply grounded on the YouTube video from the Preacher.
Mr.King how do you know your police officer friends wouldn’t have arrested him? Are you saying your friends don’t uphold the law?

Tim King: Are you still here rattling along with this stuff?  If you have no respect for the law of the land or professional police conduct which in this case equates to personal restraint, then that is your problem.  You've been listening to the wrong people I'm afraid, probably a diehard Limbaugh and O'Riley fan I think, and here's the thing: this piece is a "Social Perspective" and that means it includes opinion.  If it was a regular news story, it would have been presented without my personal thoughts but I think they have a lot of value in this case.  I'm not some anynomous comment poster, I have been reporting so long in so many places on so many subjects it would make your head spin.  

This debacle is not about upholding the law, not whatsoever.  If it is, then it is the reverse of what you are talking about, and it would deal with the charges these cops will probably be facing.  If they don't, then they have a system that will get them out of it,  I don't know what will happen.  I worked in Arizona for two years when I was with the NBC station in Yuma.  Our station was friends with the CHP but we never got to know the DPS guys very well.  Maybe their communication skills with the media are better in Phoenix, but they were severely lacking in the Yuma sector in the mid-90's.  I should have more to go on, but walls in public agencies keep that from happening.  Conversely, the Yuma Sheriff's Office and city police were both very competent agencies.  So don't think I was born yesterday pal, I may be a bit of a nightmare for some with the reach and ranking we have on the Internet at, but nobody should have anything to be defensive of if they just follow the rules and the law.  Ruthless beatings and grinding a man's face into broken glass who is defenseless and begging for mercy, in the name of the law, are the acts of sad, pathetic men.  I hope he sues the pants off those agencies and puts the money to use in educating people about this forgotten thing in your world called Civil Rights.

Real police officer April 22, 2009 2:30 pm (Pacific time)

How could anyone stick up for this? I'd like to know what police agency Bob Traggers works for.

Anonymous April 22, 2009 1:59 pm (Pacific time)

Ok Mr. King why don’t you tell the people how to deal with noncompliant law breakers using “restraint.” Please Monday Morning Quarterback the situation for me……Maybe the Border Patrol should have used the Mr. Spock trick and pinched his shoulder, putting him to sleep. But that would have been kind of hard because he wouldn’t roll the windows down. So Maybe they should have used another Star Trek trick and disappeared and appeared inside his car, then used the Dr. Spock Trick.

Or better yet, The Border Patrol could have just sat and waited (while drugs, aliens and weapons of mass destruction passed through the checkpoint) until he was hungry or needed to use the bathroom and then used the painless Mr. Spock Trick.

I propose right here and now that law enforcement have all there tools taken away. This will include guns, pepper spray, ASP’s Batons, Tasers and any other tool that may help affect an arrest. They are no longer able to use any amount of force to affect an arrest. All law enforcement action will be handled with restraint and if that doesn’t work, all criminals will be released. Will that make you happy Mr. King?

Please don’t answer using your twenty years of experience in smoke screening. You use to work for Fox News so how about “Fair and Balanced”

Let me help you out…..Preacher claims he was beaten by Border Patrol. Preacher accuses Border Patrol of beating him although there is no video showing said beating. Subject has been known in the past to challenge Border Patrol at other checkpoints. The “accused” beating happened after Anderson failed to follow lawful commands at a Border Patrol checkpoint. Anderson was subsequently arrested and booked into jail on several misdemeanor charges.

Tim King:  Glad you can find humor in this, I'm not so lucky there.  Do you realize that you are acting like a representative of cops while endorsing this crap?  Are you for real?  I don't think you are helping the situation at all, but I'm listening.  You my friend, would justify absolutely anything so why won't we just call it right there?  You see, I happen to know a lot of police officers who would never, ever have done this to a person.  It was cop's revenge against a peaceful, unarmed and fairly lean framed guy.  The cops look like the worst bullies on the face of the earth, and that may be a fair assessment with this GARBAGE is taking place in MY country.  Do you even have the first clue what this nation is about?  Geez!

Big cops with guns, tasers, body armor, nightsticks, lined around the car with a single person in it; they LIED about the drug dog hit, and they behaved like criminals, like animals.  I'm happy to do this all day, it is taking time away from other important stories we're working on, but this is very important to me.  Finally, those who know how the police "system of enforcement" actually works, get some real hard evidence.  You are right that there isn't footage of the beating, the BP's and DPS guys confiscated it!  With all the violence in Mexico so close by, it is easy to understand why our borders are so screwed up.  Thank God there are good cops with DPS and good BP agents, I hope they can provide a real balancing act to make up for the rogue, illegal thugs who wear their uniform.  

Joe Wright April 22, 2009 1:57 pm (Pacific time)

Local experience has proven this story is extremely likely. Irk a Salem cop and see what happens. And for all those "Anonymous" folks... It's easy to cast dispersions when you hide. Hiding makes your opinions worthless. Step out of the dark and give your opinion some credibility or remain hiding and remain the trolls you are.

DontForgetThis April 22, 2009 11:50 am (Pacific time)

Insane Cop Arrests ABC News Reporter For Filming Traffic Accident--It’s becoming a disturbingly familiar scene in America - aggressive, overbearing and mentally unstable cops who think that it is an arrestable offense not to obey their every order - harassing citizens who have done absolutely nothing wrong. The latest example comes from El Paso, Texas, where a local ABC news reporter and his cameraman were arrested simply for something they routinely do every day as part of their job - filming traffic incidents. The reporters, Darren Hunt and photojournalist Ric DuPont, were standing behind a barrier well away from the car wreck but were quickly approached by the cop - Sgt. Ramirez - who immediately shouted that they had to leave. As the video shows, despite the fact that the reporters start to back away towards their truck, the cop runs after them after one of them dares to speak - reminding the officer that America is supposed to be a free country with freedom of the press and that the cameraman “can shoot if he wants to”. The cop then grabs Hunt by his pants and threatens to arrest him, shouting, “I gave you an order,” with the reporter protesting, “I didn’t do anything.” Presumably, the cop thinks that it is illegal and therefore an arrestable offense not to follow any order given by a police officer - or even worse - because the reporters were actually following his order - the cop thinks its an arrestable offense merely to verbally disagree with a police officer.--

Anonymous April 22, 2009 11:47 am (Pacific time)

When are these cases not considered "isolated events"? This kind of event is happening WAY too much. It's their nationwide standardized training that encourages this behavior. I wonder how much more statistically dangerous it is to be a citizen being detained unlawfully by a cop, then it is to actually be on the "right side" of the law. Being a cop is not dangerous! Police are trained to act like COWARDS. What a pathetic display, yet again, of government's "services".

Bob Traggers April 22, 2009 11:39 am (Pacific time)

Mr. King,
#1 You obviously do not have all the facts, otherwise they would have been reported by a reputable reporter and news agency first. #2 The "nunchucks" in the video you say are "nunchucks" is the officers CSB (Collabsible Steel Baton). #3 In the incident that the Pastor was injured, he failed to obey a lawful order to move his vehicle to the secondary inspection lane, which is authorized by United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. He refused and DPS was called...the border officers could have lawfully arrested him and removed him from the car by force. The car was eventually moved to the secondary lane and a K9 sniffed the car and alerted to it, which as decided by the U.S. Supreme Court probable cause to search the vehicle. The Pastor decided to get confrontational and fought with both DPS and the Border officers resulting in his injuries.

The Pastor broke the law, plain and simple.

Tim King: Right Bob, and they beat his ass for it real good, right?  You all are lucky the thugs didn't kill him, I hear prison is a bad place for cops to end up in, yet they do; in fact on a national basis, it happens somewhat frequently.  Had the law enforcement officials used any level of restraint this wouldn't be a story.  Thank them for it.  Of course I doubt you represent a "reputable agency" since that is what you think of the one I work for.  I've only been at it for twenty years covering news for ABC, NBC and FOX stations, and today I'm the founder and news editor for the nation's most visited, independently owned online news organization.  Maybe you are right on the technical description of the weapon that the oversealous agent displayed.  I have a tendency to believe men who dedicate their lives in service of God; Anderson said they were nun chucks and that is what they appear to be in the video.  Too bad all this is coming down now, and I have by the way, noticed how the BP and DPS keep shoving the blame back and forth, what does that say?

Anonymous April 22, 2009 10:24 am (Pacific time)

I live in the United States also Mr. King. Mr. Anderson wasn’t what you and he referred to as “beaten” he was arrested. Sometimes using the force necessary to affect an arrest result in a few injuries…..can you understand that? Do you want law enforcement to enforce the laws or back down when they are challenged?
What if he was a smuggler? What if he had drugs or illegal aliens? What if he was smuggling terrorists to Phoenix? What if he had weapons of mass destruction his vehicle? What if the Border let him go because they were challenged and he arrived in Phoenix with his bomb making materials?
So what is it Mr. King are you for truth and justice or not. You tell me our military is fighting for our Civil Rights. So what do you think law enforcement is doing? According to you just beating people and violating Civil Rights!

Tim King:  Please watch the video before you draw conclusions.  I have known for years that police stick together, so here you are trying to make a point that doesn't exist.  Sometimes people get caught, you should know that.  These cops are so busted, I'd hate to be them.  If the day arrives that people like you can say, 'well that was sure a mistake' and get angry at bad cops, then there is hope.  In TV news, if a news shooter screws up, the guys take you behind closed doors and tell you that you're screwed up.  We may be unionized in some cases, but we have a general desire to do things the right way.  You guys on the other hand, tend to almost always justify any police action simply because a cop did it.   I'm talking about friends here; I still haven't met more than one or two cops that will even admit that the Rodney King beating was excessive.

But the guys in blue tend to cover for each other too often and the problems go on and on.  there is no magic free pass for bad cops, it is BS to expect that there should be.

I have so many things to point to and bring up in support of these points, I will generate a load of examples if that is what it takes, and it won't make law enforcement as a whole look one bit better.  I don't want to do that for the sake of the good cops, which there are plenty of, and the bad apples like the Border Patrol agents and DPS officers in this story need to be dealt with in the strictest of terms, that is if the agency wants to have any public credibility.

This story is about an American trying to assert his civil rights and being attacked like a Jew in a Warsaw ghetto in '39  It it nauseating to hear you or anyone else try to justify what happened to this guy.  I hope you realize what you are advocating for, because I know what my point is.  

Martha James April 22, 2009 9:49 am (Pacific time)

I hope this guy wins millions and those nasty cops get thrown behind bars where they belong!

Jeff April 22, 2009 9:48 am (Pacific time)

Great story. It's amazing how few Americans value our precious liberties. Thanks to brave men like Pastor Stevens for standing up for our right!

Anonymous April 22, 2009 9:25 am (Pacific time)

Terrible story…..So full of inaccuracies that it makes me sick. Anderson got exactly what he wanted, media coverage and a lawsuit to make some money…Border Patrol was doing their job protecting the nation and Anderson is just wasting their time and resources.
I really like “ruthlessly beaten” and “at one point on the tape an agent takes out his nun chucks in apparent anger and displays them” just for info Mr. King, Border Agent don’t use nun chucks. Also, if ruthlessly beaten results in a few cuts on our head, what would savagely beaten be like? Would that be some cuts and a bruise? You could have really hit a home run Mr. King and said he was almost killed or better yet murdered!
Tim King, you are pathetic….feel free to research and get your facts strait before writing a story like that. Thanks Mr. King for making the Border Patrol and law enforcement look like the bad guys!

Tim King: What country are you located in?  Just for your information, this happened in the U.S.A.  Are you in Russia perhaps?  You must be if you think a citizen of my country deserved this, that is a terrible thing to say.  In case you don't know, our veterans are dying right now to protect our Civil Rights and the American way of life.  For your information, the nun chucks are visible on the preacher's videotape.  You need to do your own research pal, I've been at my profession for over 20 years.  Have a good day on your beat officer.

jimmy the proofreader April 22, 2009 7:37 am (Pacific time)

"drug dug"

Editor: Jimmy, thanks for your help. 

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