Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Captured: Border Patrol arrest video brings legal challenge (video)


If you’re an activist and an amateur videographer and you see Border Patrol agents wandering around your property inspecting footprints (that happen to be yours), what do you do?

Get out your video camera and start filming, of course.

Or at least that’s what Alison McLeod, Southern Arizona Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) field organizer, did last week.

When McLeod spotted Border Patrol agents snooping on and around her property on foot, on horseback, in SUVs, and in a helicopter, she started filming and asking questions. McLeod’s curiosity lead her to the site of an arrest of a man with a bloody nose (presumably a Mexican national, since he was handcuffed).

Not 24 hours after she posted the above video to her You Tube channel, McLeod received a notice from You Tube that “someone” (ahem, like the feds) complained to them about it. Below is the e-mail she received. In addition, a Border Patrol representative visited her house the same day– unannounced and uninvited.

Dear loneprotestor, This is to notify you that we have received a privacy complaint from an individual regarding your content:

Video URLs:

The information reported as violating privacy is at 2_55-5_30
We would like to give you an opportunity to review the content in question and remove any personal information that may be used to uniquely identify or contact the complainant. You have 48 hours to take action on the complaint. If you remove the alleged violation from the site within the 48 hours, the complaint filed will then be closed. If the potential privacy violation remains on the site after 48 hours, the complaint will be reviewed by the YouTube Team and may be removed pursuant to our Privacy Guidelines (http://www.youtube.com/t/privacy_guidelines). For content to
be considered for removal, an individual must be uniquely identifiable by image, voice, full name, Social Security number, bank account number or contact information (e.g., home address, email address). Examples that
would not violate our privacy guidelines include gamer tags, avatar names, and address information in which the individual is not named. We also take public interest, newsworthiness, and consent into account when determining
if content should be removed for a privacy violation. If the alleged violation is located within the video itself, you may have to remove the video completely…

Politicians and other public servants are becoming increasingly annoyed by amateurs photographers and citizen journalists with video cameras and video-enabled smart phones because they’re catching people in the act of… whatever… and posting videos on You Tube and blogs.

With the demise of investigative journalism in the US, we need the wild and woolly world of citizen journalism and amateur videos to keep government servants honest. If unlimited, secret corporate campaign contributions are considered “protected speech”, then so are amateur videos, still photos, and blog posts.

UPDATE of this story: First Amendment Upheld in Border Patrol Video Case

17 comments on “Captured: Border Patrol arrest video brings legal challenge (video)

  1. citizentoo
    September 3, 2011

    She should be charged with interfering with an investigation, obstruction of justice, interfering with law enforcement officers, failure to obey an officer’s signal and harassment.
    They should also charge the other person that was controlling the camera during the first part of the video.

    • leftfield
      September 4, 2011

      It’s been decided in the courts, citizen, that, like carrying a gun, filming the police at work is decidedly constitutional.  Even more, it is much less dangerous  to society than an unquestioning reverence for authority.

      • songlady
        September 4, 2011

        leftfield, what you say is so! Unless the B P is doing something illegal why would anyone object to this video?  We, as citizens, have the responsibility of keeping an eye on the doings of all goverment agencies. 

      • O-dog
        September 7, 2011

        “Even more, it is much less dangerous to society than an unquestioning reverence for authority.”

        Absolutely agree. Now if we could just talk some sense into those who have an unquestioning reverence for instigators. Yes, we do need them, but they ain’t always Jesus on a donkey.

    • RH
      September 4, 2011

      You know, reading your comment made me think you would make a good guard at any Chinese re-education camp, North Korean Gulog, or a Russina Gulog, no doubt they would love that authoritarian belief, and no freedom of speech, etc., exactly how does one obstruct justice on ones own property? I find that one key thing missing from your looney tune rant, or is it that your a border patrol agent, or a relative/spouse to one and have a dog in the fight?:-)

      • LIsa Mc
        September 7, 2011

        If you watch the video…they are on the road…not on her proprty and the helicopter was not in her yard…look at content of all of her videos….B!TCH needs to get a job.

    • LIsa Mc
      September 4, 2011

      you are absolutely right…she should be charged..this is dangerous for these BPAs.

  2. juan
    September 3, 2011

    Looks like BP doing their job!
    Thanks for the video showing our LEOs securing the border!
    Got any film of illegals robbing homes, killing ranchers, or trashing our Country?

  3. Eli
    September 3, 2011

    True is things going to get worst with Mexico falling in pieces. If American want to keep them in the other side going to need to put an Army on those borders. Hmmm just saying

  4. k
    September 4, 2011

    horrible article.  This puts the agents life at risk, and what are you even showing??? Them doing their jobs??

  5. k
    September 4, 2011

    ps…it was probably one drug mule

  6. k
    September 4, 2011

    oh and handcuffed! I dont think they hand cuff regular aliens, barely at all.

  7. RH
    September 4, 2011

    The only person/persons who fear video/photographic images of them doing their duties is those who are not doing their jobs diligently, or legally, much like the cop caught on video tape baning a gal on his cruiser hood, had anyone accused him of it, with a video to prove it, it would be denied, and the accuser would be no doubt accused of some crime, having a grudge against law enforcement! No saints walk this earth, no cops, border agents, government officials are wearing any halos, just as many devils lurk in uniform as not!

    • Manic
      September 4, 2011

      So a Border Patrol Agent, who have in the past had bounties put on their heads by the cartels, couldn’t possibly have a valid reason for not being filmed? It couldn’t possibly be for his family’s or his own safety? Also, I find it funny that the men that are removing the illegal aliens from your property are the ones that are demonized and labeled as “snooping” on your property. The anonymous alien that could steal from you or harm you and never be found, well he’s just a poor innocent alien, but the Agents are the ones “snooping”. You left wing nuts are all the same, jumping to sensationalized conclusion with no idea the circumstances of the incident.

  8. O-dog
    September 7, 2011

    Hilarious. I especially like the part where she tries to make them feel guilty for having good benefits. But did she ever figure out who chewed up her underpants?

  9. usmctrucker
    September 7, 2011

    This is Janet Napolitano for you.  For all the complaining about the Right on these blogs check out her modus operandi:  1) See something, say something- just like what the Gestapo used to encourage/require, 2) No filming agents- just like in China and the old Soviet bloc, 3) Travelers have no expectation of, or right to privacy- just like the Nazis, Stalinists, Italians under Mussolini, Cubans, North Koreans, and modern Chinese.  And just think, she got her start by wowing all you Southern AZ Progressives.  I guess that shoe isn’t too comfortable when on the other foot, huh?

  10. shawn hix.
    September 11, 2011

    the gun laws in this magnificent country have to be modified …. immediately.

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This entry was posted on September 3, 2011 by in Arizona, Immigration, Progressive Democrats of America and tagged , , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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