What did those whose lives we are commemorating die for?
Who are we any more???
From freelance writer Nate Abaurrea:
7:35 PM - 24 May 2019 from San Diego, CA
I got ambushed and interrogated by CBP today, on my way IN TO Mexico. 5 officers (waiting on the walkway just before entrance into MX) stopped me and ordered me to step in a little side cage area. I asked why I was being stopped. I was told to be quiet and turn around.
I was then ordered to put my hands down on a metal table. As my pockets were emptied by 2 officers, I again asked why I was being stopped. “What’s the probable cause here?” “We don’t need probable cause, sir,” another officer responded. “We can stop and search whoever we want.”
The ring-leader (a Robo Cop lookin’ officer named “West”) sternly questioned me as he continued searching. “Got any drugs on you?” “No.” “Got over 10 thousand dollars?” “No.” “How much money do you have?” “20 bucks. What’s going on here?” “KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE TABLE, SIR!”
“So why are you going to Mexico?”
“Work? What do you do for a living?”
“Why do you care what I do?”
“I asked you a question. Answer me.”
“I’m a writer.”
“Oh yeah? Who do you work for?”
“Good Lord. I work Freelance.”
“Hands on the table sir!”
At this point, CBP Officer West runs both of his hands along my entire waist, twice, and literally rubber-band snaps the waistline of my underwear onto my lower-back, as people walk by and gaze in at the interrogation cage scene.
“Why you so angry, bro?”
Me: “Are you serious!?”
I’m then ordered to show them my passport, which is of course in my wallet. I reach for it. “HANDS ON THE TABLE SIR! DON’T MAKE ME TELL YOU AGAIN.” “You just told me to get my passport.” “Uh-huh. Go ahead and pull it out and give it to me, then put your hands back on the table.”
As he’s bending up my passport card and running numbers into a little scanner, a young female officer says to me, “if you just cooperate, this will be over. You need to familiarize yourself with the rules, sir.” “Familiarize myself!? Why don’t y’all tell me why I was stopped?”
West smiles. “You know what,” he says gleefully, “why don’t you take off your shoes for me.” “Can I move my hands?” “Take off your shoes, now!” (I quickly remove my shoes, as Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black Album plays faintly out of headphones still sitting on the table.)
After searching my shoes with a flashlight, West tosses them at my feet and says I can move my hands again to put the shoes back on. I paused and looked him right in the face with my hands on my side. “Can I help you with something?” He asks. “No,” I reply. “Not a damn thing.”
“You’re free to go,” chimes in another officer, as West continues staring at me with a look of sweet satisfaction all over his face. I slowly collect my belongings and put my shoes back on. West still has my passport card. He then pulls out a cell phone and takes a picture of it.
“Why did you take a picture of my passport?” I ask, as he hands it back. “For my records,” he says. “Your records?” “Yep. My records. You got a problem with that?” “Just seems a little strange, that’s all.” “You’re free to go, you know?” I took a deep breath and walked away.
As I was standing in line at the MX crossing, I simultaneously felt like crying and punching someone in the face. Violated. At which time I started thinking about US policing of People of Color, and how what I’d just gone thru was merely a taste of what POC go thru on the daily.
Which then transitioned into the thought of, “if they can do this to me, a 6’1 White Male with a passport, and make me feel the emotions I’m feeling, just imagine what they can and already do to people without documentation, asylum seekers, everyday Mexican commuters, etc.
However, this whole ordeal didn’t feel one bit random. Very strange for 5 CBP agents to just be waiting to pounce right in that precise spot. The same spot where I’ve crossed for the last ten weeks. On the same day of the week (Friday). At the same time of the morning (9:15 AM).
Maybe I’m being pretentious for thinking that my recent appearances on @KPBS and the overall enhancement of my written Border coverage over the past few months would land me on some sort of watch-list for journalists (which does in fact exist, CBP aided by both the US & MX Gov).
A certain @brooklynmarie, upon hearing about this earlier today, most certainly thought nothing of the sort. “I really don’t think that shit was random,” she said. “Congratulations, I guess.” Brooke’s car has been sent to secondary every time she’s crossed in the last two years.
What’s truly terrifying here is that the “best case scenario,” from a completely selfish POV, is that this whole incident was indeed completely random. But then think about that. Think about that quote. “WE DON’T NEED PROBABLE CAUSE. WE CAN STOP AND SEARCH ANYONE WE WANT.”
Whether it was random or completely calculated, I got theoretically swung at today. And they landed one. Hard. For no reason other than to mess with me. But they didn’t knock me out. And they never will. As I said on @KPBS, I’m just living my life. This is my home.
https://twitter.com/NateAbaurrea/status ... 0151760896