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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motorhome Diaries Crew Stands Trial

Earlier this Summer, the members of the Motorhome Diaries- a cross-country, documentary-making trip to promote a free and voluntary society- were wrongly arrested and abused by the police of the Jones County Sheriff's Department in Mississippi.

They stand trial today, as I write this article for the Humble Libertarian. During a short recess, I got a series of texts from THL correspondent Aziza Seven who is attending the court proceedings with her family (who befriended and hosted the Motorhome Diaries crew during their stay in Nashville to interview Rand Paul at his fundraiser last month).

Here's what's happening at the trial right now (with my commentary and additions in brackets):

"It's a full trial, minus a jury. We've been going since two. Two cops have witnessed so far. We have four more to go. Including the three guys [from the Motorhome Diaries]. So far, evidence...

Has pointed to an unlawful arrest. Jason was charged with refusing to show id on the day he was arrested, but the cop has said is [sic] was because he displayed...

Disorderly conduct. Adam was charged, on the day, for refusing to stop filming the actions of the cops [which is totally legal, by the way], but the cop is now saying he was also arrested for...

Disorderly conduct [probably because it's totally legal to film a cop in public in all 50 states]. Pete was arrested for possessing beer in a dry county. It was in the fridge, and unopened...

They brought in a narcotic dog, but was unable to find any narcotics inside the vehicle. And this trial might go through tomorrow..."

My response:

"How's it looking for them?"


"I don't know. The judge is in a bit over his head."

Ha ha ha ha! Leave it to a bunch of libertarians, right? It's important to note that the police deleted the camera footage that was taken by the Motorhome Diaries crew, which they had the right to make, and which could be used as evidence in a case against the police for unlawful behavior on their part.


Just before finishing this post, I have received another text from Aziza stating that the judge has taken the matter under advisement and after reviewing the evidence, will make a ruling in two weeks. Here's hoping for the best!


For more details about the arrest, here's an interview with the three members of the Motorhome Diaries on Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano: