A young woman travelling through an interior US Border Checkpoint in Waddington, New York Thursday was assaulted and arrested by border patrol for no reason.
Jess Cooke, 21, says she was driving through the checkpoint, when agents said she looked nervous. She was then routed over for a secondary inspection.
Knowing that the agents had no probable cause to search her vehicle, Cooke refused to consent to search. She was then told that she had to wait for a K-9 Unit to arrive before she could leave.
Being nervous is not probable cause nor reasonable suspicion for a search. While inconsistently answering questions may result in reasonable suspicion, it is unclear whether or not this happened prior to Cooke’s detainment.
Because Cooke had committed no crime she demanded to be let go. However, these agents were set on violating her rights.
The conversation between Cooke and the agents quickly escalated and Cooke was thrown to the ground by the male agent as the female agent deployed the taser.
Cooke said the taser was continually deployed until she stopped screaming. After handcuffing her, agents then illegally opened her trunk and searched her entire vehicle, according to Cooke.
The subsequent search turned up nothing.
This entire detainment was in spite of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that should have prevented it. The ruling stated that police are not allowed to extend a citizen’s detention, during a normal traffic stop, while officers probe for evidence of crimes unrelated to the offense that prompted the initial stop.
They stopped her because she was nervous.
“I was cuffed for over an hour after being out in the Border Patrol car and then brought to the U.S. Customs station in Ogdensburg. I sat there for a good 3-4 hours and got sent home due to they couldn’t figure out what charges to put on me,” Cooke said in a written response to North Country Now.
Cooke told North Country Now that she received scrapes and cuts on her legs, back and chest. She said her wrists are also marked from the handcuffs.
Cooke holds a two-year degree in criminal justice and will graduate this Saturday for Law Enforcement Leadership from SUNY Canton. She had plans to pursue a career in Border Patrol, but due to the recent assault and unlawful arrest, she’s changed her mind, according to North Country Now.
Cooke says she is waiting to hear about possible charges regarding the struggle.