Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Border guards rough up another Canadian

"Was that a threat?"

That's how U.S. border guards at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing responded to a Canadian shopper when, exasperated by the abusive treatment afforded to him and his wife, he asked, "what are you going to do? Shoot me?"

Moments later, the couple were in handcuffs, with American officials insisting that they'd been threatened and assaulted. Fortunately, the Canadian man -- identified only as "qtronman" on YouTube -- had recorded the incident, and he later uploaded the recording, so we know the border agents are lying.

The couple were on their way to a mall in Niagara Falls, in the United States, when they were ordered out of their car by a U.S. border guard -- apparently because they didn't care for the Canadians' impatient tone when they couldn't name the specific stores they'd be visiting.

Throughout the exchange leading to the arrest, the Canadian man comes across as exasperated but cooperative -- not out-of-line for a person dealing with other adults he considers to be acting in an abusive and irrational way. He didn't bow and scrape, though, which may have antagonized the border guards.

The officials, on the other hand, sound provocative, and even as if they're enjoying their use of authority.

Official: "We don't need any grounds."

Shopper: "Well, that's ridiculous."

Official: "That's the United States. I'm sorry. I don't know what to tell you."

Shopper: "You don't need any grounds for your actions?"

Official: "Absolutely not."

In related news, Peter Watts, a Canadian scientist and science fiction writer, has been fined roughly $1,500 by a U.S. court after he was roughed up by U.S. officials at a border crossing in Michigan.

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Blogger akaGaGa said...

A good reminder not to cross the border ... or get on a plane ... or drive my car ... or scratch my nose.

April 29, 2010 3:55 AM  

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