After Hill had initially refused to show his ID to Inspector Yolanda Aguinaga because it was an illegal order, the inspector conferred with Trooper Marmor, who ran to the truck and jumped on the sideboard. He was recorded telling Hill "Let me stop you right there. If you fail to ID, then you can go the other route. If you're in the sleeper berth, then sure, we don't have any right to ask for your logbook, but we damn sure can ID you. So I mean, I don't know how far you want to take it- But in Texas, if you fail to ID, that's a jailable offense." [The three videos can be seen at the bottom of this page.]
Hill asked "You have a right to wake up the person in the sleeper?" to which Marmor replied "Yes we do." Marmor continued demanding the ID and added "We're talking about criminal law. I don't know what it is in California but in Texas, when we have a vehicle stop, we ID everybody in the vehicle. Truck drivers, everybody...Because I mean we get a lot of people that are wanted. Uh, we get runaways, and- of course you're not a runaway. But I mean we get juveniles and stuff like that that are runaways. So it's a common practice for us to ID everybody in the vehicle. That cuts out 'well why'd you ID me and, ya know, uh the last two vehicles you didn't ID everybody'. We ID everybody. We stop you, everybody's getting out."
The policy which Marmor outlined is not only a blatant violation of the 4th Amendment Constitutional protections, but it reveals a general practice of the department which regularly infringes on people's rights. The issues regarding compulsory ID have been ruled on for nearly a century by the U.S. Supreme Court and is something that a second grader should understand. As the Supreme Court ruled in 1949, "These long-prevailing standards seek to safeguard citizens from rash and unreasonable interferences with privacy and from unfounded charges of crime." [Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176.]
In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, a case where a man refused to show police ID because there was no probable cause. The court noted "he was arrested for violation of Tex.Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, § 38.02(a) (1974), which makes it a criminal act for a person to refuse to give his name and address to an officer "who has lawfully stopped him and requested the information." However, the court reversed his conviction:
"Held: The application of the Texas statute to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe that appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct. Detaining appellant to require him to identify himself constituted a seizure of his person subject to the requirement of the Fourth Amendment that the seizure be "reasonable." Cf. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1; United States v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U. S. 873. The Fourth Amendment requires that such a seizure be based on specific, objective facts indicating that society's legitimate interests require such action, or that the seizure be carried out pursuant to a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers. Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U. S. 648. Here, the State does not contend that appellant was stopped pursuant to a practice embodying neutral criteria, and the officers' actions were not justified on the ground that they had a reasonable suspicion, based on objective facts, that he was involved in criminal activity. Absent any basis for suspecting appellant of misconduct, the balance between the public interest in crime prevention and appellant's right to personal security and privacy tilts in favor of freedom from police interference."
The court concluded "The application of Tex.Penal Code Ann., Tit. 8, § 38.02 (1974), to detain appellant and require him to identify himself violated the Fourth Amendment because the officers lacked any reasonable suspicion to believe appellant was engaged or had engaged in criminal conduct. Accordingly, appellant may not be punished for refusing to identify himself, and the conviction is Reversed."
Note in the recording that Trooper Marmor refers purportedly to that very same "penal code", which he contended allowed him to demand ID from Hill, stating "We damn sure can ID you... She (Aguinaga) can enforce the federal motor carrier law but as far as state law goes, you know that's part of the penal code....We're talking about criminal law."
The Texas Attorney General, an agency supposedly sworn to uphold the law, is representing the two defendants in court, a disgraceful waste of Texan taxpayer dollars. Filing a sophomoric and sloppy response, the Attorney General's office actually cut-and-pasted Marmor's name onto Aguinaga's response to the suit. The Attorney General's office official ISP was also logged visiting Hill's personal website LibertyFight.com the Friday before their response to the suit was due:
Among the responses listed by Marmor were "Deny that Defendant Marmor told John Doe he was going to break the seal off the trailer doors and open the trailer to examine the freight.", despite the fact that freight companies keep records of every seal broken prematurely. He denied "that there was no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to ask for Plaintiff's identification," despite the fact that he acknowledged several times in the recording that Hill had been in the sleeper berth. As if being asleep in a commercial truck equates reasonable suspicion or probable cause of a crime. In another response, Marmor's lawyer writes "Admit that Plaintiff showed Marmor his identification. Deny that it was under duress or threat of arrest after being illegally detained," despite chasing after Hill and threatening to arrest him numerous times.
While both officers deny that they lacked probable cause or reasonable suspicion, Marmor also at the same time denies that he threatened to arrest the Plaintiff for not showing ID. He's trying to play both sides of the coin. If there had indeed been probable cause, he could have easily arrested plaintiff and/or threatened to arrest him with no worries or repercussions.
The Plaintiff has launched a new website DontWakeMeUp.Org, explaining the relevance of several important issues addressed in this case: compulsory ID and waking up truck drivers from their sleeper berth when they have to drive many hours the next day- an exremely dangerous and deadly proposition, as evidenced by countless state and federal studies on driver fatigue causing fatal accidents nationwide. In this case, those sworn to uphold the law are actually severely endangering the motoring public.
Additional cases filed out of the San Antonio District Court can be found here.
View and/or download our flier to put at truck stops and bulletin boards
HERE ARE THE TRANSCRIPTS
Off duty driver refuses to show ID to TX DOT Inspector
Texas State Trooper threatens arrest of driver for not showing ID
Civil Rights claim filed against Texas Trooper- Do not wake up sleeping trucker