The initial internal affairs responses by the two defendants in the case, filed in November 2010 by Inspector Yolanda Aguinaga and Trooper Kevin Marmor, were among the recently disclosed documents. Both officers, now defendants in a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 Civil Rights lawsuit in the Western District of Texas San Antonio Division, have denied all wrongdoing. They are represented courtesy of the Texas Attorney General, which defends officers in lawsuits.
Inspector Aguinaga's supervisor Sergeant Christopher S. McGuairt was a key defender of the cops in the early stages, attempting all sorts of contortions and deceptions to excuse the officers on all counts. On November 22, 2010, for example, McGuairt claimed that he could not find Hill to correspond with him regarding the internal affairs investigation, despite the fact that numerous TX Dept.of Public Safety employees were in regular contact with Hill via his long established postal address, telephone number and e-mail address, all of which were clearly printed on the official original complaint submitted to the agency. In the end, McGuairt's feeble attempts were of no avail; Captain Kenneth Plunk of the Waco Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division admitted wrongdoing on behalf of the officers in a written statement to Hill at the conclusion of the investigation, noting that "corrective action was needed" against both officers and that "additional training has been taken." In addition, the recently disclosed internal memo from Plunk dated 12/15/10 stated that passengers are under no obligation to show ID without probable cause:
|TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM
To: Tim Thompson, Major, Region VI
From: Kenneth Plunk, captain, CVE, Region VI
Subject: Citizen Complaint by Mr. Martin Hill
I have reviewed the information provided by Sergeant Christopher McGuairt and the complainant Mr. Martin Hill and formulate the following conclusion. I concur with most of Sergeant McGuairt's findings however a few items need to be addressed.
Sergeant McGuairt is accurate in his statement that it is a legal practice to attempt identification of the driver and passengers, regardless if articulated facts exist to support this request for identification. Though there may be no issue with attempting to identify a passenger, unless you have an articulate reason regarding your or other's safety or criminal activity is present, the passenger is under no obligation to comply with this request. When Mr. Hill asked Trooper Marmor if he (Marmor) was requesting or demanding his driver license, Trooper Marmor stated "I'm telling you" - this statement is not a request it is a demand.
At no time did Trooper Marmor state to Mr. Hill that he would be arrested, however he did tell him that it was a "jailable offense" for Failure to Identify. The charge of Failure to Identify under Penal Code 38.02 would not be applicable to this contact.
Sergeant McGuairt has addressed with Trooper Marmor his requirements to identify himself properly on future contacts. Sergeant McGuairt will also address with Trooper Marmor proper procedure and additional training regarding the offense of Failure to Identify and how it relates to roadside contacts.
In am INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM memo dated 12/9/10, [View the document here: [Page 1] [Page 2] [Page 3] [Page 4] Sergeant McGuairt stated, in part,
"Mr. Hill refused to provide Inspector Aguinaga with his CDL and in doing so asked her if the need for the license was 'a request or a demand" to which she replied it was "a request". He refused her request and she allowed him to leave unimpeded. This statement and all others pertaining to this conversation are not refuted by Inspector Aguinaga. Through my investigation I have located a "youtube" audio clip of the conversation between Mr. Hill and the inspector through www.examiner.com. a website through which Mr. Hill posts various news topics, in which she displays professionalism and courtesy. This recording was done so by Mr. Hill surreptitiously during this contact. (Two other audio clips exists on this website containing conversation between Trooper Marmor and Mr. Hill)."McGuairt continues
"Mr. Hill's exiting the sleeper berth to meet with the Inspector was done so on his own accord and without instruction by any law enforcement or non-commissioned personnel."
Sure, I just decided to get woken up in the middle of the night 'on my own accord,' and exited the truck willingly, only to magically then refuse to show them my ID. Christopher S. McGuairt exhibits the logic of a deranged psychopath.
Defending the Trooper, McGuairt states
"Trooper Marmor is not heard at any time in the audio clip speaking to Mr. Hill in a manner which would make a reasonable person feel they are "under duress" or "threat of arrest". Trooper Marmor speaks to Mr. Hill the entire audio clip in a calm and professional manner."What the recordings actually reveal, however, is that Marmor stated
One interesting revelation in the disclosure documents is that defendant Marmor confirmed in writing what Hill described in 2010 but had not recorded. When Hill told Marmor that he didn't even know who he was, Marmor replied by stating "Im the one with the badge and the gun." Marmor's own statement in the internal affairs investigation states, in part,
"He (Hill) advised me that when speaking with the Inspector he asked her if she was requesting or demanding his license. He stated that she told him that it was a request. He advised me that he refused the request. I then explained to him the difference between a Civilian Inspector and a Peace Officer. I also explained that the reason for identifying him was a common practice and that all passengers in a vehicle or commercial vehicle that had been stopped would be identified. He responded saying that he wanted to see my ID. I told him that I was in full uniform including a clearly displayed badge and gun, which identified me a Peace Officer. The codriver asked me if I was requesting or demanding his Driver License. I responded by saying, "I'm telling you" at which time the co-driver complied."McGuairt concluded "I have spoken with Trooper Marmor since the start of this investigation of his requirement to identify himself properly on future contacts if requested , though the alleged request by the complainant was vague."
Disclosure documents also reveal that the two defendants have not even gotten their story straight. For example, Marmor in his 2010 response stated that Aguinaga informed him via cell phone that Hill refused to show ID. However, in Aguinaga's response, she said she told him in person, at his car window:
Marmor: "I had returned to my patrol unit when Inspector Aguinaga contacted me via cell phone and advised that the co-driver had refused to present his Driver License."
Aguinaga: "When Trooper Marmor began to drive by me, I stopped him and mentioned that the co-driver was refusing to give me his CDL, and that he was angry for being woken up."
Another issue not particularly relevent to the case but rather illustrative of the disrecpancies in the details of what allegedly transpired have both Aguinaga and Marmor each claiming that they were the ones who opened the trailer doors to inspect the freight.
On Page 13, Marmor states: "Aguinaga asked if I would search the trailer and that the driver had given consent to enter the trailer. I met with the driver at the rear of his trailer and obtained consent to search the trailer. The driver was very cooperative and advised me that I was welcome to check anything ( needed to. The co-driver walked up as I was speaking with the driver and asked me why he was requested to leave the sleeper berth and go to the office. I advised him that I could not answer that but the inspector probably just wanted his Driver License and that he did not need to go to the office. I opened the trailer door and was securing it when I noticed that both subjects were walking to the office. I completed the search with negative results."
On page 17, Aguinaga states: "At 6:45 PM on 11-10-10, I inspected a [redacted] truck & trailer due to the heaviness on the rear tandem of the trailer. I began the inspection at the driver's door & continued around the truck & trailer. I then asked the driver to open the trailer for an inspection of the load. The driver removed the seal from the trailer as I watched and then he handed it to me. Upon the opening of the trailer, I saw several large caterpillar parts, & I noticed a heavy smell ofnew paint, but the caterpillar parts didn't look very new. I then asked the driver to pull the vehicle forward and then to join me in the office with required paperwork."
Here is Trooper Marmor's response to the 2010 internal affairs complaint [PAGE 1] [PAGE 2]. Here is Inspector Aguinaga's response.
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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.