A 21-year-old college student majoring in criminal justice claims she was illegally handcuffed and tasered by the border patrol for questioning an officer’s authority. She caught the incident on video and released it online to show the border patrol officer using the stun gun until she screamed.
According to the Huffington Post, New York state college student Jessica Cooke was stopped at a border patrol checkpoint in Lisbon earlier this month. Cooke was only two days away from graduating with a degree in criminal justice and law enforcement leadership, knowledge she used to question the border patrol officer about why she was being detained. The officer informed her she appeared to be acting “nervous,” which was probable cause enough to stop her.
According to the Atlantic, after Cooke was given her ID back, she should have been sent on her way. She is an American citizen and she wasn’t breaking any laws. But the border patrol officer took the confrontation a step further by ordering her to get in the car.
“All right, I’m going to tell you one more time and then I am going to move you over there, you got it?” said the border patrol officer.
Jessica Cooke then informed the officer she would sue him if he touched her. That’s when one of the officers allegedly threw her against her car, then to the ground, and tasered her. The camera falls and only manages to pick up her screaming.
When the taser is finally removed, Cooke can be heard saying, “What the f*** is wrong with you?” to the agents.
The border patrol released a statement pertaining to the incident, claiming they are determining the legality of the officer’s actions.
“The altercation followed a brief verbal exchange between the individual and the two agents regarding their intent to inspect the vehicle. CBP investigators have analyzed the scene of the incident, are taking statements and have reached out to the individuals involved. Based on preliminary information from the investigation, one of the two agents deployed an electronic control device during the altercation.”
The border patrol agents claim that Cooke assaulted one of them, but she claims, “There was no threat to them whatsoever.”
The incident has been a hot topic of discussion on the internet, prompting many people to speak out in defense of the college student. Jacob Sullum from Reason said the following.
“If you want to know how Cooke ended up on her back, screaming in pain as the barbs from a stun gun delivered incapacitating electricity into her body, there are several possible answers. You could say this indignity was caused by her own stubbornness, her refusal to comply with the seemingly arbitrary dictates of a Border Patrol agent who was detaining her… Or you could blame the agent’s insistence on obeisance to his authority, which led him to assault an unarmed 21-year-old woman who posed no threat to anyone.”
Ironically, Cooke was an applicant for the border patrol before they decided to have her tasered and arrested.
What do you think? Should Jessica Cooke have been tasted by border patrol officers?