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Border Patrol Draws Gun On Boy Scout Following a Photo Incident

By Hanssie on July 23rd 2014

A Boy Scout on a 3 week trip with his troop found himself with a gun to his head after an incident at the Canadian border into Alaska. About ten days into a trip with Boy Scout Troop 111 from Mid-Iowa, they stopped their vans at the border and one of the boys took a photo of a member of the border patrol.

The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed [the boy] he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” Jim Fox, the troop leader said. He was then told that it was a federal offense to take a picture of a federal agent. Everyone in the van was detained and searched, along with their belongings.

While complying with the agents orders, one of the boy scouts was taking luggage from the top of the van to be searched, when “He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Fox explained to KCCI News.

The troop was released after a 4 hour ordeal, the photo was deleted and they made it back to Iowa this last weekend with quite a story to tell.

[REWIND: VIDEOGRAPHER ARRESTED FOR FILMING POLICE AWARDED $200K IN SETTLEMENT]

According to reason.com, federal rules specifically permit photographing federal facilities, at least for “news, advertising, or commercial purposes.” And adds that the ACLU also offers guidance for photographing federal agents, “Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties.”

Charles Vonderheid with the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America said that the boys learned a valuable lesson:

We want to make sure they follow the rules. A Scout is a good citizen. It would be a great lesson in civics for that young man and that troop.

If I was a parent of one of those scouts, I would be upset about a civics lesson my child learned with a gun pointed at his head. But that’s just my personal opinion.

What are your thoughts?

[Via PetaPixel/KCCI News]

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sean John Zanderecza

    what is this? a shot for a shot? border agent’s gun pointed to boy’s head, talk about overreacting :|

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  2. Tim Broadbent

    ! Just WOW !

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  3. Richard Olender

    I’m curious as to why this article and the news report both stated that this happened at the Canadian border?
    Well no! The were in Canada trying to go into Alaska so it happened at the U.S. border

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  4. Manfred Winter

    Conroy, trouble is we dont trust them. They could hide the incriminating footage, or this particular incident was not recorded as out of camera reach. We just can’t trust these agents no more. Neither the Media. I have more trust in the statement of a witness. Infinitely more.

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  5. Eric Sharpe

    So, is it illegal, or no?

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  7. Ben Baeb

    It’s amazing the things that officers have been doing lately against photographers, it would be nice to see some consistency with what the government says our rights are and what they actually enforce. It seems that lately they’ve been inconsistent and should be held accountable.

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  8. Ben Baeb

    It’s amazing the things that officers have been doing lately against photographers, it would be nice to see some consistency with what the government says our rights are and what they actually enforce. It seems that lately they’ve o

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  9. Jim Johnson

    “If I was a parent of one of those scouts, I would be upset about a civics lesson my child learned with a gun pointed at his head.”

    Amen to that.

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  10. Kishore Sawh

    I’m going to assume there was no consequence and apology from the border agent or office….. what a surprise

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