Video: Police Officer Lands Helicopter To Confront And Search Hiker

This video of a San Bernardino police officer circling and confronting a woman hiking in the desert has raised the anger of many about the increasing intrusion of police surveillance and operations. The officer lands his helicopter and confronts the woman without any evidence of reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause.

The video shows the officer circling over the woman and shining its light at her. He then confronts her and demands to know what she is doing. She is polite and friendly, explaining “just exploring and picking up rocks.” The officer then demands her ID, which she does not have, and takes down her name and date of birth. He then makes her wait while he runs her name through the police computer. The only explanation the officer gives the woman for being detained is that “We’re investigating something right now.” It is not clear why that investigation would involve checking to see if there was anything he could arrest her on.

Even after she is cleared, the officer demands to know if she has any weapons and tells her “don’t put your hands in your pockets.” He then searches her without a scintilla of reasonable suspicion.

The assumption is that the officer was part of the search for Christopher Dorner on January 24th. Given the recent shooting of two women by the LAPD looking for Dorner, she might have to consider herself lucky to have only been delayed.

By the way, landing a helicopter near a road in the middle of an field brings a host of risks of its own. Yet, this officer thought that a woman hiking was sufficient justification for the confrontation.

62 thoughts on “Video: Police Officer Lands Helicopter To Confront And Search Hiker

  1. Keep publicizing this sort of behavior.

    Things won’t change until people are angry enough to push their police departments.

    A few unemployed senior officers will lead to some needed change.

  2. As one who has worked the helicopter-spots-all trade in a place just as dangerous as California, I would point out that the pilot is very vulnerable as he is landing. If she was armed and wanted his hide, she would have had it. Even if they had a machine gunner in the door of the helicopter they would be vulnerable to a grenade. And if they were not concerned about such things as weapons then why did they stop, frisk and harass her? Dumb schmuck as well as a igPay. LEO in the highest (Law Enforcement Offender).

  3. I guess that San Berdo is within the constitution free zone of 100 miles to the border, where the water counts as a border. I recall passing it on the way west from AZ to LA.

    When do they declare that we can forget the constitution totally, anywhere. Obviously the WH is already such a zone.

    You never know what his superiors said to him prior. “Show some action. We need something to report. Look busy! Go harass somebody.”

  4. “Paranoia strikes deep … into your life it will creep … starts when you are always afraid …step out of line and the man comes and takes you away …” – Buffalo Springfield

  5. Unfortunately probable cause or a warrant isn’t mandatory at all. All that is required for a stop is “reasonable suspicion.” The SCOTUS has found reasonable suspicion when people in high drug areas run from the police or when people in high traffic drug areas keep looking at the police. While I think this standard is absurd it is clearly met here, the area that she is in is a high traffic drug area, she is walking in the desert by a highway, based on his experience (something which must be factored in per the SCOTUS) he could have reasonably suspected she was trafficking in drugs. Once she has been stopped the SCOTUS has held that the officer can search her to make sure she doesn’t have weapons if he has reasonable suspicion that she might, a standard met because the drug trade is “inherently dangerous” and at some point (wasn’t clear just how it came up) she tells him that she had an old weapons charge. I think this is absurd and is an abuse of police power but per the SCOTUS it was totally legal.

  6. Unfortunately I think DLS is correct, and I don’t blame hir for being disenchanted, I have been for a long time.
    The safety net of our civil rights is there, it is just that it is made out of tissue paper.

  7. And if it had been Dorner, then the cop is lucky he could land the copter with out drawing fire and/or having his blades shot out. I guess common-sense for police officers is no longer a requirement.

  8. I might add, I have just been served last week with a complete restraining order preventing me from coming within 1000′ of my daughter, for the simple and sole act of speaking to her about the Constitution and our court case.
    This is all documented. I had filed suit on this issue,, and this was their retaliation, complete denial of association with my own daughter, under threat of imprisonment if I do.

  9. The search for Dorner is a huge story out here in SoCal. I just found it amusing that a large, black man went to a ski resort to hide out. This man is an amazing mix. He is an Obama and Hillary supporter. He believes in strict gun control, and he’s a spree killer. I would suggest folks read his manifesto. It kind of makes Ted Kaczynski look normal.

  10. This “stop” is wrong on so many levels. Landing this helicopter In this terrine must have involved a number of risks including but not limited to the destruction of a very expensive piece of equipment, the possibility of death and injury to the pilot/police officer and anyone on the ground. To take these risks without any basis is ridiculous. To stop a person because they are walking a trail without any cause except they are walking the trail is another sign that the police are being trained to treat everyone as a criminal and that the rights provided in the Constituion no longer apply. The prevalence and number of these incidents proves that this type of police misconduct is not just “one bad apple”. It is about traing and a system that has gone made with unaccountable power.

  11. I have been stopped only rarely by police in my car. I have never been asked if they can search the car. A few years ago I made the decision that I would not allow a search without them first arresting me. Likewise if I were walking. Permission to search will not be given.

  12. Is the police state getting worse under Bronco Bama and the Democrats?
    What has he ever said or done to make things better than they were under Boosh? IMO, things are worse, and becoming more so. LlBERALS? Coulda fooled me.

  13. bill mcwilliams:

    as much as you apologized for the Nazis, I would think you would be all over unwarranted searches and show me your papers incidents.

  14. This took place in San Bernardino County. Probably somewhere near Hesperia, Ca along the I-15 freeway. This isn’t the border with Mexico, and the is no reasonable suspicion to believe she’s trafficking drugs…

  15. If the sheriff’s office actually was investigating something they should have at least articulated it at the end to this woman and maybe she might have understood it. I don’t know if it was or not.

    I might think they could have been doing this. Why would the sheriff’s office send a helicopter which is very expensive to operate each hour to just fly around sagebrush and a deserted area? Maybe it was drug interdiction I don’t know. But if it was I would say you need something more than just a person hiking in the desert to stop her, and ID her.

  16. Obviously they didn’t think she was Dorner. She’s still alive.

    She’s lucky he didn’t decide to do a strip search. Good thing she had a camera.

    I would have asked him if they were lost – just follow that highway over there.

  17. Bron,

    I’d appreciate it if you would desist from attributing statements to me that i did not make.

    That’s why it’s always risky to engage with people who are careless or intentionally deceitful.

  18. He then searches her without a scintilla of reasonable suspicion. -Jonathan Turley

    Stop-and-Frisk Campaign: About the Issue

    “An analysis by the NYCLU revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics.

    Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports.”

  19. “An anti-semite used to be someone that doesn’t like Jews. Now it’s someone that Jews don’t like.”

    “Israel needs to “discover” long lost documents that prove Hitler ordered six million gassed, not merely sent to work camps.”

    “When you can provide some credible evidence that Hitler killed six million people in death camps, I’ll stop reminding you that your logic is no better than that of any other FOX viewer.”

    “I won’t respond to your false charge about Israel, but I also don’t agree with your claims about 600K Jews or 6K Jews being murdered. There’s simply no evidence for that. And in case you need to be told this, the fact that x number of people died in the prison labor camps, or Concentration camps – if that makes them sound more ominous – isn’t proof they were murdered.

    Like most zealots, of course you believe your logic is “quite sound”, but that doesn’t mean it is.”

    “The only thing you cited as evidence in support of claims that Hitler killed six or 12 million Jews and others. is what you claim is a confession by some guy. You really expect anyone to believe that’s an authentic document? Don’t you know that no German governments have ever been found which order the mass killing of six or twelve million people?”

    “Most historians toe the official position – even as most of them will admit that there’s no German Government document or written order by Hitler to murder six or twelve million people.”

    “No one doubts that there are far more zealots such as yourself, than independent thinkers. Trying to get someone expelled because of their views is bad enough, but in Germany, the gov’t is so embarrassed about all of the re[arations they paid out,, it’s now a crime to even question the claim
    that Hitler ordered the systematic murder of millions of Jews.”

    “The man who designed three gas chambers said that the so-called gas chambers where six or twelve million people were killed were not capable of doing that, and he explains why in the video excerpt.

    The Bishop said he believes it’s possible that as many as 300,000 people died in the camps, but NOT from being murdered in gas chambers.”

    ““The International Red Cross, formally and officially reported that less than 300,000 internees of all nationalities in the German camps died of all causes, including old age.(3) And of these, barely more than half were Jews. Most of these died in several severe typhoid epidemics caused by wartime conditions, which claimed many lives throughout Germany – including those of doctors, nurses and camp administrative personnel”.

    “As an engineer,I find it impossible from the surviving blueprints,to believe that
    Germans,who compulsively over engineer everything ,could have designed the camps for
    mass genocide.
    For the 11 million that supposedly died within them,Jews,Gypsies,Slavs,homosexuals,communists.
    The math simply doesn’t work for the crematoria.
    So that is not true,what else is untrue ?
    The victors always write the history.””

    ““The first trials of Germans accused of having used “gas chambers” or “gas vans” to kill people began in 1943 in the Soviet Union (trials of Kharkov and Krasnodar). They continue to this day, especially in Israel with the Demjanjuk trial. Today, after 47 years of such trials we still do not have:
    A single on-site forensic examination of “gassed” bodies or “gas chambers” or “gas vans”;
    A single expert report concluding that a given room or a given van was used for homicidal gassing;
    A single autopsy report concluding that the victim had been killed by any type of poison gas;
    A single report on the re-enactment or simulation of a gassing operation, using the thousands of victims claimed and the steps taken, and taking into account the dangerous chemicals involved.”

    “gbk – If you think that YOU can prove there was a CONSPIRACY, ordered by Hitler. to murder six or twelve million Jews, then let’s hear what you have to say. I’m used to dealing with right-wingers who always resort to attacking the messenger when they can’t rebut or refute the argument …”

    People can just read what you wrote and judge for themselves if you are a Nazi apologist.

  20. I should state that the above was written by Bill McWilliams on another thread, he is saying he is not a Nazi apologist. Are there any takers?

  21. Bron, either put up or admit you are a liar. Post a statement that you say I made in which I “apologized for the Nazis”.

    You are even worse than most other right-wingers. At least they don’t pretend to be something they aren’t.

  22. billy:

    this isnt a left wing blog, it is a blog devoted to civil liberties. You know, those liberties your Nazi buddies deprived people of.

    Are you so dense as to think the totality of what you said doesnt add up to Nazi apologist?

    That would be like me saying “I am for the gold standard, for elimination of regulation, for a flat tax, for a meritocracy, against government intervention in the market place but I am not a capitalist and have never said I was.”

    Let me type this really slowly so you can understand the words that are coming out of my keyboard, you are a Nazi apologist. It is all, right there, above; those are all your own words, except for the ones where the priest and the engineer deny the logistics of the holocaust.

  23. First reasonable suspicion is subjective to the officer and his experience. He never demanded anything from the woman so whoever wrote this article needs to tone down the language. He asked her what she was doing out there. WELL within his right. She never HAD to answer. WELL within her right. He asked for her ID she didn’t have it. For identification purposes he can ask name and date of birth. Her background check came back as obviously a history of weapons charges. This gives him reason to ask if she has weapons on her. Telling her to keep her hands out of her pockets is for his safety. The only questionable thing her did was reaching out to see if she had said weapons. This IS a violation of her fourth amendment rights. Unless he has reasonable suspicion that a crime is or is about to be committed and the weapons he questions about are believed to be a part of or use in suspected crime, he has no reason to frisk her. For his safety he can ask her if she has weapons and ask her if he can just check her pockets for a cursory search. Which she can say hell no to.

  24. Bron – you are a lying right-wing shill, and I think you would be happier at one of the right-wing sites — maybe David Duke’s site would suit you better.

    The engineer you mentioned explained how it was impossible for the
    Nazis to have deliberately gassed six million people at the camps where
    Jews were forced to perform slave labor. Neither you nor any of your fellow travelers rebutted what he said. Instead, you insulted him – i.e. you shot the messenger because you didn’t like the message.

    When you insulted the Bishop, you showed your true attitude and regard
    for civil liberties is exposed as part of the hypocrisy that is “BRON”.

  25. Bron – You just can’t stand the heat because like most other right-wingers, you are basically an airhead and a coward.

  26. “What are you doing?”

    “Oh just exploring and picking up rocks” Absolutely a wonderful and (I believe honest) response.

    How many of us could answer that Sartewellian question with such sincere aplomb. :o)

  27. David

    it does sound better than “just lookin for some peyote”. “i must have some cause i just got pulled over by a helicopter while walkin in the desert”

  28. Bill

    This argument of yours that some singular scientist has proven the gas chambers could not have worked therefore the entirety of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary is false certainly is no longer interesting. Since what you say is mostly humbug, I might suggest making it a bit more exciting. We like variety here, so if you are going to make outlandish suggestions, shake it up a bit and give us some thing to laugh or talk about. Nothing like a little humor to make the day go by faster.
    How about some new and exciting poppycock, something we have never seen before?

    Some suggestions:

    No WMD was found in Iraq because raccoons made off with the recipe.

    The USAF has margarita machine that was designed at Area 51 by aliens

    The pope personally ordained Father Guido Sarducci to remind people who stay up late Saturday Night that church is in 6 hours.

    Acid rain is a hallucinogen created by the CIA to control us

    Socrates once declared “Seattle does not exist”

    The moon disappeared in 1999 after the explosion at Moonbase Alpha. The gov’t made a laser light image in its place.

    Or, perhaps generate your own at the internet famous…

    Random Conspiracy Theory Generator

    Just a suggestion. Hope this helps

  29. Darren,
    Please don’t give him any more ideas. We all know the US is run by a secret cabal that meets once a week in Bibi Netanyahu’a basement where they plot to take all the guns away from cowboys and Appalachian moonshiners.

  30. Darren:

    “Actually it must be true because margaritas are green, just like aliens.”

    How do you know that aliens are green? Is there something you would like to tell us?

  31. Dredd,

    Thanks for the Butterfield. I had been already away from the States for two years, and besides was neither hip nor on the same life track as these young people were. So I missed all this. Would I have understood it. Nah, I arrived in ’68 to Sweden, still a political virgin. Deserter? What is that? I was a deserter, but not from the military (did 2 years plus of that), from a hostile environment maybe, if I want to fool myself. Now I find these words rousing.

    Where were you when you heard these notes?

  32. David Blauw1, February 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    “What are you doing?”

    “Oh just exploring and picking up rocks” Absolutely a wonderful and (I believe honest) response.

    How many of us could answer that Sartewellian question with such sincere aplomb. )
    I’m a suspicious old coot, and she knows the power he possesses.
    She goes into her little girl mode for the cop, from the vixen we hear before and after they land. He asked for weapons, she volunteered “just this knife……”.

    Out of the nnn, nnn,nnn Jones, how was she picked out? Maybe the address she gave was enough. What do you do if you are homeless? Submit a buddy’s address, and check for the welfare check there?

    Were she and Bobbie there for a drug pickup? Hardly! Remember Easy Rider?

    So I return to my previous assertion. They needed to do something to justify the air time. “Harass somebody”!

    If she and her buddy like to breathe cop-free air, then more power to them.
    Cop did not do a narcotics search. Significant?

  33. Quote:
    “Bron1, February 12, 2013 at 8:16 am


    “Actually it must be true because margaritas are green, just like aliens.”

    How do you know that aliens are green? Is there something you would like to tell us?” Unquote.

    Best laugh this week, but of course it is Tuesday and lots of time left.

  34. Darren,

    You made me snort coffee, but I must say I did love the “Space: 1999” reference. A regular blast from the past.😀

  35. Radicalized vegans are plotting with terrorists to revive eugenics and create a Master Race of Prius-driving hippie super soldiers.

  36. Hemp-growing Marxist fornicators are preparing to invade your property as part of their plan to do exactly what Hitler wrote about in the Communist Manifesto. They’re all connected – liberals, Nazis, Kevin Bacon, everybody.

  37. Bron j’ accused…

    How do you know that aliens are green? Is there something you would like to tell us?


    It ain’t easy being green. And the probing proves it !

  38. How on earth did a video of a questionable encounter between a San Bernardino Sheriff and a hiker devolve into back and forth diatribes on the Holocaust?

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