ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull at the CBP El Paso Sector Office, demanding that CBP remove a sign currently posted at an interior checkpoint on New Mexico Highway 11 near Deming, NM that states filming or photography at the checkpoint is prohibited. In its letter, the ACLU of New Mexico notes that every federal appeals court that has addressed this issue has agreed that the First Amendment permits anyone to record on-duty law enforcement agents in public.
“The law couldn't be more clear: people have a right to record on-duty law enforcement officers in public spaces,” said ACLU of New Mexico Staff Attorney Kristin Love. “In recent years, recorded interactions between individuals and CBP have documented and raised awareness of the disturbing nature of these checkpoints, including incidences of alleged abuse and profiling. CBP may wish to avoid accountability and transparency at these checkpoints, but the public is not obligated to play along.”