Alex McElhaney, 24, spent 14 hours in jail when at a June checkpoint in Dade County he refused to hand over his license when it was demanded of him. “I believe my 4th amendment right is the right to be secure in a person’s houses and effects against undue searches and seizure,” he tells Bill Mitchell of TV12.
A report quoted Cpl. Andy Gideon, the Georgia State Patrol Officer who arrested Mr. McElhaney. “He asked me if I was detaining him. And after a period of time trying to explain the law and just show the license and once it was verified he’d be able to proceed ***he continued to not produce or exhibit his license. *** [H]e was asked to step out of the vehicle *** at which time he was charged with obstruction of that officer to do his duty he’s required by that law to do.”
Mr. McElhaney, a graduate of Dade County high school who works in a grocery store, says he resisted the officer’s orders because he wanted to demonstrate his conviction that America’s liberties are being threatened.
He is being charged under Georgia’s §16-10-24, “Obstructing or hindering law enforcement officers.” “(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, a person who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Young man faces arraignment
I contacted Bill Mitchell the reporter, who graciously gave me Mr. McElhaney’s number. Tonight Mr. McElhaney had a second and third conversation about his ordeal — he faces arraignment Thursday in Superior Court in Trenton.
Mr. McElhaney seems receptive to my encouraging words about his case, though he has done little in the way of researching his pinch in the month between his arrest and his hearing. An arraignment is a hearing that disposes of a case at the early stages. People convinced to plead guilty do so at this hearing. Those who want jury trials have their cases sent to the grand jury.
I do not know the Georgia legal system, but suggested a course of action that an honorable commoner could be happy with. And this is: demand an indictment.
I suggest some language.
“Your honor, this case has arisen because I assert my 4th amendment rights under the federal constitution and my Paragraph 8 rights under the Georgia constitution.‡ I ask the case be dismissed. In the alternative, I demand a jury trial as an exercise of my rights, which I defend and insist on being protected in this court. I maintain all my rights at all times in this proceeding, and do not yield any of them. I have not yet attained counsel in my case. But being a graduate of our public school system, I know I have a right to a trial by a jury of my peers.
“In light of this right, I demand an indictment as an exercise of my rights, so that the people might inspect the nature of the claims against me.These claims, in all honesty, baffle and confuse me. For how can the exercise of a right be converted into a crime? It is alleged that I willfully obstructed an officer in the performance of his duty. All I did was assert my right to be free of arbitrary searches and seizures without probable cause.
“Sir, this abusive treatment needs to be reviewed by the people of our state, and I request that they hear this officer’s accusations against me.
Separately, I suggest Mr. McElhaney present himself as a flesh and blood person. The judge may be surprised to see a young man before him, standing his ground, and will ask him if he is represented by a lawyer.
“Am I pro se? You honor, I don’t know what that means, and so cannot say that I am pro se. That may be a legal fiction and a falsification of my personal interest and may inhibit my defense of myself. I am not pro se. I am instead speaking AS myself as a natural person, a flesh and blood human being and Georgia resident, in persona propria. I am not a lawyer. I don’t know legal terminology. All I can say is that I am speaking as my natural person in the flesh and blood, and this flesh and blood person insists on preserving all my rights, and solicits your help in seeing they are protected from abuse by the state.”
This line of argument, as you can see, rises from a local economy perspective, the one that makes war on our corporate personae by insisting on Avatar Replacement Therapy in which we make war against the fictions that attach themselves to us in corporate economy.
‡ Paragraph XIII. Searches, seizures, and warrants. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue except upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation particularly describing the place or places to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Source: Bill Mitchell, “Drivers Challenge DUI Checkpoints,” TV12, July 11, 2013