Inland Empire Weekly
March 5, 2009
On December 10, 2008, Joshua Tree-based News Director Gary Daigneault of radio station KCDZ received a faxed press release from the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that announced an upcoming DUI checkpoint. But this was not like any other press release Daigneault had ever read.
[efoods]It stated that the Morongo Basin office of the CHP, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and the United States Marine Corps (USMC) planned to conduct a “joint sobriety/license checkpoint on Friday Dec. 12, somewhere in the unincorporated/incorporated area of San Bernardino County.”
Daigneault was concerned over the mention of the military, due to his awareness of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, a federal law passed by Congress which bans the military from enforcing civilian laws. Even more upsetting, the CHP did not disclose the location of the checkpoint, which violates entrapment laws.
A note at the bottom of the fax read: “The sobriety/driver’s license checkpoint will be operated from 9:00PM to 2:30AM. The media may contact the Barstow Dispatch Center, at (760) 255-8700 on Dec. 12, 2008, after 7:00PM, for the exact location of the checkpoint.”
Daigneault contacted the CHP and brought the issue up on air.
“When I went on my talk show that morning, most callers were against this use of our military. We ran an on-air editorial reminding the CHP there is a federal law, prohibiting military from enforcing civilian laws.”
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