Innocent citizens held at gunpoint in terrifying California checkpoints

Staring down the barrel of freedom at a government checkpoint during a manhunt.

An innocent Roseville citizen stares down the barrel of a rifle while driving down the street. (Source: AP/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton)

An innocent citizen stares down the barrel of a rifle while driving down the street. (Source: AP/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton)

ROSEVILLE, CA –Innocent citizens traveling down public streets had a terrifying experience when they were forced through a warrantless government checkpoint in which armed men pointed guns at their heads while they proved their innocence.  Police were looking for a suspect in a recent shooting and were using the opportunity to roll out aggressive checkpoints.

Samuel Duran (Source: City of Roseville via AP)

Samuel Duran (Source: City of Roseville via AP)

The area had been put into lockdown while police looked for a shooting suspect on Friday afternoon.

A federal agent patrolling the streets of Roseville on October 25th recognized a suspect on a bicycle as Samuel Nathan Duran, 32, a wanted parole violator.  Duran fled and led officers on a chase, where Duran shot one officer, jumping a fence, and temporarily evaded police.

Police used the opportunity to lock down the area.  Roadblocks were set up.  Schools went into lockdown.  Helicopters whirred overhead.  Police forced at least 15 homes to evacuate and roadblocked the streets.

While Roseville police deployed SWAT and pointed rifles at innocent drivers, Sammy Duran had holed up in a nearby house.  The inhabitants of that house escaped, and Duran proceeded to hold out in that house for several hours before ultimately surrendering hours later.

The manhunt was reminiscent of what was seen in the Los Angeles area earlier this year, where police sought an ex-cop named Christopher Dorner.  During that manhunt, police shot up 3 innocent people in separate incidents, misidentifying their targets’ identity, gender, vehicle, and race.

Police show particular ferocity during manhunts involving one of their own was wounded by the suspect.

Duran was a dangerous suspect and wounded several officers in his apprehension.  But danger is not a valid reason to treat innocent people like criminals and force them look down the barrel of a rifle while driving down a public street.

Duran was a Hispanic suspect with a shaved head.  Clearly the motorist being threatened at the checkpoint in the photo above did not match Duran’s description.  California Highway Patrol had no reason to stop him and certainly no reason to point their rifles at him.  It is grossly negligent to point a rifle at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.

At any given time there are numerous wanted criminals on the loose all over the country.  We must ensure that our rights aren’t discarded just because of fear and danger.


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208 Comments to “Innocent citizens held at gunpoint in terrifying California checkpoints”

  1. The officer in this photo is not aiming his weapon at the driver. Even the photographer who took the photo has acknowledged this. See the link below for a detailed explanation of what is actually occurring in the photo.

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