Tempe pastor cleared in checkpoint confrontation

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Battlefield Arizona

YUMA — A jury has acquitted a Tempe pastor charged with failing to obey officers’ instructions at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Yuma.

The jury also cleared Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church of obstructing a highway during the April 2009 incident at the Interstate 8 checkpoint. Both charges are misdemeanors.

A Border Patrol agent questioned Anderson about his citizenship but he refused to answer, saying it was his constitutional right to remain silent. After he wouldn’t move to a secondary inspection area, Anderson says a state police officer and Border Patrol agents broke both windows of his car, shocked him with a stun gun, dragged him out and slammed him onto the ground.

Anderson says he’s thrilled with Friday’s verdict.

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