|IMMIGRATION | United States
YouTube Removes Video Showing Border
Patrol's Detainee with Bloody Nose
|Barriozona Magazine | October 3, 2011
Published by the Hispanic Institute of Social Issues in Phoenix, Arizona
|HISTORY IS ABOUT
Phoenix, Arizona - YouTube, the most popular social site for posting videos on the internet is
being criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona for removing a video that
shows a man with a bloody nose while under the custody of U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) agents.
The video was posted by YouTube’s user “loneprotestor,” an account belonging to Alison
McLeod, a 47 year-old woman –according to her YouTube profile– whose property is often
the scenario of Border Patrol’s actions. The ACLU states McLeod is a Bisbee, Arizona activist.
The censored video was titled “Border Patrol in the Bushes,” and was taken down by
YouTube after 10 days of being posted in response to privacy concerns made by CBP officials.
McLeod shot and apparently edited the video, which at the beginning includes somewhat
unrelated aspects of her property. The part that prompted YouTube's censorship are the
scenes where a group of CBP agents both in uniform and in plainclothes, as well as official
vehicles including a helicopter, are involved in what appears to be the arrest and the
aftermath's arrest of a young man presumed to be an undocumented immigrant.
In the video, the man sits with his hands handcuffed behind him. At one point, and in spite of
a persistent attempt by one of the CBP officers to block him from the view of McLeod’s video
camera, the man’s nose appears to be bloody.
In a press release by the ACLU of Arizona, executive director Alessandra Soler Meetze
states, “This is yet another example of a private online community trampling on our First
Amendment rights and trying to exercise greater control over what we share and watch
Dan Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona’s legal director, in a letter sent to YouTube states, “YouTube
boasts that it is the biggest news platform in the world. One of the goals of a free press is to
hold government officials accountable for their actions. Granting law enforcement a de facto
veto over materials they find objectionable or unflattering would violate and jeopardize that
The press release also states three complaints regarding the video were filed with YouTube,
two of them coming by CBP agents. The entire video can be watched below.
McLeod is quoted by the ACLU of Arizona as saying, “This is the reality of border enforcement
for those of us living on the border.” McLeod has lived along the U.S.-Mexico border in
Arizona for nearly 15 years. “Rather than trying to intimidate residents like me who are
simply trying to make CBP more accountable to the public, they should respect the rights of
all people living on the border,” she added.
In a separate letter to CBP’s Tucson Field Office, the ACLU of Arizona calls the CBP complaints
to ask YouTube to remove the video a “severe government interference with McLeod’s