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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 4:06:19 AM EDT
Border Officer on Trial in Alleged Tourist Beating

CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- A Chinese businesswoman who was allegedly beaten by a Department of Homeland Security agent during a Niagara Falls trip last summer is expected to describe the encounter as part of the officer's criminal trial.

Robert Rhodes, 44, is charged with violating Zhao Yan's civil rights by allegedly kneeing her and driving her head into the ground at an inspection booth at the U.S.-Canadian border last July 21, leaving the woman's face swollen and bruised.

Rhodes said Zhao, who he mistakenly believed was traveling with a drug suspect, ran and struggled when he ordered her inside an inspection area.
The veteran Customs and Border Protection inspector has denied any wrongdoing.

Jury selection in U.S. District Court began Thursday and lawyers were expected to deliver opening statements Friday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Littlefield said in court papers that Zhao, 38, who does not speak English, will testify through an interpreter.

Among other potential government witnesses are a traveling companion of Zhao and an expert in the use of force by law enforcement officers.

Rhodes' attorney, Steven Cohen, has argued in pretrial proceedings that Rhodes has been selectively prosecuted because he is gay and that the case is politically motivated, with the U.S. government bowing to pressure from the Chinese in the interest of preserving foreign relations.

Cohen has included former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on his list of potential witnesses.

''Officer Rhodes has basically been flushed down the toilet,'' Cohen said during a pretrial conference.

The lawyer also has accused the government of making it difficult for him to prepare a defense by interfering in his attempts to interview Rhodes' co-workers, who witnessed the incident.

Littlefield has denied the claims. The prosecutor said he did not know that Rhodes was gay until after charges had been filed and noted that Rhodes was charged within a day of the alleged assault _ before widespread news coverage had piqued the attention of Chinese officials.

The trial is expected to take about two weeks.

Rhodes could be sentenced to up to 10 years if convicted.

Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:11:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2005 4:12:55 AM EDT by Charging_Handle]
If you ask me, they should promote him and give him a pay raise. The bitch was probably a Communist Chinese agent anyway. Buisnesswoman my ass. All off these "Chinese business people" are the reason why they have so much of our technology these days. That and Bill Clinton of course.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:31:05 AM EDT

Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?


we should be, and we should shoot all Foreign invaders
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:45:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?



Because we can't prove someone is a FN just by looking at them. The only fair way to do it is to shoot everybody fleeing at a port of entry who doesn't prove legal status.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:55:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fizassist:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?



Because we can't prove someone is a FN just by looking at them. The only fair way to do it is to shoot everybody fleeing at a port of entry who doesn't prove legal status.




agreed
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:58:34 AM EDT
For one Chinese girl I used to know a beating was foreplay.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:08:29 AM EDT
Holy crap! What was he supposed to do when she took off running?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:11:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By fizassist:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?



Because we can't prove someone is a FN just by looking at them. The only fair way to do it is to shoot everybody fleeing at a port of entry who doesn't prove legal status.




agreed



Isn't that what they did in the USSR?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:17:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
Holy crap! What was he supposed to do when she took off running?



Fill out a form in triplicate, submit it at end of shift. Call in a tape.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:18:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kaizoku:

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By fizassist:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?



Because we can't prove someone is a FN just by looking at them. The only fair way to do it is to shoot everybody fleeing at a port of entry who doesn't prove legal status.




agreed



Isn't that what they did in the USSR?



Only on the way out.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:24:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
If you ask me, they should promote him and give him a pay raise.



+1!
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 1:50:46 PM EDT
Border officer on trial says he followed procedure during struggle with Chinese tourist
Friday August 19, 2005
By CAROLYN THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A veteran Customs and Border Protection officer charged with beating a Chinese tourist said Friday he acted ``by the book'' during a struggle in which the woman was pepper-sprayed, thrown against a wall and her head forced into the pavement.

Officer Robert Rhodes spoke briefly before the start of his trial in U.S. District Court, where he is accused of using excessive force against the visitor he had mistaken for a drug suspect.

``When I stopped her, she fought. I followed CBP procedure by the book,''
Rhodes said as he arrived at the courthouse.

The 17-year border inspector is charged with depriving Zhao Yan of the constitutional protection against unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer. He could face 10 years in prison if convicted.

Zhao, 38, who owns a furniture company in Tianjin, is suing the U.S. government for $10 million over the July 2004 incident that drew intense interest in China after pictures of Zhao, in a wheelchair with scrapes on her forehead and two black eyes, were widely published. The official Xinhua News Agency reported China's foreign minister demanded to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell that border officials be punished.

Rhodes' attorney, Steven Cohen, has accused the U.S. government of bowing to pressure from the Chinese and claims Rhodes was singled out because he is gay. Powell and former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge are on the defense's list of potential witnesses.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Littlefield has denied that either political pressure or Rhodes' homosexuality played a role in the indictment.

During his opening statement Friday, Littlefield told jurors that within seconds of running up to Zhao, Rhodes emptied a can of pepper spray in her face and threw her against a wall, causing her to fall to her knees, her hands clamped to her burning eyes.

When other officers couldn't pry Zhao's hand from her face to handcuff her, Rhodes kneed her three times in the head, grabbed her hair and pounded her head into the cement, Littlefield said.

Cohen painted a different picture, saying Zhao who Rhodes believed had been traveling with a man who had just been caught with marijuana had clawed and kicked at Rhodes, leaving scratches and bruises.

``Terrorists come in all sizes, shapes and colors,'' Cohen said. He said Rhodes used only the force necessary to keep the woman under control and from reaching for a weapon.

``Officer Rhodes did exactly what he was trained to do and exactly what we want him to do,''
he said.

Zhao is expected to testify through an interpreter during the trial, which will likely take more than two weeks.


Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:10:45 PM EDT
Her nationality has nothing to do with it. She was suspected of being with a drug smuggler.

She could just as easily have been a US citizen.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:38:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 199:
Her nationality has nothing to do with it. She was suspected of being with a drug smuggler.

She could just as easily have been a US citizen.



She ran from the fuzz. WTH else excuse is needed for using whatever force seems necessary to subdue her? This wasn't a public street; it was a border crossing, where you do have to talk to the officers whether you want to or not. I hope to hell this guy is acquitted and the US Attorney canned.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:46:09 PM EDT
lesson learned? run from a border agent ordering you into an inspection area and you will promply get pwn3d.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:46:56 PM EDT
I'll keep an eye on local news, seeing that I'm in the Buffalo area
wonder which bridge it was
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:48:25 PM EDT
Stupid.....get a bunch of Arfcommers, and we'll show the Chicoms....

He'll walk......
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:51:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
Holy crap! What was he supposed to do when she took off running?



It will all come down to whether two steps or three is running and whether it's parallel or directly away. IOW if the guy didn't get winded and his clothes ripped chasing her over a chain link fence then "she wasn't running", and maybe she told him in Chinese that she was just going to the potty....in a hurry...
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:52:53 PM EDT
It's all racist!!! That is, if he did it to me (horrible white male) one would not hear about it, or he would indeed get the promotion.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 2:59:44 PM EDT
She'll probably get his house and ranch now!
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:00:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By 199:
Her nationality has nothing to do with it. She was suspected of being with a drug smuggler.

She could just as easily have been a US citizen.



She ran from the fuzz. WTH else excuse is needed for using whatever force seems necessary to subdue her? This wasn't a public street; it was a border crossing, where you do have to talk to the officers whether you want to or not. I hope to hell this guy is acquitted and the US Attorney canned.



Exactly. This wasnt some drug stop on a city street. This was a US border crossing, which should be the most secure location on the planet.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:33:17 PM EDT
im a minority, i didnt even read the thread. just the title, and i say good. they should promote him because he cares about national security. where has common sense gone. anybody fleeing should be shot!
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 11:04:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By 199:
Her nationality has nothing to do with it. She was suspected of being with a drug smuggler.

She could just as easily have been a US citizen.



She ran from the fuzz. WTH else excuse is needed for using whatever force seems necessary to subdue her? This wasn't a public street; ...


Not my point.

My point is that her being Chinese has nothing to do with this.

Obviously there’s no problem with the Inspector using an appropriate level of force to take her into custody in this instance (whether she was a foreign national or a US citizen).
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:25:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
If you ask me, they should promote him and give him a pay raise. The bitch was probably a Communist Chinese agent anyway. Buisnesswoman my ass. All off these "Chinese business people" are the reason why they have so much of our technology these days. That and Bill Clinton of course.



+1

Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:28:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
If you ask me, they should promote him and give him a pay raise. The bitch was probably a Communist Chinese agent anyway. Buisnesswoman my ass. All off these "Chinese business people" are the reason why they have so much of our technology these days. That and Bill Clinton of course.



Let's ignore the Israeli technology sales to China.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:12:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:24:58 AM EDT
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:25:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
thats why we keep you around, that and your handy liberty links and nifty stormfront logos.



Stormfront logo? Such as? I certainly have nothing to do with those cretins, as you well know. Of course, you are too damned ignorant to actually deal with the case against Israel in a factual manner, so you run around like Jesse Jackson, desperately trying to play the race card.

Pathetic, but amusing.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:44:44 AM EDT
I have seen county police do more damage to innocent people and get off so why shouldnt he.
And what dummy goes to or through a border crossing not knowing that if you flee you will be chased.

So what was she running for anyway??? I know in some countries running away is a form of guilt and plenty reason to be shot down by full automatic AK-47 fire from multiple weapons.

Next time walk quickly lady. And when you hear people yelling and gesturing for you to stop AND THEY HAVE GUNS AND BADGES do your self a service and STOP!!!!
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:50:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WolfAR15:
lesson learned? run from a border agent ordering you into an inspection area cop - any cop and you will promply get pwn3d.



Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:10:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
thats why we keep you around, that and your handy liberty links and nifty stormfront logos.



Stormfront logo? Such as? I certainly have nothing to do with those cretins, as you well know. Of course, you are too damned ignorant to actually deal with the case against Israel in a factual manner, so you run around like Jesse Jackson, desperately trying to play the race card.

Pathetic, but amusing.



Well, Sylvan, you slandering son of a bitch, I am still waiting for an answer to your Stormfront accusation. Prove to me that my avatar is SF, and I'll gladly change it. If not, then I demand an apology, and suggest you shut the fuck up in the future.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:30:35 AM EDT
When the USA is no more this will ce one of the many little dots to be connected.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:16:14 AM EDT
he's in trouble for violating Jorge's open borders policy. you're not supposed to stop anyone who might be coming in to work for less than minimum wage, it's bad for the economy.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:34:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2005 5:35:17 AM EDT by uncle_frank]
I thought that you had to be a US citizen in order to have Constitutional rights. Any due process we give a foreign alien is a courtesy. That was until our commie court system got involved.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:36:43 AM EDT
Give him a medal. When will this nonsense end?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:38:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gojoe:
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.



He gave her a lawfull order, she resisted, he used force to overcome that resistance. What's the problem?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:50:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By gojoe:
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.



He gave her a lawfull order, she resisted, he used force to overcome that resistance. What's the problem?



Article says she doesn't speack english. How will she understand his comand?

Roy
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 8:14:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rdsr:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By gojoe:
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.



He gave her a lawfull order, she resisted, he used force to overcome that resistance. What's the problem?



Article says she doesn't speack english. How will she understand his comand?

Roy



lesson learned: don't go to a country that you can't speak the language in, or at least know enough of the language to understand "stop"
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 8:25:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By rdsr:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By gojoe:
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.



He gave her a lawfull order, she resisted, he used force to overcome that resistance. What's the problem?



Article says she doesn't speack english. How will she understand his comand?

Roy



So you think she had to speak English in order to know that she wasn't supposed to run from a border guard? Sheesh.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 8:37:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LUGERMAN:
Give him a medal. When will this nonsense end?



Just another example of our borders still not being secure. No excuses whatsoever. Beat her down, put it on the news and congratulate the special agent. Get enough incidents of these and the message will be sent. No more crap at the border.

Instead, all they did was show it is okay to run and if caught, scream brutality, sue, win, cop(s) get fired.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 8:45:07 AM EDT
Just a point of common sense.

When the border guards are yelling at you,

ANY BORDER GUARDS in ANY LANGAUGE in ANY COUNTRY

if you do not stop running, they are about to "Cap your ass" !

Except the good Ol' USA.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 9:22:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By fizassist:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Why are we not shooting foreign nationals who flee border inspections?



Because we can't prove someone is a FN just by looking at them. The only fair way to do it is to shoot everybody fleeing at a port of entry who doesn't prove legal status.




agreed



+1
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:59:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rdsr:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By gojoe:
Has anyone considered ? What he did was wrong, both from a policy,law enforcement, and human stand point.



He gave her a lawfull order, she resisted, he used force to overcome that resistance. What's the problem?



Article says she doesn't speack english.



Which I do not believe. English is the international language of business. China is not going to send a businesswoman to the US who doesnt speak the language.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 3:00:27 PM EDT
www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050820/1037915.asp

Trial opens in beating on border
By MICHAEL BEEBE
News Staff Reporter
8/20/2005

Robert Rhodes has protected the U.S. border for 17 years, three years shy of retirement, his attorney noted Friday in U.S. District Court in questioning why such a man would use pepper spray on an innocent woman and attack her, as the government has charged.

Perhaps in Rhodes' mind, attorney Steven M. Cohan told jurors, the woman - Zhao Yan - wasn't quite so innocent.

Cohan wants to know why Zhao, a Chinese citizen, was standing outside an inspection area at the Rainbow Bridge with two other Chinese women the night of July 21, 2004, watching customs agents handcuff a man caught smuggling pounds of marijuana across the border.

Rhodes, thinking the women might have been involved in the drug smuggling attempt, went outside to question them, but they ran off, Cohan said in his opening statement in Rhodes' trial on a charge of violating Zhao's civil rights.

When Rhodes caught Zhao about 50 feet from the inspection area, Cohan said, she scratched and kicked him, forcing him to use pepper spray and then, with two other agents, apply enough force to subdue her.

Zhao suffered no serious injuries, the defense lawyer argued. He attributed her badly swollen eyes, visible in pictures shown throughout China, as most likely a reaction to the pepper spray.

Officers in the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection can't be too careful after the terrorists attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Cohan said, adding that Chinese nationals are among those customs agents are trained to suspect.

Rhodes also had no way of knowing what might have been in Zhao's handbag, Cohan argued.

"Terrorists come in all shapes, sizes and colors," he said. "Suicide bombers come in all sizes, shapes and colors."

He said it was extraordinary to arrest a customs inspector, while allowing a woman to go free after she fled an order to stop and fought the inspector.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Littlefield, who is prosecuting Rhodes, 44, said the case is simple and straight forward.

Zhao, 38, a Chinese businesswoman who had taken a side trip to Niagara Falls, "had a constitutional right to be free from a government official using excessive, unreasonable force," Littlefield told the jury.

"She has constitutional rights the same as yours," Littlefield argued in Judge Richard J. Arcara's courtroom. "She's a visitor in our country. It didn't have to be a Chinese citizen. It could have been Joe Blow walking down the street, it could have been your neighbor."

Rhodes is charged with a single count of violating Zhao's rights by using excessive force under the guise of law. The charge carries a 10-year prison term.

Rhodes, a slight man in glasses with short-cropped hair and wearing a gray sport coat, was portrayed as various sizes by Littlefield as he attempted to draw a distinction between him and the smallish Zhao, who is 5 feet 2 and 120 pounds. As a witness, Zhao is excluded from the court until her testimony.

At one point in his opening statement Littlefield described Rhodes as 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds; at another point, he said Rhodes stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall.

Cohan, who commented that his client seemed to grow during Littlefield's remarks, said he had measured his client as 5 feet, 101/2 inches tall.

Size didn't matter, he maintained, scoffing at the notion that a woman is not capable of fighting a man. He promised to show the jury pictures of bruises and scratches that, he said, Zhao had inflicted on his client. The prosecution has said it will provide its own pictures, showed Rhodes had little if any injury.

Littlefield said testimony of other officers involved in handcuffing Zhao will show that Rhodes pepper-sprayed her, threw her against a wall, kneed her three times in the face and smashed her face against the pavement.

Impossible, Cohan countered. If Rhodes did all that, Zhao would have suffered serious facial injuries, he said, adding he would call medical experts to show she had not.

Although Cohan contends that Rhodes had been singled out for prosecution because he is gay and his superiors want to get rid of him, he never mentioned that to the jury.



Link Posted: 9/8/2005 6:21:44 PM EDT
not guilty
www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=31427

Rhodes Acquitted

Created: 9/8/2005 6:00:56 PM
Updated: 9/8/2005 8:58:37 PM


E-mail This Article
Printable Version

By Rich Kellman
Senior Correspondent

The verdict is not guilty in the Federal civil rights case against border security agent Robert Rhodes. Rhodes was accused of using unreasonable force against Chinese businesswoman Yan Zhao when officers tried to stop her for questioning at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls last summer.

Witnesses say Rhodes kneed her in the face and slammed her head into the ground. At a news conference after his acquittal, Rhodes denied he did either. "I did not," he said when asked whether he did what the witnesses claimed.

Rhodes' defense said he acted appropriately, given that she struggled with Rhodes and other officers when they tried to handcuff her.
"It was Zhao Yan who was in control from the very beginning," said Rhodes, using the ethnic Chinese order of last name first. "If she had not resisted," he said, "we would not be here today. I did my job."

Asked what he thought of Yan Zhao's testimony for the prosecution, Rhodes said, "I think she was coached from the beginning. She has a $10-million lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. The jury seemed interested (in her testimony) at the start, but after a while, they seemed to lose interest."

Rhodes says his legal defense and lost income total around $100,000. He hopes to return to work with Homeland Security in the same job he had when the border incident happened just over a year ago.

The case caused an international furor, with China reprimanding the United States for allegedly violating the human rights of a foreign visitor while lecturing China on its human rights record.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 6:59:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sharky30:
not guilty



God bless him, and the jury.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 7:08:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sharky30:
not guilty
www.wgrz.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=31427



Wow. I'd like to hear what the jury had to say about the trial.
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