Multiple checkpoints were spontaneously imposed by federal agents and local police, resulting in the subsequent stopping and questioning of every citizen entering and leaving Armada, Michigan between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Thursday.
“FBI and local police have been stopping every car that has been coming in and coming out. They’ve been putting Xs on peoples hands, I’m told, to keep track of who have been coming in and out, ” one WXYZ reporter said, while on the scene. “They have also been writing down peoples license plates on their note pads as they’ve been coming into town here to keep track of everything,”
Authorities say the operation was to gather information about the disappearance and death of 14-year-old April Millsap, whose body was found last week on a trail near by. Some locals and privacy advocates, however, are crying foul.
“At least one group is protesting the roadblocks, saying they are unconstitutional and without probable cause,” reporters said. “They are looking for the police chief… they want to read him not only the US constitution, but the state constitution as well.”
During their investigation, police conducted an unrelated marijuana raid, that resulted in two arrests the day before.
This is not the first time police have imposed similar tactics as part of an investigation. After a June 2012 bank robbery in Aurora, Colorado, police detained dozens of drivers and passengers, including children, who were in the vicinity of Wells Fargo Bank for over four hours. Suspects were handcuffed and then “asked” for permission to search their vehicles.
Being shackled and held at gunpoint, most “suspects” gave permission for officers to search their property, and once nothing was found, were released. Officers refused to comment on what happened to detainees who exercised their right to refuse the search and dismissed concerns by describing the event as a “unique” situation.