May 5th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 05/05/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight on AC360°, stunning allegations of highway robbery in a small Texas town. Dozens of drivers claim they've been held up for cash, cars and jewelry. Even more shocking is who some victims are blaming – the police who deny the accusations against them.

Don't miss Erica Hill's webcast on Gary Tuchman's report during the commercials. Watch our WEBCAST

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (376 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    I have to say that Gary Tuchman did an excellent job of conveying the weirdness of this story.

    Why would a police dept adopt procedures that to begin with are blatant violations of individual rights? What are the overall circumstances in Teneha? Whatever they might be, it seems obvious that these are unreasonable searches and seizures.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  2. Anthonia-California

    @MARINA-Im sorry to hear about that, but i hope this police robbery in texas stops soon..!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Najala

    This is why when I travel from New Orleans to Texas I don't stop in small towns. This is " Racial Profiling " at its best. It's even amazing to find out it's one of our own stopping people for DWB ( Driving while Black).

    May 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. White Male with Blue Eyes ( Taken In Texas )

    I was pulled over in one of these small speed trap towns. The Cop knew we were from CA, and asked if I was bonded to drive in TX. I told him, I didn't know I had to be bonded to drive there legally. So he said that I would have to pay him right then and there, or go to gail. So he asked me how much money we had on us, and I told him we only had $60 to $70 dollars on me. He then gladly took every dollar we had in Cash, wrote me a speeding ticket, when I didn't think I was speeding, and sent us on are way. Don't Mess With Texas, ah, ah !

    White Male, White Female, White Cop 1989-1990

    Robert Potter, CA

    May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  5. niwat, Chicago

    Hi AC, AC360 casts and bloggers,

    What an egregrious story of the police report!.. I never experienced anything first-hand like that..although i've heard the similar stories manytime foldover..( in Bangkok Too, if you get pulled over, you bribe a cop 2 bucks and then you are free to go )

    Warm Welcome to the manhattan studio, mr cooper

    May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Gary Tuchman,
    Thank you for your the story of Highway Robbery in Texas, Excellent job! Congrats Gary!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Lori from IL

    Very interesting report by Nic - hope all reporters stay safe covering this story....

    May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Michelle

    Outside of Kabul is the government actually in control
    of most of Afghanistan.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Interesting point that the interrogation techniques weren't an issue with these terrorists. The opponents claim it's a great recruiting tool. I think they hate us no matter what.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Dulcie - Denver

    Incredible piece by Nic Robertson. Fabulous reporting tonight. I read his story on the blog and I would have been scared spitless.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Vasu

    Those who want all government services localized should think long and hard about your "highway robbery" story. At some point, everyone has to travel through other cities, where one or two bad apples under the cloak of the government can make it a living hell.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  12. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Jana, Indiana, Gary will get that interview, he never gives up!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  13. george seldin, Yorba linda ,ca.

    There is no worse criminality than that which is committed under the color of authority. These Texas extortionists should be charged under Federal RICO statutes and if found guilty spend a real long time in Federal prison.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Sharon Wright

    I worry about Nick Robertson. His work seems to be putting him in harms way, more and more.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  15. Isabel

    These things are so unbelievable!
    And so far from my reality

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  16. Lauren--NY

    Thank you for the news from Afghanistan/Pakistan...nobody does international news like you guys do. Much appreciated.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  17. Isabel

    These things are so unbelievable!
    And so far from reality

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  18. brian price

    why are you'll so suprised at the allegations in texas on taking minority money. everyday we minority's are harrassed and threatened by cops and no one does anything to protect us. we are stopped for no reason and our property is taking from us and there is nothing that we can do.. your report is not helping unless u continue to put these people out there. only the media can give us a voice.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  19. Krasi, Houston, TX

    I can't wait for the face transplant story!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  20. rsk

    these cops down here have only one thing on their mind and that is pulling over people for a shakedown..I live here and have not experienced this but i have seen it and know all about it.there is no way in hell these cops would pull me over and take my hard earned money.I would hire a lawyer,file a criminal and civil complaint.i hope justice is served for all of the victims getting robbed.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  21. Karen in Denver

    Small town Texas will never change. I am from Texas and my family is in law enforcement there. You would be shocked at what is allowed to happen there. Hwy 59 is a major drug route from Houston to the northern states. The local officials use this as their justification for unlawful search and seizure. I am glad someone finally decided to fight back.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  22. Greg

    Forfieture law abuse is nothing new. Volusia County, Florida (Daytona Beach) ran a program for years. I don't know what the situation there is today. They would stop minorities on their way to Disney World, hoping they had brought cash for their vacation. When you're hundreds of miles from home and being held and threatened by armed men, and have had every cent you had with you stolen, what can you do? This has been going on for years in numerous locations. Thanks for bringing it to public attention, but you act as if this if something new.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  23. Leobardo

    A friend of mine recently got pulled over. He was driving without a license but his wife had $6000.00 in her purse. The police took that money and now they won't return it back. He got tooken to jail and appeared in court and was released. What should they do? Should they file a lawsuit?

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  24. Philip

    Ask any Jamaican motorist who's been stopped for speeding violations and they'll tell you it's the norm for "hungry traffic cops" to ask what they can do for themselves to avoid being ticketed or slapped with points on their driver's license. Some cops are even brazen to ask them what will it be – the left (meaning to pass them money via the left hand to drop the charges) or the "write" – meaning they'll write a ticket if you don't intend to pay.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  25. Jonathan

    Its a recession. A district attorney and police officers have to live also. But hopefully it will be an awesome story for them to tell people on the unemployment line.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  26. ericacnn

    I highly recommend Nic's blog on this interview, as well. It is a fascinating account not only of the events, but of Nic's feelings throughout this interview.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  27. azeez, Hillside, NJ

    Without U.S. the Taliban couldn’t have beaten the Russians...

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  28. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    These terrorists are gutless chickens–covering their heads when speaking publicly.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  29. Esma

    News flash!!! No one has won a war in Afghanistan since Alexander the Great...we aren't going to win in the traditional sense...we need to use political means, not militaristic, to "win" (no one "wins" a war, by the way).

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  30. Dana

    This is not the only place in the country where this has happened. to get the money back, attach a lien on the property/vehicles of all the accused. Or, go to their homes and clean them out......since they used stolen money to pay for it. D.A.'s and cops who behave like this give justification to not trust the justice system. Sad!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  31. Rebekah

    If I were Gary right now I'd be jumping up and down like a giddy schoolgirl! This is a great story – can't wait to see where it will lead.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  32. Jackie

    Where's the Justice Dept? Racial profiling by a black police officer? Greed and corruption are color blind! Look at the progressive we've made.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  33. Natalie

    The story about the robbery of the innocent was not surprising to me.. I have heard stories like that for a long time!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  34. Ayo Ogbongbemiga

    Hey, Erica
    I thought this could only happen in a third world country.
    Shame on these people.
    But this is the USA, there surely will be JUSTICE!!!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  35. Mary H. St. Louis, MO

    This region scares the heck out of me. I can't imagine interviewing them and thinking how in danger you would be during the interview. Amazing work by the journalist.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Krasi, Houston, TX

    Great report by Gary! I feel good to have watched it.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  37. Rebecca Nichols, Eufaula, Oklahoma

    Great reporting tonight. Believe it or not those things happen more often then most people know.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  38. Cervantes, Imperial Beach CA

    Hello to all, ALso check the Police "Checkpoints"no drunk drivers, just impound bills from 300-to 1000Dollars,

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  39. Bobby

    Whoa! These folks are bad, should go to jail taking advantage of simple folks like us, if it were Drugs and Gangs, it would be one thing but not hard working folks just trying to make it and they take advantage of them? The DA should go to jail for life! And the officer that would not speak to y'all should go further~!

    Anderson, this is crazy, the Texas Troopers should be in there tomorrow, they are suppose to be the best, let them show us!


    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  40. Dave

    I wish I could say this surprizes me. Police corruption is more the norm than honest law enforcement. It seems our society has become used to being harrassed and robbed by the police, while forgetting what their job is supposed to be...protecting its citizens.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  41. Donna, Missouri

    So glad that this 'outrage' is getting the attention that it deserves. It will be interesting to see how fast this 'so-called officer of the law' crawls in to a hole, and the unwarranted stops, and theft, comes to an abrupt halt!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  42. Esma

    Hey, it's Mr. Ackerman (remember from the Madoff thing?)!!! I love his analogies!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  43. Maureen T, Canada

    I hope Nic Robertson didn't put himself in harm's way. I truly enjoy Nic's reporting! What a great reporter!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  44. Dulcie - Denver

    I'm the Treasurer of a small city and our police officers are all good, honest people. Nothing like this going down in our city. It's insane! It requires collaberation of almost the entire city.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  45. Jasmine-Spokane, WA (follow @edhenrycnn)

    "Pakistan's pants are on fire." – this line just doesn't work very well in an analogy. It "dumbs down" the sentence.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  46. Julius Allen

    Isn't a fair state for the minority,
    there has been so much racial bias against minorities here, I would love to see CNN keep us informed over the coming months on this story to T. Texas.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  47. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I love representative Ackerman. Thank God for people who aren't afraid to speak up and who (seemingly) have the best interest of his constituents in mind.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  48. Blenda, Cisco Georgia

    And I thought rural Georgia cops were pigs....lol OMG

    May 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  49. Miss J

    Oh there's one of my favorite Congress people – Gary Ackerman from New York.

    May 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  50. Patrice Palmer

    Good evening Anderson, Erica and fellow bloggers! I feel so badly for Judy Trunnell's family and, especially, her new baby who will never know her mother. I really wish people would seriously take into account the high risk of contracting contagious illness that teachers face every day at work. As much as I love all of my students, they are perfect little disease vectors. Teachers contract all kinds of serious illnesses from our students, including hepatitis, tuberculosis, regular flu, and now swine flu. We are constantly exposed to colds, bronchitis, lice, ringworm and other less serious illnesses/conditions. First year teachers often get sick a lot. Will someone please add us to the list of people such as doctors, nurses and police officers who are given preventive equipment, vaccines and medication? Judy Trunnell's baby should never have lost her mother to swine flu!

    May 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
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