Nashville, TN — In May of 2014, Ronnie and Lisa Hankins were driving back from his grandfather’s funeral in Virginia when they were targeted by a gang of police officers in search of cash.

As Lisa drove the couple westbound down I-40, they saw an officer, who happened to be with the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force, and Hankins correctly predicted that they were about to be pulled over.

“I told her we are going to get pulled over,” Ronnie said to NewsChannel 5.

“What made you think he was going to stop you?” NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked.

“Because we had out-of-state license plates and my wife is Hispanic,” he explained.

The couple was then pulled over, and the officer quickly separated them before beginning his harassment of Lisa. In the video, the officer is heard badgering Lisa in an attempt to get her to consent to a search.

“You say there’s not anything illegal in it. Do you mind if I search it today to make sure?” the officer asked.

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Lisa responded, “I’d have to talk to my husband.”

The cop continued to intimidate and harass her, “I am asking you for permission to search your vehicle today — and you are well within your rights to say ‘no,’ and you can say ‘yes.’ It’s totally up to you as to whether you want to show cooperation or not.”

Knowing that they had done nothing wrong and the officer had no reason to search them, Lisa continued to assert her rights and refused the search.

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“You have to either give me a yes or no,” the cop continued. “I do need an answer so I can figure out whether I need a dog to go around it or not.”

After going back and forth and realizing that this couple was not going to give consent, a second officer brings out a drug dog. As the Free Thought Project previously reported, data shows that police K-9s will alert almost every single time they are called out, regardless of the presence of drugs. 

The Hankins’ case, on the side of I-40, was no different.

“We’ve ran a dog, and the dog’s alerted on the vehicle. So we are going to be searching it, OK? And whatever is in there we are going to find in just a second,” said the officer to the couple.

“There’s never been any drugs in the vehicle and never will be,” Ronnie declared.

Ronnie became furious as he knew that the dog did not alert on his vehicle; he knows this because he is also a cop. He’s a federal police officer at the Marine Corps Air Station-Miramar in San Diego.

“You are lying about the dog hitting on the car. The dog didn’t hit on the car either. You guys are drug task force. You are out here harassing me and my wife when I am just coming back from a funeral,” he said.

The agent, knowing full well that Ronnie was a cop, responded sarcastically, “That is exactly how I would expect most police officers to act.”

“Just like a child, you can make a child say anything you want. You can make a dog do whatever you want to if you train them the right way,” Ronnie explained to NewsChannel 5 Investigates.

For nearly an hour, cops held the innocent couple on the side of the interstate while they tore Lisa’s new car apart. They even went so far as to rip the dashboard out. They found no drugs.

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But after finding no drugs, the truth came out —  these cops weren’t looking for drugs at all — they wanted cash.

“I knew right now they were looking for money to fund their operations,” said Ronnie.

“Well, I’ll be honest with you,” the officer began, as he attempted to justify this outrageous violation of rights. “With you going this direction, I wouldn’t think you’d have drugs in the car — you would have a large amount of money,” he said.

After the cops were finished searching for cash and didn’t find any, they eventually let their victims go. But to support their unlawful detainment, also known as attempted robbery, the officers wrote in the report that they found “marijuana debris” in the driver and passenger floor boards. This ‘debris’ was nothing more than grass from the couple’s feet from the cemetery where Ronnie’s grandfather was buried.

The unfortunate reality of this situation is that nothing will happen to these officers. In their minds, the Hankins are criminals who deserved this treatment and got off lucky without having their property stolen. These officers will continue to rob people on the side of the road as it’s not only condoned by their departments; it’s their entire function — necessary for their own self-preservation.

“It seems like Nazi Germany,” said Ronnie. “You’ve got to have the paperwork and the proper authorities to come through Tennessee.”

Until we end the war on drugs, these cases will continue to become more prevalent and less pleasant. When police officers are referring to the situation created by other police officers as ‘Nazi Germany,’ the time for immediate action is now.

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For a list of peaceful fixes to the many problems created by the drug war, please take a scroll through our #solutions section. 


Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

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Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • REALConservative

    Soooo, we have two cops in one story admit to the fraudulent nature of law enforcement. The cop who was victimized admitted that “drug dogs” are a bunch of bullshit hocus pocus, and one of the other cops admitted that they didn’t expect to find any drugs in a car they claim their “drug dog” had “alerted” on.

    Long past are the days when it was respectable to be a cop in America.

    • Kevin Cunningham

      Cops have been a problem since day one…

  • Phillip Murray

    The civil forfeiture laws are a big part of why people have lost all respect for law enforcement.

  • Michele Glover

    Well, I guess Tennessee just lost any business from me, as I will never drive through their state, ever.

  • woodnymph!

    Same thing happened to us probably within 5 miles of this incident! Again a few hours later in Oklahoma & again in Kansas! Every year for 15, in Both directions! It was a real drag to drive to visit my parents all those years! Once going East we were pulled over twice within 30 minutes & our car was torn thru for an hour! Found Nothing! We asked them to please notify their force that we had been searched & were clean, just so we could get through their state! But still, we were checked out closely while being called in by the tailing officer, several more times in Kansas, then they would pass with a smile & a nod! Stinking Pigs!
    I also have a friend who was Robbed of $50,000 by the cops on an Amtrak in Reno about 8 years ago!
    My parents have since died, & thank God I was able to finally Get the Hell Out of the fascist USA! Life is now Good!

  • kenneth Hadley

    Sadly, many areas of Nashville are not safe for anyone because our police function is all about money.

  • Bob Barker

    It’s not about ‘drugs’ and it never WAS about drugs….. it was about MONEY to fund their N@zi activities.

    The so-called ‘war on drugs’ has absolutely NOTHING to do with this stop, or MOST stop….. that’s how these N@zi Gestapo thugs fund themselves — by stealing from citizens under the aegis of the “Asset Forfeiture” statutes in both state and federal law.

    If every single drug became completely legal tomorrow, these N@zi thugs would be erecting the very same ‘checkpoints’ tomorrow evening — but under a different pretext — “Rico Act” violations, “Child Pornography” allegations…… whatever gives these inbred thieves pretext to steal your money.

    Don’t make this a ‘drug’ thing.

  • Toad D. Wart

    In the brain and not the vest, head shots are the very best!

    • Eric George

      Why don’t you and CROFT Photography join a boy band and quit pretending to be hard on the internet…

      • Toad D. Wart

        Gargle that pork sausage like your daddy taught you. You don’t have a runny nose, you’re full.

  • Lawrence Pearson

    Been stopped a lot . Been searched a lot . Been jailed a lot . Had an I D theft . 30 years of jails ,prisons etc. I am so white you could even say I glow . I was in prison with my name the mini me was also in prison at the same time . With my name and social security number . After the FDIC check I was arrested in prison for crimes committed 1700 miles away while I was in prison ? Our system is not flawed it is designed to gain revenue for the police . We are nothing more than pawns in their advancement . The police are nothing more than a gang of thugs . I never met anyone in prison half as corrupt or insane than the police I interact with daily . With out a test for emotional stability by independent testing . We are all just one police bullet away from death . According to the FBI, from 1980–2014, an average of 64 law enforcement officers have been feloniously killed per year. Those killed in accidents in the line of duty are not included in that number. In the U.S. a total of 509 citizens have been killed this year alone by police. The body count for the previous year stands at a grand total of 990 people shot dead, according to the Washington Post. Most of those killed by police are male and white . 123 of those shot were Black Americans. This is a relatively high share, keeping in mind that close to 13 percent of Americans belong to that ethnic group
    What’s also disturbing is that according to the data compiled by the Washington Post a big proportion of those killed obviously showed signs of mental illness. Of the 509 killed this year at least 124 were thought to be suffering from such conditions. It will take 15 years for of dead cops , to equal the number of dead by cops in one year

  • Duende Brooks

    The cop continued to intimidate and harass her, “I am asking you for
    permission to search your vehicle today — and you are well within your
    rights to say ‘no,’ and you can say ‘yes.’ It’s totally up to you as to
    whether you want to show cooperation or not.”

    So I guess saying no means you are not cooperating.. but you do have a choice lo

  • Eric George

    You are a fucking idiot… FB tough guy… smh

  • Ray Hicks

    No shit , back in the late 60’s I got robbed by 2 Mexicans one with a gun and another who came up behind me and stuck a knife in my groin area , right at the T J walkway under the overpass foot bridge less than 50 yards from crossing the border. I returned to the Mexico side and reported to the Mexican Police in their office soon as I said one of the suspects had a pistol the plain cloths cop left the room and both took me in their car under the Tijuana river bridge made me get out of the car in the dark walked me about 50 pluss feet from the tire tracks…and asked me how much money I had left. bear in mind I was a teenager back then .