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Drivers forced to wait hours, show ID before leaving checkpoint

Mikael Thalen

June 20, 2014

Police responded to a shooting outside Colorado’s Red Rock Amphitheater late Thursday night by forcing thousands of concert goers through a mandatory checkpoint.

The shooting, which left three people with non-life threatening injuries, occurred in the parking lot following performances by rappers Nas, Flying Lotus and Schoolboy Q.

“I’m backstage; we’re on lockdown waiting to leave,” concert promoter Faithon Lucas told the Denver Post.

Attendees of the concert took to Twitter to air their concerns as law enforcement began searching vehicles and demanding ID from every one attempting to leave.

@DenverPolice ofcrs manning checkpoint Gate 1 #redrocks. Searching vehicles and checking ID of departing concertgoers — Rob McClure (@RobCBS4) June 20, 2014

Every car leaving #redrocks is being searched, line is starting to move. Cars parked in south lots cannot leave at this time. — Souls In Action (@soulsinaction) June 20, 2014

Police: still about 2000 patrons trying to get out of #RedRocks. Checkpoints slowing process. No access into park. — Pete Burd (@PeteBurd) June 20, 2014

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Police checking IDs in every vehicle leaving #redrocks, been stuck for almost 2 hours

— Briana (@LoveBrianaXO) June 20, 2014

Rob McClure / Twitter

Image: Warantless Checkpoint (Rob McClure / Twitter)

A representative with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department boldly confirmed that every vehicle would be searched, regardless of probable cause, before being allowed to vacate the area.

Large police presence at Red Rocks Park due to shooting. All “concert goer” cars in the park being searched. #JCSO#Jeffco

— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) June 20, 2014

“You forgot (conveniently) to include the word ‘illegally’ between ‘being’ & ‘searched,’” one Twitter user said in response.

Such scenes, where law enforcement disregard constitutional rights through mandatory dragnets, have begun appearing across the country at an alarming rate.

Following a bank robbery in Maryland last March, police shut down an entire Interstate in both directions to search countless vehicles at gunpoint.

Last year after several officers were injured in a gang-related shooting in California, a police checkpoint resulted in numerous innocent drivers having a rifle put to their head.

During the Boston bombings manhunt, the entire town of Watertown was literally placed under martial law as militarized police forced residents out of their homes at gunpoint without warrants.