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Ogdensburg woman shocked by Border Patrol has hired an attorney

First published: May 26, 2015 at 1:16 am
Last modified: May 26, 2015 at 1:16 am

CANTON — An attorney representing Jessica A. Cooke, 21, of Ogdensburg, said Friday that the Border Patrol treated his client abominably at a checkpoint outside Waddington last month.

The incident gained notoriety May 7, when Ms. Cooke posted a video on her Facebook page of an encounter with two U.S. Border Patrol agents during a secondary inspection of her vehicle on Route 37 that she said led to her being shocked with a stun gun.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is continuing its investigation into what it is calling an altercation between Ms. Cooke and two Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint.

Ms. Cooke said all questions regarding the incident would have to go through her attorney, Ameer Benno, of Benno & Associates P.C.

Mr. Benno said that he plan to make progress with Ms. Cooke’s case.

He said the way the agents treated Ms. Cooke was outrageous and an excessive use of force.

He looks forward to getting her justice, Mr. Benno said.

“I wouldn’t take a case I didn’t believe in strongly,” Mr. Benno said. “What Jessica did was a blessing by bringing it to the public’s attention.”

This is modern technology being used to protect our constitutional rights. Mr. Benno said.

“And that’s a marvelous thing,” he said.

The DKT Liberty Project, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group for the rights of U.S. citizens, has reached out to assist in Ms. Cooke in her defense.

According to its website, the nonprofit organization is committed to protecting privacy, guarding against government overreaching and protecting the freedom of all citizens to engage in expression without government interference.

“We believe that Ms. Cooke has had her Fourth Amendment Rights violated and excessive force was used by the agents,” DKT Program Director A.C. Bushnell said.

Mr. Bushnell said that group would have found an attorney for Ms. Cooke, had she not yet retained one. Since she has, he said, DKT would be willing to foot the bill and was attempting to reach Mr. Benno to discuss the matter.

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