Here’s the thing. In the various comment threads on the many posts advertising this incident, you will find people popping up to make the inevitable argument that Watts probably brought this on himself, not by actually assaulting anyone (the charge), but by not being sufficiently respectful to the border guards.
And that attitude is, quite simply, part of the problem. Because it says we have to knuckle under, not ask why we’re being detained, not question authority, not demand the basic right of knowing what’s happening to us. Last time I checked, though, that is not actually how our laws work. Even if Watts was disrespectful, that isn’t a crime. Cops even get training in how to cope with people getting up in their faces, without resorting to violence, because punching and kicking and pepper-spraying someone is not an acceptable response to being shouted at, or called an asshole. But rent-a-cops don’t always, and given the growing tendency to outsource these jobs in America, I won’t be surprised at all if these guards turn out to be contractors — who seem to be statistically more likely to get drunk on their own authority.
Authority which goes only a certain distance, and no further. So telling us we should bow down when it pushes pasts its bounds, and it’s our own fault if we get punished for being mouthy, only reinforces their bad behavior.
Even if you can’t agree with that, then agree with this: that turning a guy out, at night, into a winter storm, without even his coat, isn’t an acceptable response to anything.
If you’d like to donate to his legal defense, details are at the first link. Either way, the more noise gets made about this, the more likely it will be picked up by news outlets, which means we’re more likely to get proper investigation into the matter and maybe steps taken to make things right. We can hope, anyway.