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At what point does an airport search step over the line? TSA agents go thru woman's checks

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:31 PM
Original message
At what point does an airport search step over the line? TSA agents go thru woman's checks
Edited on Sat Aug-21-10 03:34 PM by Liberal_in_LA
Daniel Rubin: An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport

At what point does an airport search step over the line?

How about when they start going through your checks, and the police call your husband, suspicious you were clearing out the bank account?

That's the complaint leveled by Kathy Parker, a 43-year-old Elkton, Md., woman, who was flying out of Philadelphia International Airport on Aug. 8.

--------------

A female Transportation Security Administration officer wanded her and patted her down, she says. Then she was walked over to where other TSA officers were searching her bags.

"Everything in my purse was out, including my wallet and my checkbook. I had two prescriptions in there. One was diet pills. This was embarrassing. A TSA officer said, 'Hey, I've always been curious about these. Do they work?'

"I was just so taken aback, I said, 'Yeah.' "

What happened next, she says, was more than embarrassing. It was infuriating.

That same screener started emptying her wallet. "He was taking out the receipts and looking at them," she said.

----------

In a side pocket she had tucked a deposit slip and seven checks made out to her and her husband, worth about $8,000.

Two Philadelphia police officers joined at least four TSA officers who had gathered around her. After conferring with the TSA screeners, one of the Philadelphia officers told her he was there because her checks were numbered sequentially, which she says they were not.

"It's an indication you've embezzled these checks," she says the police officer told her. He also told her she appeared nervous. She hadn't before that moment, she says.


---------------


When she got home, her husband of 20 years, John Parker, a self-employed plastics broker, said the police had called and told him that they'd suspected "a divorce situation" and that Kathy Parker was trying to empty their bank account. He set them straight.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/daniel_rubin/...
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. WTF? How is that stopping terror attacks?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. I think that's more likely looking for money laundering and drug sales
It doesn't surprise me that carrying $32K on a flight raises some eyebrows.
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PA Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Not $32,000. It was $8,000 total in checks to be deposited to her account.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Oh, my bad
Edited on Sat Aug-21-10 06:49 PM by Recursion
The article I had read (a different one) said "four checks for 8 thousand dollars". Though I guess that meant "totalling 8 thousand dollars".
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Is that why they contacted the husband about divorce?
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. No, but it's why they were looking at money/checks in the first place
Once they saw big checks, they called in the cops. Cops are by nature nosey (they have to be) and that's what made them call her husband, since the checks were made out to both of them.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. You can't make this stuff up.
I hate that reading the news makes me so angry.
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. I wish ACLU would file suit on her behalf...
They obviously agree TSA crossed the line...
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
4. They thought she was going to buy Uzis
I am surprised they did not do a strip search
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Now that she's publicly complained, she'll be on the No-Fly List.
Read the rest of the story at the original link. It gets even worse. I used to fly at least once a month - but since I'm retired, (and my retirement savings got eaten by Bush's economic melt-down), it's just once a year to visit one of my kids. So, I'm flying over the Labor Day weekend and dreading the experience. And the last two times I flew there (Kansas City) the airline sent my luggage to other airports.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
6. TSA agents once ruffled through the papers in my briefcase
Including going through the pages on my yellowpad notebook. I'm still trying to figure out what I did or said that was "suspicious".
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. But they'd probably let a person carrying 6 box cutters and an weapon
dance on through. I can't believe how they just really badger innocent people! It's like they're not really serious about finding potential terrorists, but just about shoving their weight around and playing the role of enforcer. :eyes:
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Quite the combination.
A banker and a broker...
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mackdaddy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. * Fourth Amendment Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
* Fourth Amendment Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. "


Maybe the TSA "Naked body scanners" come with an special paper shredder to shred the Bill of Rights.

Thank goodness for the TSA and FatherLand, er HomeLand Security. I feel so safe now......

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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. +1. was going to bring up the strip search... yup. so right on. nt
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anarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
22. exactly
it's disturbing that this issue isn't more obvious to more people
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david13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oh, those could have been explosive checks, or used to stab a
pilot or flight attendant, if they had sharp edges.
We as good mericans should accept whatever crap these idiots come up and be happy about it. Because it makes us safe.
And they are heroes for making us safe.
911 911 911
And other bs
dc
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lib2DaBone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. The TSA Goon Squad.. a lasting legacy from G.W. Bush...
A scourge that will haunt America forever...
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Dawson Leery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. And people around here want to unionize these jackals?
:wtf:
The TSA should be dis-banned!
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Of course it should be disbanded but if its there it should be union
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-21-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
16. I was infuriated with the query re: pills! NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, G-D IT!!
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
21. I think it would be cause for concern if she had a receipt for a pound of nitroglycerin
Edited on Sun Aug-22-10 10:34 AM by slackmaster
Or something.

In all seriousness, TSA security went too far when they banned small pocket knives. It's just gotten worse and worse, which is IMO an inevitable unintended consequence of going down that road.
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mike r Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
23. Future Headline: Man arrested had fertilizer receipt
from Home Depot.

"5,000 Sq. Ft. UltraTurf Fertilizer? ULTRA fertilizer?? 5,000 ft! What do you need that much fertilizer for?"

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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
24. The TSA agents in Philly also SUCK
They may be even ruder and stupider than the ones in Seattle, who are maninly just very rude.

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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
25. Also shows how ridiculous the new "behavior detection"
process is.


TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said the reason Parker was selected for in-depth screening was that her actions at the airport had aroused the suspicion of a behavior detection officer, and that she continued to act "as if she feared discovery."


There are so many reasons a person could be nervous or tense before flying, ranging from personal/work issues to fear of flying itself.

Yet now, any of these could trigger questioning and a more intensive search. That is then compounded in the next step, more TSA and intensive grilling.


But why call police? Davis said, "Because her behavior escalated."

When Parker first told me her story, she didn't know the initial TSA officer was a behavior specialist. She told me he peppered her with questions about her trip as she knelt to consolidate three bags into two, and suddenly realized that her shirt was revealing too much for her comfort. When the man then volunteered to examine her belongings, she felt "it was just strange."

"When they decided to search me, there was nothing wrong with my behavior," she said. "I was trying to keep a positive demeanor about everything. My behavior didn't escalate. I did ask questions."



By that last stage, she had 4 TSA and 2 police officers surrounding, delaying, and intimidating her. Most people would rightfully feel out of sorts in that situation, if for no other reason than possibly missing the flight and having to stay in that atmosphere even longer.

Yet the very behavior TSA itself is provoking is used to select, judge and hold the person. And from there, it looks to me like they were trying to find something, anything to pin on here to validate their mistreatment of her in the first place. Further, from her account, she stayed remarkably calm in that situation.

I hope she connects with the ACLU and pursues a case.





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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. WTF? the TSA is allowed to make judgments on potential domestic disputes?
unbelievable.

and incredibly sexist.
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PfcHammer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-22-10 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. Say wut? TSA acting like fucking Divorce Court.
:wtf:
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