Posts Tagged 'TSA'

TSA Allegedly Molests Woman, Harasses and Lies to Son for Recording Incident

From YouTube:

After a woman was allegedly sexually harassed by TSA agents at Sky Harbor International in Phoenix, AZ, her son documented the aftermath as the TSA, Southwest Airlines and Phoenix Police threaten him with arrest for filming the ordeal. Officials seem more concerned with the video than with the woman brought to tears at the security checkpoint.

TSA Videotaper Acquitted On All Charges

Remember that guy who was accosted and then arrested by a bunch of hyped-up TSA employees at the Albuquerque airport in 2009? Despite being well within his rights to not show ID and film the airport’s public areas, the group of swarming TSAers and law enforcement were having none of it. Phil Mocek was causing a “commotion” (even though he was completely calm), and the authorities weren’t going to let a little thing like real laws get in their way.

Officer: This is a federal checkpoint. You can’t do it [film] here.
Mocek: I’ve checked into it and I know that I can do it here.
Officer: Well, you can be arrested, then you can check into it more.

Nice! Arrest first, check laws later.

Last week, Mocek was acquitted on all four charges, including failure to obey an officer and concealing his identity.


TSA Camera Shy, Suspicious of Oil Spill Activists

In December, three people were detained, and one was told to stop filming, at the TSA checkpoint in the LA-Ontario (CA) airport. Getting harassed for filming at a checkpoint? Not unusual. Even though it is permitted, with the exception of filming the monitors, the personnel stationed there are of course hyper-touchy about the subject. (Mostly, I guess, because they don’t want the footage to appear on YouTube — skip to 0:56 of the video).

Those three people have an interesting backstory though. They are filmmakers and founders of Project Gulf Impact, which aims to document and expose the impact of the BP oil spill. 

When Matt Smith, Gavin Garrison, and Heather Rally of Project Gulf Impact arrived at Ontario Airport in California Tuesday evening to board a plane headed back to the Gulf of Mexico, all three of them were pulled aside by TSA agents and patted down. Coincidentally, they were the only three people pulled out of the security lines.

If these people were singled out, and it seems extremely fishy if there wasn’t something going on behind the scenes, it is just more cause to be cynical about our government and this sad, sad world we live in. Especially because some hack is trying to bully them about a  “federal law” that just isn’t accurate. And especially after all the uproar in November when people were getting enraged over the lack of rights at these checkpoints. And especially because it’s just wrong.


Cop Illegally Confiscates iPhone at TSA Checkpoint

From YouTube:

While legally filming a TSA enhanced screening pat-down at Nashville International Airport I was confronted by an Airport Police Officer and told to stop filming. The officer later removed my iPhone from my hands, despite my protests, saying “I don’t need a warrant.”

When TSA officials told him I was within my rights to shoot footage of the checkpoint, he gave the phone back to me. As I was leaving, TSA agents insisted that I could not show the footage without their permission, which is false.

This occurred at Nashville International Airport in Nashville, Tenn., Monday November 22, 2010. at 5:30pm CT.

ALSO: Blogger/photographer Steven Frischling writes that he was harassed by the TSA at Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT. While photographing TSA checkpoints, he was stopped by a Connecticut State Trooper who informed him that “photographing a TSA security checkpoint was illegal, and specifically a ‘Federal Offense.'”

Frischling knows his rights, though and informed said trooper specifically that, “the TSA publicly states that photography of checkpoints is legal, with limited restrictions.” (Uh….just how do you think all those photos of celebs going through airport security get into Us Weekly?!) The officer accused Frischling of hiding and concealing his camera, then detained him, and then another plainsclothes TSA employee in some unidentified capacity showed up — which is when Frischling speed-dialed the TSA communications office.

Less than 20 minutes after I was told I was being detained and that I was not free to leave the terminal the TSA agent approached the State Trooper, whispered something in the Trooper’s ear and I was quickly apologized to … with that both the TSA agent and the Trooper quickly leaving me alone.

The TSA has a major image problem right now, if you hadn’t heard. They’re already treading on a perilously thin line, quickly heading into invasion-of-privacy territory. So you’d think they’d train their officers, employees and the state police that work the airports of their clearly stated photography regulations. And maybe then those TSA personnel could instead focus on feeling up passengers.

Photographer Harassed, Detained at DC Airport

Photo by Jerome Vorus

June 1st marks the day NPRO stands up for photographers’ rights, and for the past two years we’ve held a rally in Los Angeles where we’ve gathered to assert our right to shoot in public. So stand up and be counted…or stand up and shoot in your own city, and if you’re stopped and harassed just remember your rights.

And now, in honor of the day, another incident in the annals of clashes between photographers and authorities….

In March, 18-year-old and photographer Jerome Vorus was taking photos at Reagan National Airport in Virginia because that’s what he likes to do. Knowing the airport was a sensitive location, he spoke to a media relations representative beforehand and asked about any restrictions. He was told there were none. He and  the representative went over which areas were leased by private companies (like the check-in counters) and she said she would notify airport police and TSA officials.

Still, the message didn’t seem to get through. As Vorus shot photos, TSA employees approached him twice and asked what he was doing. The third time, he was approached by TSA in suits who asked whether he’d spoken with media relations. Even though Vorus told them he had, they said he could not take photos of TSA employees or checkpoints. To clarify, so that he could understand the situation he was in more fully, Vorus asked the men if he could see their credentials. One man replied, “We ain’t gotta show you shit.” Vorus pressed because he knew they are required by law, and so they did. It turns out they were Department of Homeland Security officers, and when Vorus asked if he was being detained he was told no. Things got heated and there was some back and forth over being detained versus being free to go.

Ultimately Vorus was told he was being detained and he would be arrested for disorderly conduct. His camera was taken and photos were deleted. And then, when all was said and done, he was free to go. Afterward Vorus filed a complaint with the airport authority’s internal affairs and received a letter a few weeks ago that acknowledged the officer did violate policy. TSA has not gotten back to him about the complaint filed with them.

The thing is, friction naturally occurs when law enforcement officers very badly want some trouble and an innocent person knows his rights are being violated. That is a predictable clash, and it happens all the time — but it doesn’t have to.

Article from Vorus Blog

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