American citizens’ rights: 1 TSA jackboots: 0
An Albuquerque jury acquitted a Seattle man Friday who had refused to show his ID to Transportation Security Administration officers at a New Mexico airport in 2009.
Phil Mocek had been on trial for four misdemeanor charges, including failing to obey an officer and concealing his identity at Albuquerque International in November of 2009.
According to the Seattle Weekly, Mocek, a 37-year-old software developer, had no form of valid ID when he reached the front of an airport security line. He was told to step out of line for further questioning.
According to the Weekly, Mocek had refused to give his name or leave the airport when ordered, after police said he caused a disturbance in which he allegedly yelled, “I know my rights!” He also used his cell phone to record the incident.
In the wake of simmering outrage against TSA’s gropes and naked imaging machines at airports, Mocek’s case has become a rallying cry for civil libertarians.
KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported that jurors found Mocek not guilty on all four counts.
Lo and behold, the TSA and police LIED about what transpired. The video showed that Mocek was insistent, but polite.
Phil Mocek knows he isn’t required to show ID to fly, and that it’s perfectly legal to record video in publicly accessible areas of an airport. A jury agreed with him earlier this week, acquitting him of trumped-up charges brought against him by TSA and police officers who demanded obedience. He didn’t need to call any witnesses or testify himself; he was acquitted based on the evidence entered against him.
“I went to a conference in Albuquerque in 2009, I went to the airport there, I spoke with some people, I went to jail, I went to court, and I was acquitted. This took over a year and I owe for thousands of dollars of legal fees as a result. Here’s a video I created at the airport. The State of New Mexico entered this as evidence against me last week. The jury was unconvinced that I was disorderly, trespassed, refused a lawful order, or concealed my identity from police officers with the intent to obstruct.”
He was helped, however, by TSA rules that say “in no uncertain terms [that] you do not have to show ID in order to fly, and that you can use cameras in public areas of the airport.”
It’s also clear from the video that, while uncooperative, he remained polite to officers even after one of them waves a baton in his face. As soon as he revealed he didn’t even have ID with him, one officer claimed that he had to show it because ‘you are now part of a criminal investigation.’
ID and or passport is required when you purchase your ticket, not when you’re going through the security checkpoint.
From the comments at the link:
Posted by waterthink at 1/21/2011 9:17 p.m.
Just this week, on returning from a family vacation in CA over MLK weekend, myself, my wife, and our two children were detained by the TSA because we refused to have our children go through the back-scatter machines.
When my wife told them we were opting out the TSA woman at the metal detector said “Do not touch your children.” I then went through the metal detector and waited with my son as my wife and daughter were escorted away. When another TSA agent came to take me and my elementary school age son to be searched, I put my arm around him and the woman yelled “DO NOT TOUCH HIM!”
All four of us were then subjected to approximately 5 minute searches each.
It is a truly surreal experience to watch your child being searched by uniformed agents. Really just unbelievable. I watched the people going through the line watching this and I think most were aghast.
Never thought I would live to see this happen in this country. Never.
That’s what happens when you hire an outfit stocked with morons who cannot tell the difference between a small child and a viable threat.
The TSA is a seriously dicked-up organization with no real security purpose other than to establish a front of uniformed intimidators. The personnel are not properly trained in profiling; how to observe behavior and pick out suspicious people, a proven method for catching terrorists. They have no idea what they’re doing. So, they resort to bullying and trying to make everyone cower under their abuse of authority. Many of them cannot handle being in the position.
Not only that, but the TSA doesn’t screen its employees very well:
“The TSA has been criticized for its national problems in completing background checks of its 55,000 screeners,” observed the June 25, 2003 Miami Herald. “1,200 screeners have been let go after background checks turned up criminal records or lies on their applications.”
The TSA’s personnel pool also includes thousands of people without criminal records who apparently develop criminal tendencies once they’re hired by the agency. This was the case with 22-year-old Andrew Roy Washington and 23-year-old Edwin Reyes, who, reported the Herald, were arrested for “stealing from passenger luggage” as they conducted security screenings at Miami International Airport. The pair was also caught on camera neglecting their assigned duties. According to a Miami-Dade County Police statement, Washington and Reyes “purposely neglected to inspect passenger luggage but marked the items with clearance stickers anyway.”
This combination of casual corruption and indifference to security is a prominent institutional trait of the TSA.
In January 2003, TSA issued a regulation forbidding airline passengers to secure their checked luggage with anything other than agency-approved locks. An advertisement for a TSA-approved combination lock that can be opened by a special key boasted that it “deters casual pilfering.
The same can’t be said, unfortunately, of opportunistic pilfering carried out by TSA employees. Within six months of the TSA edict, nearly 7,000 travelers lodged theft complaints with the agency.
“We appear to have an airport security problem that has nothing directly to do with Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden” noted
Times commentator Joe Sharkey in an August 27 column. “I have received more than 100 credible reports from readers saying that things were stolen from their checked bags, evidently by … [TSA] screeners who open millions of checked bags a day for inspection, or by airline baggage handlers who move the luggage on and off planes.” (It’s worth remembering that TSA officials, unlike baggage handlers, are given special keys to unlock checked baggage.
“Just since June,” continues Sharkey, “more than 20 baggage screeners at airports in New York have been arrested, charged with stealing valuables from checked bags.” Laptop computers, digital cameras, jewelry, designer clothing, large amounts of cash–even prescription drugs such as Nexium and Viagra–have all disappeared at the hands of TSA personnel.
Some of them have stalking and harassment in their history:
Others committed robbery:
Here’s one that committed rape on a 14 year old:
And to think I was turned down for a TSA position because I advocate common sense profiling.
The TSA has no problem harassing innocent bloggers who catch the TSA admitting that a terrorist attack was attempted on Northwest Flight 253:
But the government refused to revoke Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab’s visa, even though his father tipped off U.S. embassy officials in Nigeria that his son might be involved in extremist activity. They determined that the information did not meet the criteria for placing him on the list or for revoking his U.S. visa.
These agencies are responsible for America’s security against Islamic terrorists. Be afraid. Be very afraid.