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What Are My Rights At The TSA Checkpoint?

Professional Troublemaker

tsacheckpointGoing through airport security manned by the TSA is an unpleasant at best, panic-inducing at worst experience, and it definitely helps to know what to expect and what you can do to ensure that you are harassed as little as possible.  The TSA is absolutely horrible at informing travelers as to the procedures they will face (often times declaring that they are “sensitive security information” and therefore cannot be published) and those working the checkpoints often misrepresent the rights and responsibilities of travelers (sometimes to be intentionally difficult, but generally because they were poorly trained).

So, here’s what every traveler should know before they collect their boarding pass at a U.S. airport:

  1. You have the right to opt-out of the body scanners and request a pat-down.  Unless your boarding pass indicates that you are subject to heightened security, which will be denoted by four S’s in big bold letters, you…

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Detained, Removed From Airplane By Feds @ LAX

Professional Troublemaker

In the history of my advocacy, I’ve been kicked out of airportsthreetimes (for refusing to allow the TSA to “touch my junk”).  I’ve had airport police called at least a couple times. But having the feds come down the jetway just for me?  That was a new experience I had last Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Grumpy Cat with SSI An artist’s rendition of the TSM upon finding my documents

I went through the security line as usual, opting out of the nude body scanners, but one of my bags was flagged for extra screening.  Upon opening it, they were shocked to find… TSA documents, bound into several books, labeled “Sensitive Security Information” (“SSI”).  “These are our documents,” a sassy Supervisory Transportation Security Officer exclaimed at me before fetching the highest-ranking traveler molester TSA staff member at the checkpoint, a suited Transportation Security Manager (“TSM”) who wanted to know how I got those documents and why I…

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Dr. Seuss for Cops

Dr. Seuss for cops:

You shall not kill the people’s dogs

You shall not kill them like they’re hogs

You shall not kill them with a gun

You shall not kill them one by one.

You shall not kill them on patrol

You shall not kill them in their homes

You shall not kill them when they roam.

 

You shall not kill them, do you hear?

Or should we grab you by the ear

And drag you squalling down the hall

And make you watch them as they fall?

We’ll make you watch the children cry

As they scream in horror while it dies.

 

We’ll make you listen all the time

To the ruined lives you leave behind

We’ll make you watch their agony

And loop their screams endlessly

We’ll make them echo in your head

All day, all night when you’re in bed

Until you learn your lesson well

You shall not put citizens through hell.

 

Do you hear us, coward cops?

Do you know the screaming never stops?

The parents hear it every night

As the children struggle with their plight

Your selfish actions ruin lives

Sorrow and fury all that survives

Obey the law, uphold your oath

Courage and compassion, you need both.

 

Stop killing dogs! Stop, we say

You shall not kill them every day

You shall not kill them out of fright

You shall not kill them every night

You shall not kill the people’s pets

You shall not silence us with your threats.

 

You shall not kill the people’s dogs

You shall not kill them like they’re hogs

You shall not kill them with a gun

You shall not kill them one by one.

You shall not kill them on patrol

You shall not kill them in their homes

You shall not kill them when they roam.

Written by Jean Strong

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Murdered Dogs: Among the Consequences of False Reports to the Police

Falsely Accused

surveillance-video On July 30, Kansas City’s finest invaded Brandee Buschmann’s property unannounced and fatally shot her dog, Sierra, while Sierra tried to reach the safety of her house. According to Ms. Buschmann, the report that “authorized” the trespass (at close to midnight) was false. One minute she was watching TV in the security of her living room; the next, cradling her dying companion.

I signed a petition recently in support of Brandee Buschmann, a 43-year-old mother of two, whose dog, Sierra, was shot by the Kansas City police when she ran out to see who was in her yard at 11:30 at night. When Sierra was fired upon, she tried to run back inside to the safety of her family and was gunned down. Ms. Buschmann had shrieked, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” One of the officers sarcastically answered, “Too late.” Then they asked if she…

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