Run in with TSA at Chicago Midway Airport

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by AngryMiller, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Finished checking in at the Delta counter and took the escalator down to the level TSA runs their version of Checkpoint Charlie. As the escalator descended I noticed a TSO walking towards the bottom of the escalator. Mind you this was nowhere near the TSA document moat dragon or the nude-o-scopes. The Chode said "come with me." Replied to him "Why" figuring that since I was nowhere near Checkpoint Charlie and on the non-sterile side, that he was out of line. He said "hand swab." At that point I pushed back verbally with a "am I being detained" and when he said "no," just walked towards the moat dragon.

    They call out nearly everyone they could. Counted 2 DHS types with bullet-proof vests, numerous Chicago cops, and a sea of blue shirts. TSA said that they can do any kind of search they want to at the airports, where ever they want to do it, not just on the sterile side. That was news to me. Didn't see any signage saying they could do that on the non-sterile side. At least when I was in the military the bases all had signs saying that once you were on the federal reservation that you could be searched. Fair enough since you were warned.

    Cops were rude. Guy said "just being rude to get your attention." Figure that is better than having 3 or 4 of them gun me down inside the airport. Suspect that other passengers would have been hit in the crossfire had they opted to do that.

    Asked for the FSD and they refused to get the FSD or to provide me with a contact number. Suspect this was because they knew they were doing wrong and someone would have been in trouble. Unprofessional doesn't begin to describe it.

    They ran me through the employee screening area. Talked with the TSO and cop and the cop said he was afraid. Stupid cop. Airport work in the passenger area is much safer than doing an after dark traffic stop. Not impressed with anyone at Midway today. Unprofessional and IMHO disgusting behavior on the part of people who should know better.
     
  2. Elizabeth Conley

    Elizabeth Conley Original Member

    This is so inappropriate.
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    That's complete B.S. We need to bury TSA before they finish burying the 4th amendment.

    This is what you get when you hire droids from ads on pizza boxes & gas pumps & give them "authoritah".
     
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  4. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    All that coppery wasted on a gentlemen going about his business in peace at an airport, whilst just outside the airport are roving flash mobs of youths beating all in their path. Maybe these guys should be redeployed to that Chicago beach that got ransacked a few days ago and do something about the real criminals.
     
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  5. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Thank you for the kind comment. Given the height to weight ratio of the police at Midway, their relative age, etc. I suspect that the Chicago police department puts these guys over at the airports because they are due to retire soon. Putting them over at the beaches might result in cops dropping over dead due to heart attacks and heat exhaustion. Instead they get to backup their buddies in TSA.

    The police officer said he was scared that I might be a bomb carrying terrorist. Told him, once everyone cooled down, if I had been a bomb carrying terrorist we wouldn't be having this conversation. Got the 9/11 stuff and told him about my son doing a SAR over the WTC late into the night in the hope of finding survivors. These guys are going to kill an innocent passenger one of these days. Is murder by trigger happy, wanna be Rambos, who think security at any cost is worth it?

    The real funny thing about this was it took place well outside of the sterile area.
     
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  6. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Have you filed a complaint with MDW, TSA or the airlines yet? Undoubtedly they will issue a canned "abundance of caution" reply, but it would be interesting to learn which regulation they cite that permits them to harass passengers in the public area.
     
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  7. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Who was the cop "afraid" of? The screeners?

    I know there are some who say this is a useless endeavor, but please consider contacting the OIG:

    dhsoighotline@dhs.gov

    give times, terminal, all the info that you can.
     
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  8. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

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  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I was going to say something about the relative fitness of the cops at MDW but figured I stifle myself. Glad to see that I'm not alone in my assessment. :D
     
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  10. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Not yet, but will be a good one.
     
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  11. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Thank you. Will do it. The cop said he was afraid of me (dumpy, balding, nearly 60 and wanting to get home after a wasted trip).
     
  12. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    He did have on a clean uniform and was well groomed, unlike many of the TSOs at MDW. Contacted the folks at ACLU to discuss pat downs at ORD and this issue at MDW. Don't know if anything will come of it but giving them ammunition in their fight.
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    In this case his first three complaints should be to places not on my list: The FSD for MDW, the internal affairs department of the Chicago PD and a local ACLU office.

    Lacking reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the policer office had no legitimate grounds for detaining you. Contrary to the desires of the thugs in cheap blue shirts, the constitution has not been suspended at airports. Making that determination at the beginning of the encounter is police officer's responsiblity; he failed. On top of that, if he was truly "afraid" of you, he should have done a Terry stop.

    For the next two complaints I would suggest the Rutherford Institute & the ACLU.

    This stupidity is just going to keep getting worse until they start losing some lawsuits or (as you suggest) somebody gets killed.

    Since it sounds like you'll continue to have a lot of quality time with these bozos, I'd also suggest investing in wrist and/or pen cameras; start them before you enter the lobby.
     
  14. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    A suggestion: if you do file a complaint with the OIG, do not also file a complaint with the TSA. The OIG will tell you that the TSA is already investigating and wash their hands of it.

    Let the OIG do the investigating and get the responses. You might even hear from one of those about whom you complained, as I did. ;)
     
  15. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    I didn't know about the OIG situation, thanks for pointing that out. That advisory would make a good addition to the contacts list so others don't make the same mistake.

    WRT to the contacts list, it may be worthwhile to begin appending it with the other necessary contacts even if through links. For example, a list of airline complaint numbers, FSD contacts for major hubs, airport administration, local Police Departments near major airports an so forth. I have a partial list of these so perhaps I can cobble something together and drop it off. If others have similar information the compilation could produce a fairly complete listing.
     
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  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I'd like to keep the structure of the existing list fairly simple. Can you organize the added info by airport code? It can be in a flat-file format where I can set up a PERL script to search it, e.g.

    MDW|The Federal Security Director for Midway Airport is Joe Blow, (123)456-7890

    or you can have more fields as long as they are consistent for all records (null field = no data), e.g.

    airport|what|who|address|phone|email
    MDW|Federal Security Director|Joe Blow||(123)456-7890|joe.blow@flychicago.gov

    For the airlines there is probably a list somewhere that I can link to. Local station managers would be good additions to the by-airport info if you can find them.
     
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  17. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    What good is the OIG if he defers to the agency insiders & just lets them cover their butts?

    It seems like nothing about this department ever looks good.
     
  18. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Will gather up the contact information once I get it and post it where ever you want it posted. The 3 striper said "most people are sheep and would voluntarily follow the hand swabber over." This is far from being over.
     
  19. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Contact information for MDW FSD.

    Martin R. Elam
    Federal Security Director - MDW
    Transportation Security Administration
    Chicago Midway International Airport
    5333 S. Laramie Avenue, Suite 550
    Chicago, IL 60638

    Chicago Police Department Internal Affairs
     
  20. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I don't have time to assemble & maintain this. Somebody will have to volunteer.

    I will make it accessible on the site as long as it's in a suitable format.

    See milepost #16 for formatting suggestions.
     
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