Racial Profiling at BOS

Old Aug 14, 12, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Fredd View Post
I already quoted above what a libertarian writer argued, and IMHO she makes an excellent point that bears repeating, including the sentence I've bolded:

The TSA has no business looking for drugs, outstanding arrest warrants, or immigration problems unless it has serious reason to believe that the person involved poses a serious threat to air safety. If it is going to serve as an extension of every other sort of law enforcement, then its searches should be subject to the same requirements for probable cause, which would allow almost everyone to travel without submitting to TSA examination.
This is a great point and something I've pondered: how is it legal for TSA - a government agent - to search your stuff and then use against you any evidence that they ostensibly aren't looking for and would have no other power to search?

Private security searching you voluntarily is just that: private. An agent of the government is a whole other can of worms.
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Old Aug 14, 12, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
This is a great point and something I've pondered: how is it legal for TSA - a government agent - to search your stuff and then use against you any evidence that they ostensibly aren't looking for and would have no other power to search?

Private security searching you voluntarily is just that: private. An agent of the government is a whole other can of worms.
"Consent search" either way.

Airport screeners "profiling" for terrorists is voodoo "security" and nothing but a fishing expedition for no good reason.
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Old Aug 26, 12, 7:48 pm
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Here is the TSA's "solution" to the media coverage about its racist profiling activities: more online "education" and "tests".

http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/...s/?hpt=hp_bn13
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Old Aug 26, 12, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Here is the TSA's "solution" to the media coverage about its racist profiling activities: more online "education" and "tests".

http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/...s/?hpt=hp_bn13
They need somebody to be a fall guy for a case that the ACLU can take to the Supreme Court. This is how they won precedential cases in the past but they appear to be sleeping at the wheel.
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Old Aug 27, 12, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by MaximumSisu View Post
Let's not forget that this board's TSA participants have steadfastly denied that they look for drugs, etc. and that there are no quotas.

While we have never believed them, their lies are now revealed. And anyone who believes anything they say has got a screw loose.
I have never been issued a quota like they indicate in the articles, and I have never gone into a bag looking for anything other than possible threat items. IF something illegal is found during that process, per SOP we report it to the local LEOs.
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Old Aug 27, 12, 7:40 am
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I know that I am picking nits, but there is no such thing as "reverse discrimination". Any form of discrimination is at it's very core, simply discrimination.
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Old Aug 27, 12, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
I know that I am picking nits, but there is no such thing as "reverse discrimination". Any form of discrimination is at it's very core, simply discrimination.
Strange how I said exactly the same thing to a coworker this morning while were discussing past speeding tickets.

I don't consider it picking nits; I consider it a fundamental difference in attitude. It's all just as repugnant, no matter who does it to whom.
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Old Aug 27, 12, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Strange how I said exactly the same thing to a coworker this morning while were discussing past speeding tickets.

I don't consider it picking nits; I consider it a fundamental difference in attitude. It's all just as repugnant, no matter who does it to whom.
^
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Old Aug 30, 12, 3:52 am
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
IF something illegal is found during that process, per SOP we report it to the local LEOs.
This is where my problem lies and where I think there is a conflict with existing 4th Amendment jurisprudence. The carve-out for "administrative" searches has nothing to do with finding "something illegal". Period. That carve-out was written 40 years ago (with a couple of tweaks over the years) based on metal detectors and bag x-rays looking for explosives and weapons.

Unless it's a weapon or some other explicitly defined item that is prohibited for air travel, it's none of TSA's business. Or at least it shouldn't be.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 5:19 am
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
This is where my problem lies and where I think there is a conflict with existing 4th Amendment jurisprudence. The carve-out for "administrative" searches has nothing to do with finding "something illegal". Period. That carve-out was written 40 years ago (with a couple of tweaks over the years) based on metal detectors and bag x-rays looking for explosives and weapons.

Unless it's a weapon or some other explicitly defined item that is prohibited for air travel, it's none of TSA's business. Or at least it shouldn't be.
I think the real problem here is that TSA employees, as public employees, are obligated to report when they suspect a crime is being committed --- even if that crime is unrelated to their duties. This isn't without precedent in other sectors of public life. For example, my pastor told me about a member of his former congregation who, as a firefighter, couldn't attend any service where open candles were being lit, because in that jurisdiction, open candles technically violated the fire code. And, in general, having public servants turning a blind eye to crimes being committed presents its own problems.

On the whole, I agree that administrative searches tend to look like warrantless searches for contraband --- or, at least, have the same effect. I'm just not sure how you navigate between those two alternatives, neither of which is ideal.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
I think the real problem here is that TSA employees, as public employees, are obligated to report when they suspect a crime is being committed --- even if that crime is unrelated to their duties.
Another issue is that many of them are too stupid to understand what is a crime, and what is not.

Like traveling with $10,000 in cash. At least one TSA employee was rather insistent that it was a crime...
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Old Aug 30, 12, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
I think the real problem here is that TSA employees, as public employees, are obligated to report when they suspect a crime is being committed --- even if that crime is unrelated to their duties. This isn't without precedent in other sectors of public life. For example, my pastor told me about a member of his former congregation who, as a firefighter, couldn't attend any service where open candles were being lit, because in that jurisdiction, open candles technically violated the fire code. And, in general, having public servants turning a blind eye to crimes being committed presents its own problems.

On the whole, I agree that administrative searches tend to look like warrantless searches for contraband --- or, at least, have the same effect. I'm just not sure how you navigate between those two alternatives, neither of which is ideal.
Yeah, that's the problem and why it's not necessarily a "consensual search" if it's required to travel on a plane and it's being administered by a federal employee. Either they shouldn't be obligated to report anything except guns and explosives or federal employees shouldn't be the ones doing the searches.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
On the whole, I agree that administrative searches tend to look like warrantless searches for contraband --- or, at least, have the same effect. I'm just not sure how you navigate between those two alternatives, neither of which is ideal.
I think a fairly bright line could be drawn if the government weren't on such a power trip.

IMO screeners should look for WEI as they are mandated to do. And I have no problem with them reporting "obvious" crimes--e.g., the "severed human head in carry on" used so often as an example--or "obvious" non-WEI threats to the airport/aircraft--e.g., a bag full of live snakes. But they should report such crimes using the same channels and the same authority and having the same credibility that a private citizen would in contacting the police. And if the alleged threat item turns out to be non-existent or not a threat, they should be penalized as individuals for filing false reports to the police.

Anything else they should butt out if it's an administrative "implied consent" search. To my knowledge, as a private citizen I am under no obligation to report "possible" crimes like large amounts of cash, bags of white powder that could be flour, multiple IDs, etc., that I might see in plain sight as I go about my day or that I might see someone attempting to "artfully conceal" on their person. That TSA insists on doing so is a power trip and an excuse to justify their bureaucracy.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by studentff View Post
That TSA insists on doing so is a power trip and an excuse to justify their bureaucracy.
To be fair, it's entirely understandable that they would do so. Without the bureaucracy, they'd all be unemployed.
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Old Aug 30, 12, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
This is where my problem lies and where I think there is a conflict with existing 4th Amendment jurisprudence. The carve-out for "administrative" searches has nothing to do with finding "something illegal". Period. That carve-out was written 40 years ago (with a couple of tweaks over the years) based on metal detectors and bag x-rays looking for explosives and weapons.

Unless it's a weapon or some other explicitly defined item that is prohibited for air travel, it's none of TSA's business. Or at least it shouldn't be.
I can understand that point of view, and it has merit, but currently the regulations given to TSOs contradict that by indicating we are to report the other illegal items we find incidental to the original search item.

Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
I think the real problem here is that TSA employees, as public employees, are obligated to report when they suspect a crime is being committed --- even if that crime is unrelated to their duties. This isn't without precedent in other sectors of public life. For example, my pastor told me about a member of his former congregation who, as a firefighter, couldn't attend any service where open candles were being lit, because in that jurisdiction, open candles technically violated the fire code. And, in general, having public servants turning a blind eye to crimes being committed presents its own problems.

On the whole, I agree that administrative searches tend to look like warrantless searches for contraband --- or, at least, have the same effect. I'm just not sure how you navigate between those two alternatives, neither of which is ideal.
I can't contradict what is said here either. We are simply told we are to report them to local authorities to deal with.

Originally Posted by cottonmather0 View Post
Yeah, that's the problem and why it's not necessarily a "consensual search" if it's required to travel on a plane and it's being administered by a federal employee. Either they shouldn't be obligated to report anything except guns and explosives or federal employees shouldn't be the ones doing the searches.
Again, understand and see the merit in your statements. This is a policy question that none of the front line employees (like me) are going to be able to change.

Originally Posted by studentff View Post
I think a fairly bright line could be drawn if the government weren't on such a power trip.

IMO screeners should look for WEI as they are mandated to do. And I have no problem with them reporting "obvious" crimes--e.g., the "severed human head in carry on" used so often as an example--or "obvious" non-WEI threats to the airport/aircraft--e.g., a bag full of live snakes. But they should report such crimes using the same channels and the same authority and having the same credibility that a private citizen would in contacting the police. And if the alleged threat item turns out to be non-existent or not a threat, they should be penalized as individuals for filing false reports to the police.

Anything else they should butt out if it's an administrative "implied consent" search. To my knowledge, as a private citizen I am under no obligation to report "possible" crimes like large amounts of cash, bags of white powder that could be flour, multiple IDs, etc., that I might see in plain sight as I go about my day or that I might see someone attempting to "artfully conceal" on their person. That TSA insists on doing so is a power trip and an excuse to justify their bureaucracy.
The distinction in your position is that we are instructed to do this as part of our training. I understand the point that many of the folks here make that it is not a part of WEI it shouldn't be reported, but at this time, the SOP says we are to report it.
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