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81 yr old, arrested and frogmarched through JFK. We're all safer now

81 yr old, arrested and frogmarched through JFK. We're all safer now

Old Oct 26, 07, 9:47 pm
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81 yr old, arrested and frogmarched through JFK. We're all safer now

http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/10/26/1437/1023

Last Friday, my father (81 in December, can still play me in tennis, life-long liberal democrat, sharp as a ...) was in the process of going through security at JFK. He had made a quick overnight trip to N.Y. from Florida for a cousin's funeral, and before he left his house in N.Y., he threw in his carry-on bag an old brass knuckle he once bought at a flea market. Having seen the aforementioned brass knuckle on his desk for years, holding down piles of papers and other such detritus, I can attest, yes , your honor, he used it as a paper weight and it was being transferred to his desk in Florida where it would be resuming it's non-nefarious avocation.

Understandably, the TSA worker saw the knuckle and my dad said, sorry, just take it. No, they have to call their supervisor. Supervisor comes, Dad says, sorry, I use it as a paperweight, just take it. No, she has to call the police. Police come, first a woman and then a guy, a schmuck who was a Sergeant. The Sergeant said "book him and cuff him" and apparently the policewoman protested to him because my father heard him say to her "don't you know you're being monitored!" So, back to where we began-my almost 81 year dad was frogmarched through the terminal with the cop's hand on his shoulder
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:04 pm
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Think of the grandchildren!
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:19 pm
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I see your point, but he did have the brass knuckles. Consider this: Snoop dog said his weapons were stage props, and I didn't see anyone crying foul when he was charged. I really can't see that the cop did anything wrong in this case. If your gonna arrest the young black men you gotta do the same with the older white men.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:26 pm
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Too Bad

The same rules apply for everyone. The cops were totally right here. Your papi -whether 81 or 31- wasn't thinking. He will now.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:36 pm
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The whole story sounds like a concoction. Why would a life-long liberal Democrat buy brass knuckles at a flea market and then proudly display them on his desk?

To my knowledge, they are illegal to possess in most jurisdictions, so grandpa is fortunate not to have gone to jail decades ago.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:40 pm
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Interesting what I learn on the internet...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_knuckles

"Due to a shady reputation they are often sold as paperweights"

"In Canada, brass knuckles or any similar devices are listed as prohibited weapons, and possession of such weapon is a criminal offence under the Canadian Criminal Code."
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Old Oct 27, 07, 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict View Post
Interesting what I learn on the internet...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_knuckles

"Due to a shady reputation they are often sold as paperweights"

"In Canada, brass knuckles or any similar devices are listed as prohibited weapons, and possession of such weapon is a criminal offence under the Canadian Criminal Code."
You missed the more relevant parts of the Wikipedia entry: 1) "In most countries, the possession, let alone use, of brass knuckles is not illegal" (my bolding, don't know about New York) and 2) "Brass knuckles can normally be purchased at flea markets, swap meets, and some sword and weapon shops" so it doesn't sound to me like there was anything inappropriate about the passenger's behaviour, as some on the board have suggested. It's oppression pure and simple.
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Old Oct 27, 07, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by muddy View Post
I see your point, but he did have the brass knuckles. Consider this: Snoop dog said his weapons were stage props, and I didn't see anyone crying foul when he was charged. I really can't see that the cop did anything wrong in this case. If your gonna arrest the young black men you gotta do the same with the older white men.

You didn't look hard enough.
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Old Oct 27, 07, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by polonius View Post
You missed the more relevant parts of the Wikipedia entry: 1) "In most countries, the possession, let alone use, of brass knuckles is not illegal" (my bolding, don't know about New York) and 2) "Brass knuckles can normally be purchased at flea markets, swap meets, and some sword and weapon shops" so it doesn't sound to me like there was anything inappropriate about the passenger's behaviour, as some on the board have suggested. It's oppression pure and simple.
I'm going to safely say that they're illegal in NYC. Posession/ownership of such would be illegal.

If he did use it as a paperweight and bought it when it was legal... that's fine.

If he's moving to FL, why not just put it into checked luggage or a shipping box?

Brass Knuckles are -not- fun to be hit with.
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Old Oct 27, 07, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by muddy View Post
If your gonna arrest the young black men you gotta do the same with the older white men.
How do you know this person was white?
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Old Oct 27, 07, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by civicmon View Post
I'm going to safely say that they're illegal in NYC. Posession/ownership of such would be illegal.

If he did use it as a paperweight and bought it when it was legal... that's fine.

If he's moving to FL, why not just put it into checked luggage or a shipping box?

Brass Knuckles are -not- fun to be hit with.
Your illegality premise in NYC is probably correct, although I'm not sure that time of purchase would make any difference to local enforcement and prosecution.
The TSA web-site states that brass-knuckles are not permitted in carry-on but are permitted in checked baggage.
Leaving aside the obvious illogic of why brass knuckles are more of a threat to aviation than, for instance, canes, as carry on; I can't recall when the TSA mob was charged with enforcing any local regulations. If brass knuckles are permitted in checked luggage, do the TSA "officers" bring in local LEO's when they find such, or is the enforcement illegally selective, in addition to being illegally beyond scope.

I also find the lack of sympathy for an 81-year old man being handcuffed and frogmarched through the dragnet enforcement checkpoint (oh yeah, airport), at least in the first few posts, kind of distressing . I suspect that anyone who ever fell on the wrong side of the TSA Barney Fife impersonators would recognize, with sympathy, yet another instance of an ineffectual federal agency gone beserk.

Is it close to media sweeps?... this would be a great story for that purpose. (The story of the octogenarian with the "sharp medal" still resonates.)

The only bright side I see to this instance is a some additional observers, here and at JFK, gain opportunities to recognize the TSA for the overreaching ineffectual sham that it is. Are we near a tipping point yet?

Last edited by NY-FLA; Oct 27, 07 at 12:41 pm Reason: Line up fact I misread in OP
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Old Oct 27, 07, 10:39 am
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To make sure I have the facts straight:
  • Passenger takes prohibited item through security checkpoint
  • TSA actually finds it (great work, fellas)
  • TSA informs passenger that item is prohibited
  • Passenger protests and LEOs are called
  • Passenger continues protest and LEOs arrest passenger

Which part of this is an affront to the father? He made a mistake in packing it in his carry-on, and furthered the mistake by protesting to the TSA and LEOs. I have no sympathy for him in this situation.
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Old Oct 27, 07, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
To make sure I have the facts straight:
  • Passenger takes prohibited item through security checkpoint
  • TSA actually finds it (great work, fellas)
  • TSA informs passenger that item is prohibited
  • Passenger protests and LEOs are called
  • Passenger continues protest and LEOs arrest passenger

Which part of this is an affront to the father? He made a mistake in packing it in his carry-on, and furthered the mistake by protesting to the TSA and LEOs. I have no sympathy for him in this situation.
Passenger didn't protest, he said "sorry, just take it"...... Doesn't sound like a protest to me It's the TSA who escalated the situation, not the passenger. A little sensible use of discretion by the TSA probably would have been appropriate.
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Old Oct 27, 07, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by vassilipan View Post
How do you know this person was white?
it was stated in the material he linked to
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Old Oct 27, 07, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by polonius View Post
You missed the more relevant parts of the Wikipedia entry: 1) "In most countries, the possession, let alone use, of brass knuckles is not illegal" (my bolding, don't know about New York) and 2) "Brass knuckles can normally be purchased at flea markets, swap meets, and some sword and weapon shops" so it doesn't sound to me like there was anything inappropriate about the passenger's behaviour, as some on the board have suggested. It's oppression pure and simple.
I'm willing to bet that the person submitting this entry meant to either say "...the possession, let alone use, of brass knuckles is illegal..." OR "...the possession, let alone use, of brass knuckles is not legal..."

Otherwise, the sentence construction is kinda nonsensical, IMHO.
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