This is a great post by Penn Jillete of Penn and Teller fame. He makes what I feel to be a valid point about airport security and assault and battery.
Can a TSA employee be charged with assault and battery while performing their work duties?
Last Thursday I was
flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through
security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was
shuttled to the “toss-em” line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had
a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around
while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket.
I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could
have loosely been called “crotch.” I said, “You have to
ask me before you touch me or it’s assault.”
He said, “Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I
I said that wasn’t true. I say that I have the option of
saying no and not flying. He said, “Are you going to let
me search you, or do I just throw you out?”
I said, “Finish up, and then call the police please.”
When he was finished with my shoes, he said, “Okay, you can
I said, “I’d like to see your supervisor and I’d like LVPD
to come here as well. I was assaulted by you.”
He said, “You’re free to go, there’s no problem.”
I said, “I have a problem, please send someone over.”
They sent a guy over and I said that I’d like to register a
complaint. I insisted on his name and badge number. I
filled it out with my name. The supervisor, I think trying
to intimidate me, asked for my license, and I gave it to
him happily as he wrote down information. I kept saying,
“Please get the police,” and they kept saying, “You’re free
to go, we don’t need the police.” I insisted and they got
a higher up, female, supervisor. I was polite, cold, and a
little funny. “Anyone is welcome to grab my crotch, I
don’t require dinner and a movie, just ask me. Is that
asking too much? You wanna grab my crotch, please ask.
Does that seem like a crazy person to you?” I had about 4
of them standing around. Finally Metro PD
shows up. It’s really interesting. First of all, the cop
is a BIG P&T fan and that ain’t hurting. Second, I get the
vibe that he is WAY sick of these federal leather-sniffers.
He has that vibe that real cops have toward renta-cops.
This is working WAY to my advantage, so I play it.
The supervisor says to the cop, ‘He’s free to go. We have
no problem, you don’t have to be here.” Which shows me
that the Feds are afraid of local. This is really cool.
She says, “We have no trouble and he doesn’t want to miss