Friday, November 19, 2010

"Don't touch my junk"

As Riley notes, this "rising tide" of complaints over TSA agents patting down innocent travelers is more than likely not unlike a puddle after an afternoon rain shower. But, nevertheless, it's about time people stood up for their "rights."

In the three weeks since the Transportation Security Administration began more aggressive pat-downs of passengers at airport security checkpoints, traveler complaints have poured in.

Some offer graphic accounts of genital contact, others tell of agents gawking or making inappropriate comments, and many express a general sense of powerlessness and humiliation. In general passengers are saying they are surprised by the intimacy of a physical search usually reserved for police encounters.

Ah, right, police encounters. Those are way different.

The NYPD's stop and frisk policy shows no signs of abating. The latest data on the controversial program shows that the NYPD is on track to stop a record number of New Yorkers this year.

According to the NYCLU latest report, police made more than 404,000 stops of New Yorkers during the first nine months of [2009], the majority of whom were black and Latino. Only seven percent of those stopped were given a summons and just six percent were arrested. Between July and September alone, 137,894 people were questioned, with nearly nine out of 10 of these stops resulting in no charges or citations.

Police claim that these stops deter criminals, preemptively at times, and that the NYCLU is distorting "the statistics by defining an "innocent" person as someone who hasn't been convicted of a crime."

I'm not defending the practice in either case, but spare me the tears about powerlessness and humiliation. Some people live with that every day and I don't recall hearing too much of a groundswell of opposition to overbearing police officers, as long as the "right people" are the ones being accosted.



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