I was lagging behind the other passengers as we walked down the ramp to the jetway at JFK airport about a week ago because I didn’t want to have to hear the cell phone conversations of two men in the line. A TSA officer had a bomb sniffing dog (I guess; which I’ve never seen before near the jetway, by the way). He asked me to join the group about 30 feet away but I said I didn’t want to be by the guys on their phones and turned away (I had headphones on). When I turn around to see if the guys are off the phone, the guy with the sniffer dog (who was just 15 feet from me and could have easily come over to me to have the dog check me on his way out, since I was the last passenger), is freaking out, like I’m purposely disrespecting him. He must have pushed some alarm button or something on a walky-talky…. Anyway, some muscular brute immediately comes on the scene. I try to take a photo of the dog guy (which is my perfect right, it turns out), when the brute tells me I can’t. I ask to see their superior. A guy that I guess is their superior comes and asks me to step behind a wall near the door to the jetway. Together with the brute, they give me the third degree: they ask for my passport, which the superior goes away with for 5 minutes; ask my name, occupation (retired), ask what I did before I retired, where I’m going, how long I’m going for, how much money I have on me (and I have to prove it). The brute takes my cell phone and goes through all my messages, saying he has every right to do so. Finally, just before the door to the aircraft is closed, they let me go. They’re intoxicated by power, and unfortunately, too many don’t know their rights in a situation like this and anyway, figure they’d better not stand up for them else they miss their flight.
No, you were being an immature asshole. You stood out–non normative–by choice and security pulled you aside for a closer look. That’s what security does, even to people downtrodden by such horrific events as having to listen to others phone calls. Get a (real) life and wake up to the realities of our current world.
You go Joey!! You took the words right out of my mouth! This guy needs to get a clue.