#MeTooByTSA spotlights TSA abuse; screener arrested for felony sexual battery after pat-down

felony sexual battery suspect Michael Gerard Polson (ex-TSA screener)
felony sexual battery suspect Michael Gerard Polson (ex-TSA screener)
WASHINGTON - Nov. 19, 2018 - PRLog -- Airline passengers this Thanksgiving can look to the trending hashtag #MeTooByTSA and the valid citizen's arrest of ex-TSA screener Michael Gerard Polson for felony sexual battery, to help draw attention to inappropriate, overzealous and excessive force searches by TSA screeners.

While we all want good airport security, the abundance of admitted striking of passengers' genitals by TSA screeners is not being tracked by TSA. Just like the MeToo movement, #MeTooByTSA seeks to draw attention to abuses of authority, for which TSA admits to paying screeners $250 cash bonuses after they strike or abuse passengers ( https://bit.ly/2Tj5N4s ), encouraging abuse of passengers!

TSA's excuse in court – even cited by the federal court as implausible – is that TSA screeners claim to still not know that they should not hit or strike compliant passengers' testicles or genitals! This is the testimony of ex-TSA screener Michael Gerard Polson of Odenton, Maryland and his TSA and DOJ attorneys, who was arrested for felony sexual battery after admitting to willfully striking an off-duty airline pilot's genitals for no reason during a pat-down.

Instead of apologizing and developing procedures to avoid passenger abuse, TSA is trying to receive national immunity to strike passengers' genitals without reason or provocation (per 4th Circuit Appeals Court case 18-1303, JL v. Polson, from EDVA 17cv13 https://bit.ly/2B9PdNF ). The airline pilot fighting back against this is seeking help with his legal expenses (MeTooByTSA on GoFundme), but is fundamentally trying to alert the flying public that good security shouldn't be an excuse for abusive striking of passengers' genitals as a condition to travel, nor changing of laws to insanely attempt to make this behavior acceptable, when it is a clear violation of the 4th Amendment against unreasonable searches. Most passengers don't even realize that TSA procedures grant them the right to receive all evidence and statements (electronically including TSA emails, text messages, and *all* nearby videos, not just a single video, per federal court precedent) from the supervisory screener (STSO) if a pat-down goes awry, and that requesting evidence this way at the incident with written follow-up requests are the only way to ensure the process improves. Filing a "complaint report" (as the TSA coyly suggests) does nothing to track or rectify TSA abuse, and typically only generates a do-nothing form letter. Reports through #MeTooByTSA, plus requests for all nearby and electronic evidence, are a proven path to call attention to TSA's culture of abuse, while preserving evidence (if necessary) to preserve passengers' rights.

Civil Rights Defense Network, advocating for the traveling public, believes that TSA's behavior is a gross and improper expansion of government overreach, and believes the American public will not tolerate this clear incursion into airline passengers' rights and fundamental civil liberties.

If the appeal wins, it will establish national precedent for screener accountability for individual capacity 4th Amendment Bivens lawsuits in case of claims for unreasonable use of excessive force, likely requiring TSA screeners to have insurance (already available to them as part of their TSA union contract). If not, it will be permanent open season on passengers, with nationwide TSA immunity from lawsuits, even in the case of gratuitous and completely unnecessary force.

Either way, this case will change the way TSA implements security pat-downs, and TSA's obligations to not strike passengers' genitals despite their excuse of not knowing that that would be illegal, as a daily reminder of TSA's culture of abuse reflected in #MeTooByTSA.

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Tags:Legal, Civil Rights, Tsa, #MeTooByTSA, Gofundme, Thanksgiving, Travel
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