Friday, May 2, 2008

TSO Gun Incident

Several bloggers have commented on our blog over the past few days on an incident that involved an officer showing up for work with an unloaded gun. We’ve read these comments and worked hard to get as much information as possible. After turning every stone and working with privacy experts and anyone else that would listen about our need to tell the whole story, the bottom line is that we simply cannot.

The federal Privacy Act prohibits us from providing any details about what happened, how it happened or any disciplinary action we took. It’s unfortunate because there are always two sides to every story.

What we can say is that anyone that shows up with a gun is held accountable, officer or passenger.

Christopher

TSA EoS Blog Team

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

Christopher,

This post is unbelievable! Don´t you already know that public opinion is essential, and that you need our support to effectively work against terrorism? How do you expect to engage the public by hiding behind arguments that information is "classified"?

You would have been MUCH better off if you had not posted anything, ignoring messages. You seem to have no problems ignoring the many requests for frontal full body images...

a Pi**ed Off Passenger said...

Well can you tell us about the Federal Flight Deck Officer who fired off a round in the cockpit last month???!!!!

Steve Scottsdale said...

I don't see any reason why you can't describe the situation without revealing the TSO's name or the airport where the incident occurred.

Anonymous said...

Another TSA attempt to deflect the issue of not posting MMW WBI images.

Remember, they are ok for pre-school age kids.

Not going to work!

Sandra said...

OK, so you've come up with an excuse for not addressing this issue.

Now, what's your excuse for not posting the frontal view of the MMW image?

trollkiller said...

Well there you go.

If it was a normal citizen we would have every detail including what his 3rd grade teacher wrote about his ability to play with others.

Anonymous said...

I know the TSO, the neighborhood and the reasons he did not leave the firearm in his vehicle. You are correct in that it is a real shame that you can not fully discuss the incident and all of the factors. What many do not understand is it is the local police on site who arrect, detain and/or site people for firearms violations and in many states it is not a tree hugging capital offence to own a gun.

The easy way for the local FSD to have handled this would have been to terminate the individual and give no thought to the events surrounding it. The FSD, in my opinion, made the right call and for the first time in a long time really looked at everything. Again, anyone can take the easy way, this was not.

Anonymous said...

What we can say is that anyone that shows up with a gun is held accountable, officer or passenger.

It's just that some people are held less accountable than others.

And then you wonder why we don't trust you.

Anonymous said...

This is what one of his fellow DEN TSO's has posted:

"He was driving and his vehicle broke down. He had the item in his vehicle which was towed. He took the item out of his vehicle and put it in his bag that he takes to work. He reported for work and it was in the bag."

I know that the person that wrote that is a DEN TSO.

If he didn't have a concealed carry permit, then under the above circumstances it would appear he also violated Colorado Sec. 18-12-105.

Anonymous said...

Please explain why the privacy act only applies to your coverups and not when you report something about a citizen by means of bragging about your ability to catch water bottles.

Anonymous said...

OK, if you won't address that, how about discussing the latest news item where federal air marshals are being kept off flights due to their names appearing on various 'do not fly' and 'terrorist watch' lists?

Anonymous said...

"it is not a tree hugging capital offence to own a gun."

Why make such a bigoted statement?

I have heard no one complain about him owning a gun. It is his actions with the gun that people have good reason to be upset with.

Also, you did not hesitate to post a _video_ of an SLF (self loading freight = passenger) who had a run in with your "officers".

Now, you hide behind a wall of secrecy when one of your own is invovled.

I call bull.

Christopher said...

Sandra,

What I'm saying is that we'd love to tell the whole story, leaving nothing out. We're not hiding behind anything, we're being precluded from saying anything else by the Privacy Act.

We're more frustrated with this than anyone out there can imagine.

And by the way trollkiller, when (not if since it happens about twoce per day) it is a passenger and not an employee, we do not include their name either.

Christopher
EOS Blog Team

Trollkiller said...

Ok Christopher, I understand that you are getting stonewalled by your people. Sucks don't it.

Let me help you out.

Google Results Note you may have to look at cached pages.

Story one

Story two

Story three

I think it is odd that the TSA will have a press release every minor "victory", yet failed to have a press release for this.

BTW I have a bet going with my wife that you won't post this.

Jim Huggins said...

The easy way for the local FSD to have handled this would have been to terminate the individual and give no thought to the events surrounding it. The FSD, in my opinion, made the right call and for the first time in a long time really looked at everything. Again, anyone can take the easy way, this was not.

Please understand ... I don't know anything about the incident, other than what was reported in the press.

But if you're praising the FSD for exercising common sense and discretion in this case ... then why can't TSA use discretion and common sense when dealing with individual passenger screening? This blog is filled with plenty of examples of TSOs who say "we must follow the rules, no exceptions", even when common sense would dictate otherwise.

On the surface, it smacks of hypocrisy; TSO uses zero-tolerance with passengers who violate the rules, but plenty of tolerance with its own staff. I'm sure I'd think differently if I knew the details about this case. But all I have is what I have.

Perception creates its own realities. A perception of arbitrariness on the part of TSA won't help TSA to create the "soothing" environment for screening that Checkpoint Engagement is supposed to be trying to achieve.

Anonymous said...

MANY bloggers have commented on the fact that our luggage is vulnerable to tampering under your current procedures.

The money and trouble that this has caused us travelers made national headlines.

You gave your first dog (and pony) show that week. You still have not meaningfully addressed that problem.

..and yes, where are those frontal full body images?

,>)

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for this post.

I had begun to suspect that the whole TSA blog was just a smokescreen; something done to give the appearance of communication without any real desire for a real dialog with the traveling public.

Now you have confirmed my suspicions. It will be easier to continue reading posts here for the entertainment value without the delusion that TSA has any intention of improving either its public image or its thuggish behavior.

Thanks for clearing things up.

T-the-B at FlyerTalk

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

I know the TSO, the neighborhood and the reasons he did not leave the firearm in his vehicle. You are correct in that it is a real shame that you can not fully discuss the incident and all of the factors. What many do not understand is it is the local police on site who arrect, detain and/or site people for firearms violations and in many states it is not a tree hugging capital offence to own a gun.


You imply he brought in the weapon because he did not want to leave it in his car where it could be stolen and fall into a criminal's hands. Good for him, I have no problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is the fact he KNOWINGLY bypassed the metal detectors and brought the weapon into a "secure" area.

If any of the unwashed masses had done this our name would be released and we would be facing CRIMINAL charges.

79-Year-Old Woman With Gun Stopped By TSA Screeners


Or my personal favorite
, man forgets he has a gun, makes it through security. He realizes he has the weapon and RETURNS to security. He was CHARGED with a CRIME. Yet this TSO was let of with a hand slap.

Further proof that the TSA thinks it is above the law?

winstonsmith said...

Christopher, Bob, is the TSA just stuck on stupid or what? Do you really think, as a person or as an agency that we're really going to accept another "trust us" kind of an answer to this? You say you can't tell us. Then tell us exactly why you can't tell us. Point to the specific section of either your regulations or to the Privacy Act that keeps you from discussing the incident in general terms.

I know, as I have managed people and sensitive personnel situations before, that one walks a fine line about disclosure of personally identifiable information, particularly in a public forum. I personally understand that you may not be at liberty to disclose the precise nature of the actions taken with regard to the individual TSO involved. What I find difficult to swallow, however, is that as a governmental agency that you cannot disclose to us that a) you have a disciplinary process; b) that you are required to follow the disciplinary process; c) what the steps in that process are; and finally d) what step of the process you are in with respect to this particular incident.

It's actions like this one and attempts to bury them like so many presents in a cat box that make the TSA the government agency people like and trust even less than the IRS.

Anonymous said...

haa i love it. this post is so diplomatic and non-informative, proving you are trying to hide something.

this is along the same line as the nipple ring post, highly uninformative, very short, afraid to provide evidence of the security organization not operating in an appropriate manner. your PR work is not balanced. when you try to deflect obvious downfalls with short articles, then you have articles that are lengthy trying to build up public approval for the process.

i applaud you beautiful word-smithing, now please tell us something other than saying that the information is "classified"

Sandra said...

Steve Scottsdale said:

"I don't see any reason why you can't describe the situation without revealing the TSO's name or the airport where the incident occurred."

The TSO's name is Alvin Crabtree. Both his name and his picture have been all over the internet.

Trollkiller said...

And by the way trollkiller, when (not if since it happens about twoce per day) it is a passenger and not an employee, we do not include their name either.

Christopher
EOS Blog Team


Twoce??? New word... I like it ;-)

This is a bit of semantics, the TSA may not release the name, but the Airport Authority or the police do. Funny when your guy got busted only ONE news station found out about it.

Come on if that does not scream cover up, nothing does.

Trollkiller said...

winstonsmith said...

Christopher, Bob, is the TSA just stuck on stupid or what?


That made me snort, thanks Winston.

The TSA has no need to hide the man's name. It is already out there.

Anonymous said...

trollkiller: "Further proof that the TSA thinks it is above the law?"

No, I imagine TSA is more in the mindset of Sly Stalone's Judge Dredd: "I AM the law!"

Remember that under TSA's security theater model, the TSOs are, by definition, completely secure and totally competent. Therefore, anything a TSO does MUST make us more secure.

Phil said...

Bob/Christopher:

Bloggers haven't commented on the gun incident; your readers have (until, of course, you posted this today). A blogger is one who blogs: who posts blog entries to a blog. When people leave comments in response, they aren't being bloggers.

Anonymous said...

"I had begun to suspect that the whole TSA blog was just a smokescreen; Now you have confirmed my suspicions."

Mine were confirmed when they ran the earlier dog story instead of addressing other issues.

Then the whole nonsense on the MMW images followed by the puppy crap...

...I'd be amused; if they weren't sucking up my money and giving too much authority to too many people not fit to wield it.

Will the new uniforms really have badges? How much more will that inflate some egos.

To see this happen in America. These are sad times comrade.

Well, I guess it is all worth it if it makes sheeple feel safe from 'terrists' Like they felt safe on 9/10.

Anonymous said...

Since you brought up the Privacy Act does that mean TSA will comply with it's rules and regulations when dealing with citizens and other travelers?

Sure seems like a "one way street" to me.

Use the law only when it benefits the agency, thumb your nose at it when dealing with the public.

Anonymous said...

Jim said -

Please understand ... I don't know anything about the incident, other than what was reported in the press.

But if you're praising the FSD for exercising common sense and discretion in this case ... then why can't TSA use discretion and common sense when dealing with individual passenger screening? This blog is filled with plenty of examples of TSOs who say "we must follow the rules, no exceptions", even when common sense would dictate otherwise.

On the surface, it smacks of hypocrisy; TSO uses zero-tolerance with passengers who violate the rules, but plenty of tolerance with its own staff. I'm sure I'd think differently if I knew the details about this case. But all I have is what I have.

Perception creates its own realities. A perception of arbitrariness on the part of TSA won't help TSA to create the "soothing" environment for screening that Checkpoint Engagement is supposed to be trying to achieve.

Ah, the press, we all know they are 100% - As I understand it the individual had the gun and had it in his car. Because of a major storm he had to have his car towed and it was in a very bad area of town, if you know where I am going here. He took the gun from his car and placed it in his bag he brings to work vice leaving it and assuring it would be stolen, then he was able to get home. He didn't get home until very late (remember, a storm) and had to be at work very early (like 0430 or so). He simply forgot until he set the bag down at the xray and then remembered and self reported. The local PD looked at everything and THEY DECLINED TO ARREST / cite!

I understood the initial reaction was a termination but that he appealed the decision and when all of the circumstances were reviewed by the FSD he was retained but certinly did pay a price, which he didn't share. With that said I heard some say 2 weeks suspended, no pay??

As for how is everyone else treated? It depends on the state. If this had happened in NYC or within the District of Columbia it would have been very bad for the individual because of the local CCW laws. In some states, such as TX it seems everyone has a CCW. I don't know in this case but know the local PD declined.

Believe it or not in many cases almost everyone who shows at a checkoint with a firearm says they forgot it was in the bag. I don't know how many had the same type of events happen as this young man but that is what they say. Most are not hauled off and if they are it is not TSA who does it nor do the local authorities do it on TSA orders. They do it IAW their local / state laws at the officer's descretion. When it comes to a firearm I have seen all kinds of standards but again, they are state driven. The TSA can go after the individual on a regulatory violation for a firearm at the checkpoint but there is a lot of area within the reg.

Regardless, it will be debated but I agree it is nice to see that the new FSD is willing to take a look at everything without simply firing him. I came to DEN from elsewhere and also spent time on the national deployment force. I have seen many operations and it is a plesent change to see there is a process. I do see why some are getting upset but also feel many really do not know what the real procedure is and who does what. TSA can arrest no one except for maybe a FAM under certain conditions. Certinly not a TSO regardless of what anyone says.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller - You imply he brought in the weapon because he did not want to leave it in his car where it could be stolen and fall into a criminal's hands. Good for him, I have no problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is the fact he KNOWINGLY bypassed the metal detectors and brought the weapon into a "secure" area.

Not true my friend - he did not bypass, he reported it himself as soon as he realized what he had done.

Anonymous said...

If this had been a regular citizen we'd know everything about him including his shoe size.

Why can't you simply tell the story without names or locations if privacy is that big a deal.

Every time there is a post to this blog it seems like it's the TSA saying "We can't show you this" or "We can't tell you this", what was the point of having this blog again if all you're using it to say is "We can't tell you anything, just trust us."

Ayn R. Key said...

This actually partially answers one of the questions from my list. Supposing a terrorist with no record tries to infiltrate the TSA or some TSO becomes disgruntled and becomes a terrorist, he can indeed freely and easily bypass security and deliver dangerous items such as bombs or firearms in the supposedly sterile area. So, what measures do you plan to implement that will ensure that the airplanes are secure from the TSOs? Will you screen them daily as they go to work? Will that include frontal images of them in the MMW?

Anonymous said...

Ok, I will give you a pass in not revealing what happened to that TSO. But a big agency like the TSA must have written procedures as to what is supposed to happen in cases like this. I know in the military, if something is ZERO tolerance, that is what is meant. Can you tell us what your policy is, when an employee commits a wrong, or is it just as vague as your policies for the traveling public?

CBGB said...

this is actually a really helpful post to me :)

clarified a bunch of stuff.

The TSA enforces zero tolerance but doesn't follow it

The TSA refuses us privacy but gives it to its employees

want me to go on? how bout one more

The TSO's don't feel safe leaving there belongings open to being stolen, but expect us to and claim its not there problem.

The TSA's biggest problem though at this point is the blog team. you guys are horrible. You are really making things worse. Your like the keystone cops of propaganda. I can't believe my tax dollars have been spent on this.

BTW if your gun toting TSO brother is entitled to his privacy and you can't tell us anything then maybe maybe you should discipline the other TSO's who are. Your not even being consistent on enforcement to your own employees. Why? because not telling us anything is just a coverup.

Dave said...

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! What a good one! Privacy act issues? Playing that card huh?

That's pretty rich considering the fact that you refuse to abide by privacy act rules with your illegal collection of passenger data.

trollkiller said...

You can see by this public record the TSO in question lost his airport ID for 30 days for bringing the gun to a secure area. According to that document it was the airport that suspended him, not the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Regarding - Ok, I will give you a pass in not revealing what happened to that TSO. But a big agency like the TSA must have written procedures as to what is supposed to happen in cases like this. I know in the military, if something is ZERO tolerance, that is what is meant. Can you tell us what your policy is, when an employee commits a wrong, or is it just as vague as your policies for the traveling public?

________________________________

There are very few things that are automatic termination under the management directives. FSD's have huge amounts of flexibility but are to consult with TSA field counsel and HR on anything above a reprimand. As for a zero tolerance, well I to spent many years in the military (Go Navy) and zero tolerance did not always result in a discharge, which is what most seem to think should have happened here. It did seem to result in a dicipline action to include a possible demotion, lost wages, restriction to quarters. It sounds to me like this individual was suspended, lost wages, and is likely on a last chance agreement which is kind of like a suspended bust in the military. So in comparison it sounds pretty close.

Someone spoke of the different state laws, it is almost too much to explain but it is very inconsistent in who can do what. As for my understanding, no gov employee is allowed to have a firearm on gov property, except a LEO type. This would include off site offices, and certainly the checkpoint. However, some states have actually passed laws which state that no employer can keep you from being able to have your firearm in your car, even on the employer's property. In AZ you can have a personal tazer but if you fly from Phoenix to NYC it is a deadly weapon and you can be arrested.....again.....nuts.

It sounds like the employee had done something which was out of the ordinary in moving the firearm from his car to a bag but had good reason, was running on very little sleep, and if retained was very likely a top notch employee in all other regards. It also sounds like he was suspended w/o pay and may be facing other regulatory charges but I am not sure everything has to result in a termination. It sounds to me as though a senior manager looked at all of the information to include that which we can only speculate on and made a decision to give the individual a last chance.

I also know if an individual/ passenger shows up at a checkpoint and has a firearm in their bag there are several things that go into what the LEO's do in most cases: is it loaded, is there a round chambered, do they have a CCW. In most cases I have seen if the have a valid CCW they have several options, none of which allow the weapon to pass through and none which send them to jail and most are cleared to fly. Depending on the state they seem only to be arrested if they do not have a permit or there is a specific law regarding firearms at the airport----yes---not all airports have such a law.

I don't think TSA posting this has 2 hoots to do with the MMW image issue but more the fact it was on several conspiracy blogs so TSA had to say something. Regardless of what we think of TSA there is a lot of information which an employer is not allowed to speak about or comment on, however others can say what they want.

Anonymous said...

Regarding - trollkiller said...

You can see by this public record the TSO in question lost his airport ID for 30 days for bringing the gun to a secure area. According to that document it was the airport that suspended him, not the TSA.

_____________________________________

As Paul Harvey says---now for the rest of the story - yes, Sherlock, the airport suspended his SIDA badge / airport access for 30-days. All that does is not allow him into the sterile area or SIDA for 30-days. It in no way keeps him or any other from working off site such as in the FSD offices. I am sure in an operation the size of Denver's there are tons of things he could have done which would not have required airport access.

I am very confident that he was also suspended without pay for 2 weeks from the TSA. This will also hurt him for promotion, and pay. However it would not kill him.

Anonymous said...

CBGB said - The TSA's biggest problem though at this point is the blog team. you guys are horrible. You are really making things worse. Your like the keystone cops of propaganda. I can't believe my tax dollars have been spent on this.

Hells Bells man - if that is how you feel stop hitting the reply and if enough feel this way Bob will be out of a job, the blog will be dead and you can move on to UFO cover ups.

Dave Nelson said...

Christopher, I have extensive experience with the Privacy Act. Let me help you...

1. The Privacy Act protects release of certain (but not all) employee information, unless it is subpoenaed by a court order. Even then, a judge may seal the records if he/she chooses. So, any internal records pertaining to Crabtree's job performance or disciplinary actions for this incident (I'll assume for the moment that there was some adverse action.) is normally protected.

2. The fact the TSA screener Crabtree illegally brought a firearm into a secure area of an airport is in the public domain. The two police blotter reports posted on the Denver Fox 31 website were properly obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

3. Like most court records, any civil action against Crabtree in the TSA Kangaroo court, including the judgment and fine amount, is a public record, just like anybody who got convicted of the civil crime of speeding. So, anyone so inclined could easily (despite the well-oiled TSA stonewall) obtain this information.

So, get it right next time, OK? Don't try to hide behind your SSI and Privacy Act claims when you people rub our noses in it on a daily basis.

Fess up -- did you REALLY think you could make us forget about the electronic strip search machine? BTW, we're still waiting for the full frontal pictures.

One final comment: The "You're stuck on stupid" quote was said by LTG Russel Honore, US Army (Retired), during a news conference. General Honore was the Corps of Engineers Commander in charge of the Katrina and Wilma recovery operations.

winstonsmith said...

Hey Dave:

One final comment: The "You're stuck on stupid" quote was said by LTG Russel Honore, US Army (Retired), during a news conference. General Honore was the Corps of Engineers Commander in charge of the Katrina and Wilma recovery operations.

Funny, I just threw that "stuck on stupid" line in my post of this morning because it seemed to fit in so nicely given all the manure the good people at TSA have been spreading around and trying to pass off as truth in the past few posts. Been saying it kind of independently for years -- think I may have picked it up from one of my high school teachers years (ok, decades *sigh*) ago.

Good post though... And yes, where are those Front and Back MMW pictures anyway?

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. He should be fired. If anyone should know the rules, it should be him.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an entry! Talk about puppy poo . . . and you had the audacity to play the Privacy Act Card?

Are Crabtree's defenders saying that he was running low on sleep snd that's why he forgot he brought the weapon into the "secure zone"? That troubles me in a guy whose job it is to protect me from very bad people. Are sleep deprived baggage inspectors a frequent situation?

Why don't the inspectors have to go through security too? That might be a good layer to have.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

As Paul Harvey says---now for the rest of the story - yes, Sherlock, the airport suspended his SIDA badge / airport access for 30-days. All that does is not allow him into the sterile area or SIDA for 30-days. It in no way keeps him or any other from working off site such as in the FSD offices. I am sure in an operation the size of Denver's there are tons of things he could have done which would not have required airport access.

I am very confident that he was also suspended without pay for 2 weeks from the TSA. This will also hurt him for promotion, and pay. However it would not kill him.


Hot diggity damn, now I know the whole trooth and nuttin but the trooth.

You are confident he was suspended for a whole two weeks. Wow, where are you getting your info?

I did all the sleuthing I could in the few minutes I had to deal with this and found NOTHING about a two week suspension. What I did find was what I showed, the Airport Authority suspended his ID. (in reality they revoked it, but let's not split hairs)

I found was very little about this rouge TSO. Amazing, a trusted TSO brings a gun to work but the ONLY news report was from one TV station AFTER the TSO was reinstated.

Now think about that, disregard that government check you cash, and use the brains God gave you.

Why in this day of instant news, when people are paid to do nothing but listen to police frequencies and check police reports, did this little gem not come up before April 24, 2008, A full 153 days or 5 months after the incident?

Sorry Mr. "I'll take a dig but stay anonymous", we don't know the rest of the story. Hell we don't know a tenth of the story.

Now before anyone thinks I am calling for this guy's head, I am not. He took a weapon from his car to secure it, should he have been arrested? I don't think so.

Then again I don't think Gregory Scott Hinkle, David Huckabee, Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, or Louis Tasiopoulos should have been arrested either.

Marshall's SO said...

Anonymous said:

"Hells Bells man - if that is how you feel stop hitting the reply and if enough feel this way Bob will be out of a job, the blog will be dead and you can move on to UFO cover ups."

Good heavens, why would anyone ever do that? It's good to see the TSA continuing to make themselves look totally foolish, whether by their action or their inaction.

And speaking of inaction, where are those frontal pictures?

Anonymous said...

May 2, 2008 1:34 PM

Or my personal favorite, man forgets he has a gun, makes it through security. He realizes he has the weapon and RETURNS to security. He was CHARGED with a CRIME. Yet this TSO was let of with a hand slap.



Untrue. That TSO was fired.

HSVTSO Dean said...

Anarchy, and yes I know that's not your handle but I'm feeling particularly lazy and don't feel like looking up the exact syntax of it, wrote:

So, what measures do you plan to implement that will ensure that the airplanes are secure from the TSOs? Will you screen them daily as they go to work? Will that include frontal images of them in the MMW?

At Huntsville (and I think the whole of the system, but I might be wrong) the TSOs are required to go through the checkpoint daily as we go to work, with everything we bring with us screened in the x-ray. The only protocol that TSOs (and, indeed, all airport employees) are exempt from that the public isn't is the shoe-removal requirement.

I will confess that I don't know the first thing about this story; I didn't hear about it at all until I found this thread on the blog. However, if we self-reported before it entered into the x-ray, then there wasn't any kind of screening violation.

As I mentioned in a much-earlier post on another thread: the same thing happened here about a year after we rolled out, where a passenger self-reported having inert hand grenades in his carry-on bag. Since it happened before his bag entered the x-ray, we just told him to go put them back out in his car, as they wouldn't be permitted in checked baggage either. If we had found them after his bag had entered into the x-ray... well, that'd have been a whole different ball of wax, with local law enforcement officials being notified, and a metric ton of paperwork to be filled out.

And, yes, when we get the MMW scanner, we, the lowly and humble peons of the TSA, will have to be screened in it alongside the passenger when we report in for duty every day.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said - Hot diggity damn, now I know the whole trooth and nuttin but the trooth.

Sorry for the anonymous "take my shot" posting but because you are such a super sleuth I hope you will understand.
1. Who am I? - if I said there is no way in he-- I would post.
2. Why were you only able to come up with a letter from the airport authority? They post things like this but this is not and INTERNAL Discipline issue to the airport. I do not believe you will fine the internal handling of employees listed in a public document unless there was an arrest.
3. Trollkiller said - Then again I don't think Gregory Scott Hinkle, David Huckabee, Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, or Louis Tasiopoulos should have been arrested either. As others have said - to the best of my knowledge the TSA has not placed one passenger under arrest for anything. Depending on where it was that whatever happened it is the discretion of the local law enforcement to cite, arrest, detain, or simply ignore. TSA may well have sent a Notice of Violation (NOV)to anyone with a prohibited item such as a firearm and that may even include a civil fine but TSA did not arrest any of those mentioned above, they referred the discovery to the local LEO and they took it from there. I have seen the locals ignore things that I could not believe but that is their option. Depending on the issue I have also seen the locals refer an item to the US District Att. Office but they seldom get involved and simply decline.

4. Trollkiller said - Why in this day of instant news, when people are paid to do nothing but listen to police frequencies and check police reports, did this little gem not come up before April 24, 2008, A full 153 days or 5 months after the incident? NOT SURE ON THAT ONE - except that the local LEO was very likely at the checkpoint so it didn't go over a radio. This was very likely handled at the checkpoint by the local LEO removing the individual and the firearm to another location (same as everyone else) looking into it, running an NCIC, looking for a permit, and making a decision to cite/arrest/or decline. Again, if this happened at JFK then then incredible CCW restrictions in NYC would have likely gave the officer cause to place the TSO under arrest. But, it didn't, it happened in DEN under CO law and the officer made the decision. My guess is someone ran across the local SIDA suspension letter in a public doc and simply picked up on it. Also, if you really take a hard look at many of the replies on this entire blog you will find a few persons who seem to want to comment on everything and believe it to be a huge conspiracy.

5. Trollkiller said - You are confident he was suspended for a whole two weeks. Wow, where are you getting your info?
I CAN NOT TELL YOU THAT but will say I am very confident in that and because it is an internal discipline issue you will not find it in a police file. Had he been arrested and charged I am sure he would not have been retained. Again, not everything is a conspiracy and I assure you the local TSA do not ignore it.

6. Trollkiller said - Sorry Mr. "I'll take a dig but stay anonymous", we don't know the rest of the story. Hell we don't know a tenth of the story.

You got me there, it must have been the Shurlock comment that got your goat:) As far as the story - I assure you I have told you within a few posts. However the huge big brother conspiracy is more fun to believe. Trollkiller you are likely someone who would be fun to have a beer with but until a later time I will stay anonymous. As for me I love the blog. I just wish we had an internal one we could comment on and be anonymous.

Jim Huggins said...

A response to Trollkiller, but with a question for anyone who might know more than I (which is just about everyone ...)

Then again I don't think Gregory Scott Hinkle, David Huckabee, Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, or Louis Tasiopoulos should have been arrested either.

I just looked at those links; each of those people had a loaded firearm. This TSO had an unloaded firearm, without any ammunition in the bag. Might that explain the difference in treatment?

(Obligatory side remark. If, indeed, this is the difference, it would've been a whole lot easier if someone "in the know" could've pointed out the difference in treatment, rather that leaving the rest of us to bicker about things we don't understand ...)

Anonymous said...

Why did you pull a lot of the posts that took you to task for playing the "Pravacy Act card? The perps name is readily available from the media to anyone who knows how to use a search engine.

CBGB said...

in response to the anonymous reply to me :)

No it wouldn't, they would just continue to post this drivel and call it the public forum.

I would however like to thank the TSA. They finally took the name Margaret Anderson (its a pretty common one you can imagine) off of the watch list. I know this because my fiance (same name) no longer gets SSSS printed on her tickets because of an old lady. Only took you four years

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...
Sorry for the anonymous "take my shot" posting but because you are such a super sleuth I hope you will understand.
1. Who am I? - if I said there is no way in he-- I would post.


There is only so much sleuthing I can do between getting up for work and leaving the house. At work I have made a promise not to hack, disassemble, reverse engineer, bypass security, override security, attach devices, load unauthorized programs or do any computer crime over our network.

Sleuthing to find your identity would have broken that promise. Not that I am afraid of losing my job, but our IT guy is frikkin HUGE. He wears size 15 and the boy has grown into his feet.

2. Why were you only able to come up with a letter from the airport authority? They post things like this but this is not and INTERNAL Discipline issue to the airport. I do not believe you will fine the internal handling of employees listed in a public document unless there was an arrest.

I am less worried about the internal handling of this than the external. Should you or him have been fired? I don't know, I have limited knowledge of what went on. If you notice I did not call for that or even mention that.

I will say if I had been your boss you would have been fired, if not fired I would have made you so miserable for months that you would quit.

Let me explain why I would have canned the TSO in question. (this is based on the limited info I have)

1) ALL WEAPONS ARE LOADED.

2) As a TSO you should know better than anyone that bringing a weapon to a secure area is a big no no. This speaks volumes about your competency.

3) If my own screeners can't figure out that bringing a weapon to a secure area is a no no, how can I expect the traveling public to know better?

The TSO in question has completely compromised security. No longer can the managers of that security line fairly turn someone over to law enforcement for a weapon and expect them to be arrested.

In fact if your management is fair they will use the same arguments to convince law enforcement NOT to arrest someone for "forgetting" a weapon.

4) I don't really buy the "I forgot" defense. If I understand the time line, the TSO was driving to work and his vehicle broke down. He called his girl to give him a ride and had his vehicle towed. He took the weapon with him because he did not trust his girl with it and did not want it stolen from the vehicle.

If the above is true or even pretty close, then the TSO should have had that gun on his mind the whole time. If the TSO had been smart he would have remained outside the secure area and talked to his boss and explained the situation. I can think of at least 3 ways to have avoided the problem. 1) take the weapon to one of my LEO buddies and ask them to secure it until the end of my shift. 2) ask one of my fellow TSOs or my manager if we can secure the weapon in their vehicle until the end of my shift 3) have my manager secure the weapon in the office until the end of the shift.

More in a bit, the race is on.

Dunstan said...

Jim Huggins said...

"I just looked at those links; each of those people had a loaded firearm. This TSO had an unloaded firearm, without any ammunition in the bag. Might that explain the difference in treatment?"

From what I have gathered from trollkiller's posts, he may be able to shed some light on the difference in treatment between a loaded and unloaded handgun. I would assume that in an armed robbery they would be treated much the same. In this case the weapon was not loaded.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said - There is only so much sleuthing I can do between getting up for work and leaving the house. At work I have made a promise not to hack, disassemble, reverse engineer, bypass security, override security, attach devices, load unauthorized programs or do any computer crime over our network.

REPLY - As soon as there is any type of reprisal from TSA for this blog then one will know there is no such thing as anonymous. By giving you the option to identify yourself as anonymous they imply it is. I defend the agency and have for several years. However, I am also a critic and have been vocal before. Anonymous....hum....now that might be an interesting suit if the agency took reprisal on someone for an anonymous post.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said - I will say if I had been your boss you would have been fired, if not fired I would have made you so miserable for months that you would quit.

Let me explain why I would have canned the TSO in question. (this is based on the limited info I have)

1) ALL WEAPONS ARE LOADED.

2) As a TSO you should know better than anyone that bringing a weapon to a secure area is a big no no. This speaks volumes about your competency.

Now I know that all weapons are loaded but you must know that even though you have learned this from a child there is lawyer out there that will argue the point and win. So at least, from a legal definition, there are "unloaded" weapons. I also agree with you that I would have fired him so hopefully my competency is a little better now, I also am not a TSO. Have fun, and happy blogging.

Trollkiller said...

Talk about a good Saturday, I got a nap, watched a race, had a great dinner, spent time with the family and just had some Fren-- I mean Freedom Toast. It may take me a few to get up to my normal level of grumpy.

anonymous said...

to the best of my knowledge the TSA has not placed one passenger under arrest for anything.

Depending on where it was that whatever happened it is the discretion of the local law enforcement to cite, arrest, detain, or simply ignore.


ar·rest (ə-rĕst')

1. To stop; check: a brake that automatically arrests motion
2. To seize and hold under the authority of law.
3. To capture and hold briefly

An arrest may occur (1) by the touching or putting hands on the arrestee; (2) by any act that indicates an intention to take the arrestee into custody and that subjects the arrestee to the actual control and will of the person making the arrest; or (3) by the consent of the person to be arrested. There is no arrest where there is no restraint, and the restraint must be under real or pretended legal authority. However, the detention of a person need not be accompanied by formal words of arrest or a station house booking to constitute an arrest.

The test used to determine whether an arrest took place in a particular case is objective, and it turns on whether a reasonable person under these circumstances would believe he or she was restrained or free to go.
excert from the full legal definition at TheFreeDictionary.com

If a TSO holds someone to turn them over to a LEO, the TSO has in fact made the arrest. The traveler being held for a violation is NOT free to leave.

I think what you mean to say is the TSA has never charged someone with a crime.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

This was very likely handled at the checkpoint by the local LEO removing the individual and the firearm to another location (same as everyone else) looking into it, running an NCIC, looking for a permit, and making a decision to cite/arrest/or decline. ...

... My guess is someone ran across the local SIDA suspension letter in a public doc and simply picked up on it. Also, if you really take a hard look at many of the replies on this entire blog you will find a few persons who seem to want to comment on everything and believe it to be a huge conspiracy.


I don't think it is a conspiracy, but I know it was a "cover our a**". Every other time a person is caught with a weapon the TSA toots their horn so hard you can hear it clear across the country. Why not in this case?

In fact if anything this one should have been the one the TSA trots out to show us what a fantastic job they are doing.

Think about it, the TSO that discovered the weapon did their job to the utmost. They were not distracted by the fact that the person they were screening was one of their own.

As for the lack of criminal charges in this case seems to be more of a who you know rather then what you did.

This is evident by not only this case but prior cases at DIA. Take the case of Helene C. Nance, she was arrested and released on $1000 bail but not charged with a weapons violation. Her husband just happened to be J.B. Nance a TSA manager at DIA. Compare that to the case of Robert James Smith, he was arrested and held without bail. Sadly he apparently has no relations at the TSA.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

You got me there, it must have been the Shurlock comment that got your goat:)

As far as the story - I assure you I have told you within a few posts. However the huge big brother conspiracy is more fun to believe.

Trollkiller you are likely someone who would be fun to have a beer with but until a later time I will stay anonymous. As for me I love the blog.

I just wish we had an internal one we could comment on and be anonymous.


It is nice to see you get the Billy Goats Gruff reference.

I don't drink beer unless it is one of those thick dark beers, Jägermeister is more my speed.

I am not a big conspiracy fan because I know most people can't keep their mouths shut. Some of the conspiracy nut theories make me just roll my eyes. I am more of a skeptic when it comes to anyone that says "trust me".

Like on the MMW image issue that this, the duty free bag, and the doggie post are meant to derail us from.

I don't think it is a conspiracy per say but I do know that I don't trust the "safe for pre-schoolers" statement. I have seen the front images and I don't find them offensive, but what I do find offensive is the TSA's hope that it will all blow over if we toss this one TSO under the bus.

I went back and checked to see if a whole bunch of people were clamoring about this TSO bringing a gun to work, I found just 4 posts. 3 by anonymous posters and one by me.

While I am glad the TSA addressed this issue, I am a bit baffled that they won't address the MMW image and safety issue. Just show the damned image so we can get on with other business.

As for the internal blog not allowing an anonymous posting, that is due to your blog bosses not thinking outside the box.

It is simple to set up an anonymous account. All you have to do is create an account and give it a password.

Email that password to all your TSA employees to use on the 'anonymous' account. Change the password every month or so to keep non TSA people off that blog. Problem solved.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Now I know that all weapons are loaded but you must know that even though you have learned this from a child there is lawyer out there that will argue the point and win. So at least, from a legal definition, there are "unloaded" weapons. I also agree with you that I would have fired him so hopefully my competency is a little better now, I also am not a TSO. Have fun, and happy blogging.


When it comes to bringing a gun into a airport secure area, there is no legal difference between loaded and unloaded.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Please explain why the privacy act only applies to your coverups and not when you report something about a citizen by means of bragging about your ability to catch water bottles.

May 2, 2008 1:04 PM

The Privacy Act also is for Passengers. You never see the out come of those who also bring guns to the checkpoint or brass knuckles
or large knives or any other items that are Prohibited because their privacy is protected also.So if you don't know the facts try not to infer them.

HSVTSO Dean said...

Yon Killer of Trolls wrote:

If a TSO holds someone to turn them over to a LEO, the TSO has in fact made the arrest. The traveler being held for a violation is NOT free to leave.

Not... exactly.

We, from the lowly TSO up to Supervisors and Screening Management and all, cannot detain or arrest. The only thing we can do is ask them to stay there.

The next paragraph is written from the perspective of someone who doesn't work for law enforcement, and so the semantics might be off. Fair warning. :D

They are "free" to leave - we won't physically attempt to stop them; we don't have that kind of authority. However, if they do leave, then we'll send a tail onto them with a radio and relay their position to local public safety officers (in the olden days, by the way, this was known as a 'contained security breach'), and when they're stopped and arrested by the police then they'll likely have a civil violation fine tacked onto whatever charges are being filed against them.

Trollkiller also said:

Like on the MMW image issue that this, the duty free bag, and the doggie post are meant to derail us from.

...And

While I am glad the TSA addressed this issue, I am a bit baffled that they won't address the MMW image and safety issue. Just show the damned image so we can get on with other business.

I don't necessarily think that they're meant to derail or distract. The TSA has operated this blog for a while now with a new entry every few days (and, occasionally, every day) and they're not always timed for when something's recieving harsh criticism, and they're not always focused on the checkpoint operations. TSA does do a few more things than that :P

I think the allegation of TSA trying to wag the dog is a bit unfounded.

As for the rest of it, though?

I agree. I'd rather like to see these MMW images myself, and, heh, with all due respect to my superiors and colleagues in the TSA, I think you should've known that if you made the kind of statements about them that you did (such as being safe for the cover of reader's digest, if I recall correctly), and then didn't give a full front/back-male/female example of the images (it doesn't have to be of you; a nameless, faceless random yokel would've been sufficient), that it would cause fifteen kinds of credibility problems.

So, c'mon. Where's the images?

HSVTSO Dean said...

Trollkiller, again, wrote:

As for the internal blog not allowing an anonymous posting, that is due to your blog bosses not thinking outside the box.

The... blargh..

Hm.

While I'm not aware of an official internal TSA blog, we do have something like that in the form of an IdeaFactory. It's designed to let everyone in the organization throw some ideas out for TSA to look at and evaluate, and a few neat (though minor) things have bubbled up from it. Even so, one still cannot post to it anonymously.

It interacts with the actual log-on of the computer itself, and cannot be accessed from non-TSA computers (I believe this is called a VPN, right?). Any posts or threads made there show the author as "firstname.lastname"

Anonymous said...

If your officers have a right to privacy, what about the passengers? When something happens with a passenger, that is released, makes the news nd becomes a matter of public record when it makes it to the police dept. or the courts.

I won't even bring up the privacy concerns from the MMW strip search.

Once again, you wonder why the American ranks you just above the IRS in trust(I think that is a mistake, I'd rather deal with an IRS agent in an audit).

SSI, SSI, SSI, how about disclose, disclose, disclose!

Anonymous said...

WHY are TSA employees not screenedwhen the enter the sterile area or the checkpoints (please answer this question, I really would like to know)?

Talk about a hole in the system!

Anonymous said...

re: "Once again, you wonder why the American ranks you just above the IRS in trust."


Acutally I think the IRS is ranked higher than the TSA in every category.

TSA is the worst of the worst and prove it every day.

Trollkiller said...

HSVTSO Dean said...

We, from the lowly TSO up to Supervisors and Screening Management and all, cannot detain or arrest. The only thing we can do is ask them to stay there.

The next paragraph is written from the perspective of someone who doesn't work for law enforcement, and so the semantics might be off. Fair warning. :D

They are "free" to leave - we won't physically attempt to stop them; we don't have that kind of authority. However, if they do leave, then we'll send a tail onto them with a radio and relay their position to local public safety officers (in the olden days, by the way, this was known as a 'contained security breach'), and when they're stopped and arrested by the police then they'll likely have a civil violation fine tacked onto whatever charges are being filed against them.


Yeah the semantics are way off. The reason the TSA does not want you to place hands on someone is for your own safety. TSOs are not trained in hand to hand combat. (at least not by the TSA) It would be a black eye to the TSA if you got a black eye.

The fact that you tell someone to "stay put" under the color of law make that command or suggestion an arrest. A reasonable person will not think they are free to go, if leaving can result in further arrest, criminal or civil charges. The fact that you won't physically stop them does not mean they are free to leave.

Face it, all those people you told to wait for a LEO were arrested by you. Kinda takes away from that "wasn't me" feeling doesn't it.

TSOs are in a position of authority. If a bum on a street told me to "stay put" I know I can walk away without any legal sanction. If a TSO tells me to "stay put" I know walking away will put me at risk for legal sanctions. The bum made no arrest, the TSO did.

Do yourself a favor and look at the link I provided and do a search on "arrest definition". I would say take it one step further and ask a DA, whatever you do, don't take what the TSA tells you as gospel. If your wrongly arrest someone the TSA will toss you under the bus.

In fact if you wrongly arrest someone your only saving grace will be if you acted in good faith and did not physically restrain the person.

I am telling you this because I can easily see an over the top TSO getting into an altercation with someone that knows the rules better than they do.

All it would take is a punitive "do you want to be arrested" to push that TSO out of the good faith area and into the malicious area. Once the arrest is in the malicious area that TSO could be successfully charged in criminal or civil court.

Better to know the real limits.

Trollkiller said...

HSVTSO Dean said...

The... blargh..

Hm.

While I'm not aware of an official internal TSA blog, we do have something like that in the form of an IdeaFactory. It's designed to let everyone in the organization throw some ideas out for TSA to look at and evaluate, and a few neat (though minor) things have bubbled up from it. Even so, one still cannot post to it anonymously.

It interacts with the actual log-on of the computer itself, and cannot be accessed from non-TSA computers (I believe this is called a VPN, right?). Any posts or threads made there show the author as "firstname.lastname"


If I recall correctly Kip said something about making an internal blog. I assumed it was already up and running. (sorry can't locate the video right now)

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

WHY are TSA employees not screenedwhen the enter the sterile area or the checkpoints (please answer this question, I really would like to know)?

Talk about a hole in the system!


To be fair this TSO was caught when he placed his bag to be X-rayed.

Anonymous said...

WHY are TSA employees not screenedwhen the enter the sterile area or the checkpoints (please answer this question, I really would like to know)?

Talk about a hole in the system!

May 4, 2008 2:15 PM


Believe me, we are screened at the beginning of our shift. Haven't you ever wondered why so many TSOs move to the front of the line in the middle of the day with bookbags and such in tow? We're not just doing it for the fun of it.

Anonymous said...

"The Privacy Act also is for Passengers. You never see the out come of those who also bring guns to the checkpoint or brass knuckles or large knives or any other items that are Prohibited because their privacy is protected also. So if you don't know the facts try not to infer them."

But of course we do read about them, names and all in the paper with follow ups for their trial results. Yet you protect your own from ever going to trial, so saying that you play by the same rules is nonsense. DHS ALWAYS brags in public about catches, even though 99.99% of them turn out to be lies later.

a Pi**ed Off Passenger said...

Tell us about the Federal Flight Deck Officer who fired off a round in the cockpit last month???!!!!

Ayn R. Key said...

Anonymous, May 5, 2008 4:28 AM

Believe me, we are screened at the beginning of our shift. Haven't you ever wondered why so many TSOs move to the front of the line in the middle of the day with bookbags and such in tow? We're not just doing it for the fun of it.

You're not arriving two hours early?

HSVTSO Dean said...

Trollkiller wrote:

Face it, all those people you told to wait for a LEO were arrested by you. Kinda takes away from that "wasn't me" feeling doesn't it.

Not really. I still sleep at night with the sleep of an innocent babe after having splashed in his bathwater.

Though I'd also say the onus is already off the TSO. Any situation like that, that's legitimate anyway, will have already had a supervisor called over. As it's been told to me, once the supervisor takes control of the situation, I'm out of it completely. Most of the time, I return to the line and continue my normal duties, and just hear about what happened later.

I guess you could say that I do all things in good faith. :)

I am telling you this because I can easily see an over the top TSO getting into an altercation with someone that knows the rules better than they do.

Oh, believe me (omgzorz, can't not 2 b-leve govmt mans!!11!), we know that well.

There was more to it than that, but I decided to delete it all and just leave it with this: the internal disciplinary system works and, because of that, there's at least one less abusive screener in the ranks.

CBGB said...

unfortunately hsvtso, one less means theres at least one left. If the internal discipline was efficient, enforced, and good there would be none.

Anonymous said...

Take it from someone who knows firsthand. If any TSA officer brings a gun to work be it loaded or unloaded, on purpose or by accident. He/She will be arrested just like any passenger and terminated from further employment!!

trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...
Take it from someone who knows firsthand. If any TSA officer brings a gun to work be it loaded or unloaded, on purpose or by accident. He/She will be arrested just like any passenger and terminated from further employment!!


Really? Then why is Mr. Crabtree still working?

Anonymous said...

well Trollkiller, it would really depend on what your definition of "take to work" is. LOL

CBGB said...

and your definition of arrested! It seems the TSA (as shown by the blog and the TSO's posting their personal interpretations here) don't know their own policies on that, so how can we expect better on their internal ones...

Anonymous said...

trollkiller said...
Anonymous said...
Take it from someone who knows firsthand. If any TSA officer brings a gun to work be it loaded or unloaded, on purpose or by accident. He/She will be arrested just like any passenger and terminated from further employment!!


Really? Then why is Mr. Crabtree still working?

___________________________________

My guess is whoever posted this is only speaking for their airport and the laws of that city, airport police authority, and/or state.

You got to remember....a little knowledge...a little karate...both can be a hazard to the owner.

Anonymous said...

Responding to - a Pi**ed Off Passenger said...
Tell us about the Federal Flight Deck Officer who fired off a round in the cockpit last month???!!!!

___________________________________
What do you want to know? Here is my 2 cents . He was carring a weapon which he is to unlock prior to any taxieing of the AC and re-lock only once there is no movement. I do not believe he followed the procedures and/or rules but I am sure that they FFDOs do not like not being able to carry as a LEO and I am sure they have been well schooled about the issue with the lock and the holster. The way I see it someone failed to follow the procedure, an accidential discharge occured, and they wish it to someone elses fault. The issued weapon alsoo has about 12 lbs of trigger pull which I assure you is a lot but then again, not if you are doing it as you bounce along the runway.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said...
Anonymous said...

Now I know that all weapons are loaded but you must know that even though you have learned this from a child there is lawyer out there that will argue the point and win. So at least, from a legal definition, there are "unloaded" weapons. I also agree with you that I would have fired him so hopefully my competency is a little better now, I also am not a TSO. Have fun, and happy blogging.

When it comes to bringing a gun into a airport secure area, there is no legal difference between loaded and unloaded.

__________________________________

Trollkiller - You really should FOIA and find out just how wrong you are. There is a $ attached to requesting the data but I think if you requested FOIA on the number of firearms at checkpoints nationwide from say DEC 2002 to present you would fall out of your chair. Then look at how many were arrested and be prepped to fall again. Little things like the state and local laws, was it loaded, if so was a round chambered....all figure into the equation of just what happens and if a local DA or the Federal Procicuter will take the case. In some cases the individual may just get a civil penality under CFR 1540.

In some states, such as Colorado, the individual is able to walk around with the gun on his hip. I do not know if there are any airport specific laws at DEN but I can tell you with full confidence that a hand gun at the airport is not breaking laws in some states and locations but would be a violation of federal regulations.

An interesting look would be compare Ragan National and Dalles Fort Worth. I think you will find a bunch of NYC Port Authority arrests at JFK and a bunch of "they have a CCW, go put it in you car or something and don't do that again" in Dallas. We are 50 states but we are certinly not uniform in the laws.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said...
Talk about a good Saturday, I got a nap, watched a race, had a great dinner, spent time with the family and just had some Fren-- I mean Freedom Toast. It may take me a few to get up to my normal level of grumpy.

anonymous said...

to the best of my knowledge the TSA has not placed one passenger under arrest for anything.

Depending on where it was that whatever happened it is the discretion of the local law enforcement to cite, arrest, detain, or simply ignore.

ar·rest (ə-rĕst')

1. To stop; check: a brake that automatically arrests motion
2. To seize and hold under the authority of law.
3. To capture and hold briefly

An arrest may occur (1) by the touching or putting hands on the arrestee; (2) by any act that indicates an intention to take the arrestee into custody and that subjects the arrestee to the actual control and will of the person making the arrest; or (3) by the consent of the person to be arrested. There is no arrest where there is no restraint, and the restraint must be under real or pretended legal authority. However, the detention of a person need not be accompanied by formal words of arrest or a station house booking to constitute an arrest.

The test used to determine whether an arrest took place in a particular case is objective, and it turns on whether a reasonable person under these circumstances would believe he or she was restrained or free to go.
excert from the full legal definition at TheFreeDictionary.com

If a TSO holds someone to turn them over to a LEO, the TSO has in fact made the arrest. The traveler being held for a violation is NOT free to leave.

I think what you mean to say is the TSA has never charged someone with a crime.

__________________________________

You spend too much time watching CSI - The reality is we have reimburseable agreements at nearly every airport and officers at the screening locations. So, we don't "hold" anyone. If you were asked to wait and said no a TSO would not / could not physically prevent you from it. However, the local LEO and video will more often than not allow the LEO to locate you. So again, you may want to split hairs but but I think you would be hard pressed to try and make the claim for a false arresst, detainment, or imprisonment based on TSA asking you to wait while they summons a LEO. Now you might say they have your travel docs but you could still run /walk away, at least from the TSA.

trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller - You really should FOIA and find out just how wrong you are. There is a $ attached to requesting the data but I think if you requested FOIA on the number of firearms at checkpoints nationwide from say DEC 2002 to present you would fall out of your chair. Then look at how many were arrested and be prepped to fall again. Little things like the state and local laws, was it loaded, if so was a round chambered....all figure into the equation of just what happens and if a local DA or the Federal Procicuter will take the case. In some cases the individual may just get a civil penality under CFR 1540.

In some states, such as Colorado, the individual is able to walk around with the gun on his hip. I do not know if there are any airport specific laws at DEN but I can tell you with full confidence that a hand gun at the airport is not breaking laws in some states and locations but would be a violation of federal regulations.

An interesting look would be compare Ragan National and Dalles Fort Worth. I think you will find a bunch of NYC Port Authority arrests at JFK and a bunch of "they have a CCW, go put it in you car or something and don't do that again" in Dallas. We are 50 states but we are certinly not uniform in the laws.


I guess you are having a hard time comprehending what I wrote. Let me try it again.

Loaded or unloaded a gun is considered a weapon and there is NO distinction under Federal law between the two. I am not worried about States laws because they take a backseat to the Federal law when dealing with sterile areas at the airport and aircraft.

It does not matter if a procecuter decides to take the case or not. What I wrote is true.

Title 49 C.F.R. § 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals.

§ 1540.111 Carriage of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries by individuals.

(a) On an individual's person or accessible property—prohibitions. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, an individual may not have a weapon, explosive, or incendiary, on or about the individual's person or accessible property—

(1) When performance has begun of the inspection of the individual's person or accessible property before entering a sterile area, or before boarding an aircraft for which screening is conducted under §1544.201 or §1546.201 of this chapter;

(2) When the individual is entering or in a sterile area; or

(3) When the individual is attempting to board or onboard an aircraft for which screening is conducted under §§1544.201, 1546.201, or 1562.23 of this chapter.

TITLE 49 > SUBTITLE VII > PART A > subpart iv > CHAPTER 465 > § 46505

(a) Definition.— In this section, “loaded firearm” means a starter gun or a weapon designed or converted to expel a projectile through an explosive, that has a cartridge, a detonator, or powder in the chamber, magazine, cylinder, or clip.

(b) General Criminal Penalty.— An individual shall be fined under title 18, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both, if the individual—

(1) when on, or attempting to get on, an aircraft in, or intended for operation in, air transportation or intrastate air transportation, has on or about the individual or the property of the individual a concealed dangerous weapon that is or would be accessible to the individual in flight;

(2) has placed, attempted to place, or attempted to have placed a loaded firearm on that aircraft in property not accessible to passengers in flight; or

(3) has on or about the individual, or has placed, attempted to place, or attempted to have placed on that aircraft, an explosive or incendiary device.

As you can plainly see the ONLY time that a loaded firearm is mentioned is in the section dealing with placing one in your CHECKED bag. Loaded or unloaded a gun is legally the same when it comes to bringing one to a sterile area.

To help you understand why most of the time a civil charge is pressed instead of a criminal charge you have to understand the difference between the two. In a civil trial you only need a preponderance of the evidence to find guilt. In a criminal case you need to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Preponderance of the evidence is a lighter burden to prove. Take a speeding ticket (civil), usually the cop’s word alone (preponderance of the evidence) is enough to gain a conviction. Contrast that to a criminal trial where you not only have to prove the person did it but prove they intended to do it.

Trying to convict someone (criminal) of bringing a weapon through security at the airport means you would have to prove

1) they knew they had the weapon

2) they intentionally tried to bring the weapon through security

3) they knew that bringing the weapon was against the law. (or that a reasonable person would know that it was not the right thing to do.)

As you can see the burden is a lot tighter in a criminal case. (if it is done right)

In the case of the TSO in Denver, I think a competent lawyer would make proving intent difficult. That is one of the reasons I don’t think he should have been charged.

Anonymous said...

The screener will always get the short end. At LAX the training manager has a gun on her wall from the movie scar face with a picture from the movie. What a statement for the government to make, drugs, guns and money. Will something be done with her? I don’t think so.

trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

You spend too much time watching CSI - The reality is we have reimburseable agreements at nearly every airport and officers at the screening locations. So, we don't "hold" anyone. If you were asked to wait and said no a TSO would not / could not physically prevent you from it. However, the local LEO and video will more often than not allow the LEO to locate you. So again, you may want to split hairs but but I think you would be hard pressed to try and make the claim for a false arresst, detainment, or imprisonment based on TSA asking you to wait while they summons a LEO. Now you might say they have your travel docs but you could still run /walk away, at least from the TSA.


Happy to say CSI is not on my TV rotation. Monk is more to my liking.

You will need to explain what you mean by "reimburseable agreements", I did a search for it but only found references to monetary reimbursement of expenses to airports and employees. Maybe you picked the wrong words.

You are placing to much emphasis to physically holding someone. If you read the definition or took time to look at the link I provided you would see that placing hands on someone is not necessary to an arrest.

Look at this again.

2)by any act that indicates an intention to take the arrestee into custody and that subjects the arrestee to the actual control and will of the person making the arrest;

Now the important part the TEST.

The test used to determine whether an arrest took place in a particular case is objective, and it turns on whether a reasonable person under these circumstances would believe he or she was restrained or free to go.

A reasonable person would not feel they are free to leave for several reasons.

1) A pretend LEO told them to stay. Screeners are called Transportation Security OFFICERS. The word OFFICER in most people's mind is a person in LEGAL authority. The use of a uniform, badge and being employed by a Federal agency with the capability to fine a citizen enhances the TSO's "legal authority".

2) A TSO has REAL authority at the checkpoint. The TSOs decide what is allowed on the airplane and what is not. The TSOs direct travelers to lanes and they command passengers to perform tasks that the passenger must perform or face legal sanctions. (interfering with a screening is a crime)

3) Current case law supports the fact that once a screening has begun, the traveler is NOT free to leave. (United States v. Aukai)

All the criteria for arrest has been met. You have restraint; the traveler can not leave until you release them. The restraint is under real or pretend legal authority.

You have the arrestee under the control or will of the TSO. The control started once they walked through a metal detector or placed carry on to be x-rayed.

And a reasonable person would not feel they were free to leave, because in fact they are not free to walk away. Article with a link to the United States v. Aukai decision.

Ta-Da, for my next trick watch me saw a lady in half.

Anonymous said...

She has a "Scarface" gun in her office because it demsonstrates the crazy things our TSOs find at the checkpoint, guns included. It's not a keepsake, it's a reminder to our workforce to be on the lookout for any item in any place, like a commemorative "Scarface" collectible. The item was actually found at LAX.

Anonymous said...

re: Anonymous said...
She has a "Scarface" gun in her office because it demsonstrates the crazy things our TSOs find at the checkpoint, guns included. It's not a keepsake, it's a reminder to our workforce to be on the lookout for any item in any place, like a commemorative "Scarface" collectible. The item was actually found at LAX.

May 7, 2008 9:43 AM


Are you saying that the TSO in question kept an item that was confiscated at a check point?

Isn't that against TSA SOP?

Has this TSO been charged with theft?

Anonymous said...

No, what I am saying is that often times we use items voluntarily abandoned at checkpoints to asist in training, hence, the item in question is in the training office.

Dunstan said...

"Anonymous said...

She has a "Scarface" gun in her office because it demsonstrates the crazy things our TSOs find at the checkpoint, guns included. It's not a keepsake, it's a reminder to our workforce to be on the lookout for any item in any place, like a commemorative "Scarface" collectible. The item was actually found at LAX."

Sounds like a memento to me. If it gets packed with her stuff and displayed in her next office it really is suspect. Why doesn't she return it to the owner? It is after all a movie prop, and may have meaning to the original owner. As a federal employee it could be probelmatic for her in the future.

Anonymous said...

"At LAX the training manager has a gun on her wall..."

"The item was actually found at LAX."

Was the weapon operational when conficated?

Is it still operational or is it/was it just a prop?

Is all the paperwork in order?

,>)

T. Saint

Anonymous said...

RE: No, what I am saying is that often times we use items voluntarily abandoned at checkpoints to asist in training, hence, the item in question is in the training office.

May 7, 2008 12:40 PM

..........................
It has been stated many times in this blog that TSA does not keep any of the confiscated items.

So now your telling us that thats not quiet true.

What procedure is used to keep some item to be used as a training aid? Was this item documented as being retained for training purposes or did the trainer just keep it?

The truth of the matter is that TSA does keep some items confiscated at the check points!

Anonymous said...

"No, what I am saying is that often times we use items voluntarily abandoned at checkpoints to asist in training, hence, the item in question is in the training office.....

But her office is not the training room, its her office..

Anonymous said...

Trollkiloer said - I guess you are having a hard time comprehending what I wrote. Let me try it again.

__________________________________
Again, no , I fully understand your point but regardless of this law school debate the reality is seldom does the US Attorney take any of these cases so almost ALWAYS if anything is done it is done by the local LEO under local / state law. So while I agree with your research of the CFRs it is a no go when looking at how it is really handled.

Although it is a big deal here regarding the TSO or maybe elsewhere regarding a passenger the US Attor. has bigger fish to fry I guess so declines to get involved. All that leaves you is a NOV (Notice of Violation) which is done under the CFR 1540.

So - yes I hear you but the federal laws seem to be seldom used. Kind of like desertion under fire in a time of war. It may still be on the books (UCMJ) but when was the last time they shot anyone for it?

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller said - You will need to explain what you mean by "reimburseable agreements", I did a search for it but only found references to monetary reimbursement of expenses to airports and employees. Maybe you picked the wrong words.

You are placing to much emphasis to physically holding someone. If you read the definition or took time to look at the link I provided you would see that placing hands on someone is not necessary to an arrest.

Reimburseable Agreements - No, correct words. They agreements between TSA and a Law Enforcement Authority / Airport Authority that they will provide LEO response to the checkpoints and TSA will reimburse the cost of this on site LEO back to the respective department. The $ amounts are set on an area average and the agreements are much less expensive than the iniitial thought of having federal LEOs all over. Some airports have them and some have other solutions.

Regarding your other, you again are trying a law school debate but likely a waste of clients dollars if taken to a real world court. Hell man, maybe you should jump on this and go for it. I think it is an interesting argument but very unlikely to have any traction. Also, your chioce of drink - that stuff will kill you! As you age your tast in alchol will also improve. Remember, don't drink and drive

Anonymous said...

No, what I am saying is that often times we use items voluntarily abandoned at checkpoints to asist in training, hence, the item in question is in the training office.

May 7, 2008 12:40 PM

So what your really saying is that she stole the item.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
No, what I am saying is that often times we use items voluntarily abandoned at checkpoints to asist in training, hence, the item in question is in the training office.

May 7, 2008 12:40 PM

Can you tell us where the item came from before it was on her wall or was it a gift from another manager cleaning out his office?

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us where the item came from before it was on her wall .....?

From an earlier post,

The item was actually found at LAX.

May 7, 2008 9:43 AM


In other words the TSO retained an item of contraband.

The question remains was proper procedure followed or did the TSO steal the item?

I would think something like this would be an inventory item.

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller do you even fly? If you do you must make all these blog entries via a laptop.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Reimburseable Agreements - No, correct words. They agreements between TSA and a Law Enforcement Authority / Airport Authority that they will provide LEO response to the checkpoints and TSA will reimburse the cost of this on site LEO back to the respective department. The $ amounts are set on an area average and the agreements are much less expensive than the iniitial thought of having federal LEOs all over. Some airports have them and some have other solutions.

Regarding your other, you again are trying a law school debate but likely a waste of clients dollars if taken to a real world court. Hell man, maybe you should jump on this and go for it. I think it is an interesting argument but very unlikely to have any traction. Also, your chioce of drink - that stuff will kill you! As you age your tast in alchol will also improve. Remember, don't drink and drive


I don't drink often enough to improve my taste in alcohol. When I do drink I am looking for a hard buzz, so I only drink at home and never never never get behind the wheel even after one drink.

Paying local law enforcement to me is just silly but I guess in the over all picture it is cheaper to have the local entity pursue the case. All though that seems contrary to the whole "To be professional it has to be Federal" concept.

As for the law school debates, you are right there is the real world of cost vs. benefit that one has to consider when pursuing a case, but there is also the real world reality that the Government has a tendency to overreach its authority until it is reined in by the courts.

The D.C. gun law jumps to mind. that took 30 years to get overturned.

I think the mindset in the Government is similar to someone selling something. You start high with your price so you can settle "low".

If we allow any Government entity to go unchecked we will find it harder to have their powers curtailed.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Trollkiller do you even fly? If you do you must make all these blog entries via a laptop.


I will be sure to wear my "I am the Trollkiller" shirt the next time I fly so you can spot me.

Anonymous said...

As for the law school debates, you are right there is the real world of cost vs. benefit that one has to consider when pursuing a case, but there is also the real world reality that the Government has a tendency to overreach its authority until it is reined in by the courts.

Trollkiller said - The D.C. gun law jumps to mind. that took 30 years to get overturned.

I think the mindset in the Government is similar to someone selling something. You start high with your price so you can settle "low".

_________________________________

Have to agree with the DC gun law comment and a few other cities to. The problem with a lot of this is it would be wonderful to just lay the cards down and show everyone, but it would be foolish from a security standpoint. So while I may not always like it I to must at times say "trust me". Regardless of the reasons or realities many are many on here who likely are still chasing Roswell and Area -51 so why should I expect them to believe something of today and now.

In the long run maybe we would all be better off if aliens did land, at least we would have something most would agree was an issue. Keep Blogging and I'll keep a look out for youe shirt.

Trollkiller said...

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the DC gun law comment and a few other cities to. The problem with a lot of this is it would be wonderful to just lay the cards down and show everyone, but it would be foolish from a security standpoint. So while I may not always like it I to must at times say "trust me". Regardless of the reasons or realities many are many on here who likely are still chasing Roswell and Area -51 so why should I expect them to believe something of today and now.

In the long run maybe we would all be better off if aliens did land, at least we would have something most would agree was an issue. Keep Blogging and I'll keep a look out for youe shirt.


Where do you think the technology for the SR71 came from or Velcro? Didn't you watch Men In Black or Independence Day?

Seriously, when it comes to the TSA not showing its cards in no way compares to the military not showing real secrets.

The TSA is not in the business of intelligence or product development, it is in the security guard business. The secrets it hides are only to cover flaws in its system.

We have a right to know where the flaws are so that they can be plugged. Kip just asked for an extra fifty cents from every ticket to buy puffer machines. How can I support that if I don't know we need puffer machines?

The secrets the TSA hides only keeps the stupid people from finding them.

Anonymous said...

I would like to strongly suggest that you post on your website that proper ID needs to have an EXPIRATION DATE on it. I had a state ID card that does not have an expiration date and I had to go through the extended security just because of that. I didn't take my passport because I was flying domestic and shouldn't have needed it.
I read your site before flying and did not see that ID had to have an expiration date on it. I felt like a criminal being patted down at the airport for doing nothing wrong.
One very unhappy flyer

Anonymous said...

So why does he still have a job?

urbancamper said...

Actually, there are 3 sides to every story. His side, your side and what really did happen.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the flight deck officer that discharged his weapon in the aircraft...according to a local Seattle newspaper this flight deck officer was fired.

Anonymous said...

Passenger innocently brings a gun through the checkpoint and gets fined. I doubt that the TSO got fined.

sewimsiz said...

I want to thank you for this post.

I had begun to suspect that the whole TSA blog was just a smokescreen; something done to give the appearance of communication without any real desire for a real dialog with the traveling public.

Now you have confirmed my suspicions. It will be easier to continue reading posts here for the entertainment value without the delusion that TSA has any intention of improving either its public image or its thuggish behavior. sohbet

Thanks for clearing things up.