Acting Like A Parent Is Now "Disorderly Conduct"
A mother in Nashville rightly refused to have her daughter groped by the TSA, writes Erin Quinn in the Tennessean:
A 41-year-old Clarksville woman was arrested after Nashville airport authorities say she was belligerent and verbally abusive to security officers, refusing for her daughter to be patted down at a security checkpoint.
Andrea Fornella Abbott yelled and swore at Transportation Security Administration agents Saturday afternoon at Nashville International Airport, saying she did not want her daughter to be "touched inappropriately or have her "crotch grabbed," a police report states.
After the woman refused to calm down, airport police said, she was charged with disorderly conduct and taken to jail. She has been released on bond.
Using profanity always gives people an excuse to dismiss what you're saying -- or jail you. The same goes for yelling. Dismissing you is their right, but jailing you? This shouldn't be. The Supreme Court said in Cohen v. California (the "fuck the draft" case) that sometimes the wrong words are precisely the right words to convey a message.
I don't know what this woman said, but "Don't fucking touch my daughter's vagina" sends a stronger message than, "I think screening a kid using what would otherwise be 'inappropriate touch' is really out of line."
Surprised that I'd say that as an author of a book on manners? Don't be. It isn't rude to be civilly disobedient. Quite the contrary. Civil disobedience is a call to make government and authorities act well-mannered -- in the sense that it is good civic manners to accord Americans all the rights granted us under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, including our Fourth Amendment rights.
via Lisa Simeone
UPDATE: Lisa Simeone emails a link to defense lawyer Mark Bennett's blog, noting:
Carolyn Piphus is the judge who signed off on the arrest affidavit for "disorderly conduct" against the Nashville mother Andrea Fornella Abbott.
Bennett blogs at Defending People, "Carolyn Piphus is a Fool":
(a) A person commits an offense who, in a public place and with intent to cause public annoyance or alarm:
(1) Engages in fighting or in violent or threatening behavior;
(2) Refuses to obey an official order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, hazard or other emergency; or
(3) Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) A person also violates this section who makes unreasonable noise that prevents others from carrying on lawful activities.
Tennessee Code 39-17-305.
Does this look like probable cause to you?:
Nashville Airport Arrest Affidavit (excerpt):On 07/09/2011 at approximately 1340 hrs I was dispatched to the central screening point at the Nashville International Airport for report of a passenger that was refusing screening. Upon my arrival,I made contact with the subject, identified as Andrea Abbott, who was involved in a verbal altercationwith TSA screening agents. Abbott was being verbally abusive toward the TSA agents stating her daughter would not be screened. I advised Abbott that she and her daughter would have to be screenedor they would be escorted by me out of the secured area of the airport. Abbott then became verballyabusive toward me as well as the TSA agents. Abbott stated she did not want her daughter to be"touched inappropriately," have her "crotch grabbed," or be further screened. Eventually Abbottagreed to allow her daughter to be screened by TSA. Abbott retrieved her cell phone and wasattempting to film her daughter being screened. I advised Abbott to put her cell phone away. Again,Abbott was verbally abusive. After her daughter was screened TSA advised Abbott would have to bescreened as well to continue down the concourse. Abbott stated this was "bullshit" and becameverbally abusive toward TSA and myself again. I advised Abbott numerous times she was disruptingthe screening process and flow of passengers through the area. Abbott refused to calm down. At thistime I placed Abbott under arrest for Disorderly Conduct (TCA 39-17-305). Ms. Abbot was loud inher speech and very belligerant therefore she was arrested for disorderly conduct.
From another one of Bennett's blog items -- about how his family drove around the East Coast rather than flying, and why that was the better way to get around, vis a vis the TSA searches (and what we need to do about them):
Fear is still the order of the day, the "whatever it takes" quislings are still running the show, and we're still expected to submit ourselves and our loved ones to the not-so-gentle ministrations of the mall-cop wannabes in the security line in order to get on a plane (or maybe a train, or a ferry, or a subway, or a bus...).
So was the additional risk of driving justified? You bet!
Our days of driving around the country free from TSA interference are limited, if many more people don't get off their complacent fear-raddled fat American butts and stand up for our shared freedom, but we'll keep enjoying these days while we can.