Fake TSA screener infiltrates SFO checkpoint, gropes women


He was allegedly drunk, and had at least two victims before SFO's crackerjack private aviation security outfit, Covenant, noticed (they're the same ones who smashed my brand new camera some years ago and refused to take responsibility for it).

Because all his victims had already flown by the time anyone noticed that the guy in khakis, a blue polo, and blue gloves who'd been steering women into the private screening booth wasn't actually airport security, they can't charge him with anything except being drunk in public. Meanwhile, the woman travellers whom America has systematically trained to defer to aviation authority or face brutal punishments apparently didn't notice anything amiss.

Fake screener probes passengers at SFO [Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross/SF Gate] (Thanks, Steve!)

(Image: another found object from the hood , Paul Joseph, CC-BY)

Notable Replies

  1. Wait, what? At a heavily surveilled checkpoint where the identity of everyone going through is verified and recorded, and presumably the whole incident is on timestamped video from multiple angles, they can't find complaining witnesses because they got on a plane somewhere?

    So, like, I can commit any kind of crimes I want to in an airport as long as I make sure my victims board their flight?

  2. That, and makes sure your ID card isn't from the District of Columbia.

  3. What depresses me is, even if they found one of his victims, I don't see how they can charge him with Sexual Assault, since the entire defense of why what "legitimate" screeners are doing isn't also sexual assault is that people entering that area have consented to the search. They arn't, after all, actual LEO's, if something comes up, they have to summon the "real" authorities, after all, so, they've got no law enforcement or other protection to hide behind, they are ordinary citizens in funny clothes and blue gloves that you allow a sexual assault from.

    They could get him for impersonation, sure, but they can do that now, without one of his victims. But the depressing fact is, we don't question, and in fact, seem to have no right to question, people in a particular space wearing a particular set of clothing, when they ask to sexually assault us. And once you take our ability to do anything but consent, how is his action any different from that of the other "screeners"? That he got off on it? I'd be willing to bet that at least some of the TSA types do to. That it serves no legitimate security purpose? That differentiates it from the "legitimate" searches how? This guy's crime is a needle in a stack of needles.

  4. Fang says:

    If anyone can walk in and take over as a screener (even whilst drunk), then this rather points out the pointlessness of TSA's security screens, doesn't it?

  5. Funny how the national narrative of "Land of the free, Home of the brave" clashes with the reality of docility through authoritarian pavlovian conditioning. But that's no TSA phenomenon - I always wondered why the US has one of the most authoritarian police forces of all western democracies.

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