Captain removing SS agent from aircraft

njcapt

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Thank you for posting this difinitive information. I have been frustrated by the lack of solid information in the media about this story, and have been unable to make an informed decision of how I feel about it.

I saw the agent's lawyer on CNN yesterday, ranting about how this was a racial discrimination case, not a security issue. What horsesh*t. Given what I now know about the issue from the reports of the people involved, I am stunned that this agent has persued this matter in the media.

Even more disturbing is the reaction from his boss, the commander in chief, who has backed this race baiting doofus without hearing the whole story. He, who has instituted largely useless security measures that institutionalizes the harrassment of working crew members, has the clueless gall to criticize one of those crew members when they enforce the rules his administration has mandated.

I sincerely hope that the media stays interested in this story long enough that all the administration people involved have the opportunity to have their faces rubbed in their own waste over this.
 

bobbysamd

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The Straight Skinny

Great post of the AA flack (flack is newsroom jargon for a news release :) ).

When I worked in radio I had a boss who was conservative and who criticized the media as the "liberal press." I thought that he didn't know what he was talking about. Well, maybe he did. I haven't heard that many news reports about this incident, but those I've heard have emphasized the "racial profiling" aspect.

Once again, the Secret Service man blew it by preparing inaccurate paperwork and blowing his cool. Do we want such people guarding the President? I don't.
 
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Cornelius

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If you have the chance to watch an interview with one of the attotneys representing the SS agent, you will be blown away. Everything AMR claims happened, the attorneys say it didn't, like the SS agent being abusive, paperwork out of wack, and so on.

I loved it when the attorney mentioned 3 TIMES that the AA captain was, "UNTRAINED."
 

Crabtree

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my opinion

OK, maybe I am way out of line here considering I am have not gone to flight school yet...BUT Based on the information presented, I think the Capt. made the right choice. First off, The man was given 3 chances to fill out the same paper. If he cant get it right by the 3rd time and there is differences in the 3 times, that would present some doubt. On top of that he seemed to get huffy when the Capt. questioned him. This would be enough to me to to kick him off the plane, especially with everyone the Capt spoke, with backing him up. After all, if he works for USSS, paying attention to small details should be second nature to him.

As far as a previous comment made about "no dangerous prisoners being transported on airplanes, hence no LEO should carry guns onboard" I think this is way past the extreme. I think there are plenty of dangerous prisoners transported on board. Maybe it is just not advertised. After all if you worked for a Law Enforcement Agency in say KY, and an Agency apprehended the person in FL, which would you choose, to drive 15 hours with this guy sitting behind you in a car, or a short flight where you can watch him closely. Not to mention, I believe there are a lot of LEO that have enough common sense not to fire their weapon on board, but due to location maybe they might have a long ride to get to or from the airport.

If there is going to be such a concern about firearms on board, perhaps it wouldn't hurt to have lock boxes on board for this type of situation. (Lock box for the gun not the huffy SS agent)

Ohwell, this is my opinion. If explains anything, I have worked for the Sheriff Dept. for almost 4 years. And for the record I have never transported on board an airplane.
 

1900laker

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Lockbox, Lockbox...

I knew that Al Gore would finally have one of his policies go through. LOL .. Sorry, couldn't resist.
 

Skywalker

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Where's Fulcrum now with his "stupid hillbilly" comments...
 

135fr8r

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A couple quick questions.

First, if this guy had presidential business in Texas, why was he not traveling with ole George himself in Airforce One.
Second, if he wasn't anywhere near the Pres. and needed transport to do his duties, Aren't there government Lears and Gulfstreams(etc.) which are used for this purpose?
Why did thy have to put him on AA?
 

avbug

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For the same reason that an airline doesn't send a lear for each captain to commute to work. The man had a detail assignment, and was going there. An airline ticket at six hundred bucks is cheaper than a lear at eighteen hundred bucks an hour. Considering the thousands of government employees moving at any one time, there aren't enough aircraft to transport them, and the cost would be staggering.

Further, public use aircraft will not be used when other means of commercial transport is available, except for specific circumstances when necessary.
 

ifly4food

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A better question is if he was just "commuting" to work and not actively protecting someone, why did he need to be armed? The rules are clear... a LEO can only be armed while on duty and if the duty requires it. They can't just carry "it" on because they have a badge, they are supposed to unload it and check it like eberyone else.
I wonder why no one has brought this up?
 

avbug

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This is a good point, and a good question. There are several ways to approach it, but I believe the most simple is that a LEO is always on duty. This is particularly the case with federal law enforcement.

Without altering the direction of the thread here (as apparently I'm wont to do), police officers in general are unique in that they are sworn to uphold the law. Period. Not during assigned duty hours, but period. This places a sworn officer in a different category than many other professions; even closer to soldier, or doctor in certain respects. Without digressing there, a law enforcement officer is obligated to respond to a crisis, and in order to do this, must have tools of the trade. Unfortunately in our society, the option of deadly force is an absolute necessity.

I believe there is little question here that the LEO acted inappropriately. His department head has already apologised for the man's behavior, lending official recognition to the fact that this man was in the wrong.

In this case, the carriage of the weapon on board was at the discretion of the Captain. The captain may have required the USSS agent to remove the weapon and check it, if appropriate means to secure the weapon were available. Admission to the passenger compartment with the weapon appears to have been an issue of generally accepted courtesy.

A longstanding issue in law enforcement has been the need for a national carry policy, especially for off-duty officers. This officer was on duty, it appears. Much like us, where travel not local in nature is part of a duty period, this officer was traveling to a detail. The specifics are not given, but it is not hard to conceive that short notice assignments to fill in, replace, or change plans may be given frequently. As a result, unforecast travel may occur. In such a case, an agent or officer on duty has little choice.

The incident was unfortunate, and hopefully isolated. Most LEO's (every one whom I know, or with whom I've worked) are very professional, just as flight crew members are very professional. One may always find a few "bad apples," just as one might in the cockpit.

I don't see the fact that the weapon was brought on board as being an issue. Rather, I see the fact that an agent prone to such public behavior being allowed to represent the government, as being an important issue deserving greater scrutiny.
 
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