Friday, November 13, 2009

TSA Changes Policies After Detaining Ron Paul Follower at Lambert Field

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 8:18 AM

Bierfeldt - CAMPAIGNFORLIBERTY.COM
  • campaignforliberty.com
  • Bierfeldt
Remember the case of Steve Bierfeldt?

If you answered no, you're not reading enough Libertarian blogs. Let us quickly recap...

Bierfeldt is the development director for presidential candidate Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty. He was in the St. Louis airport back in April when Transportation and Safety Administration officials found $4,700 in cash in his luggage and detained him for questioning.

When Bierfeldt refused to answer their inquiries, TSA officials responded: "Are you from this planet?" and "You want to play smartass, and I'm not going to play your fucking game."

Bierfeldt recorded the conversation on his iPhone and used the threats to sue the TSA on charges of violating his civil liberties. Bierfeldt (who was being represented by the ACLU) has now dropped his lawsuit after the TSA agreed to change its policies.

From Wednesday's Washington Times:
The new rules, issued in September and October, tell officers "screening may not be conducted to detect evidence of crimes unrelated to transportation security" and that large amounts of cash don't qualify as suspicious for purposes of safety.

"We had been hearing of so many reports of TSA screeners engaging in wide-ranging fishing expeditions for illegal activities," said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer for the ACLU, pointing to reports of officers scanning pill-bottle labels to see whether the passenger was the person who obtained the prescription as one example.
He said screeners get a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches, strictly to keep weapons and explosives off planes, not to help police enforce other laws.


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