Skip to comments.'This Is Not Right'
Posted on 06/19/2007 8:23:37 PM PDT by FreedomCalls
DES MOINES - Cecilia Beaman is a 57-year-old grandmother, a principal at Pacific Middle School in Des Moines, and as of Sunday is also a suspected terrorist. "This is not right," she told us. It's not right!"
This past weekend she and several other chaperones took 37 middle school students to a Heritage Festival band competition in California. The trip included two days at Disneyland.
During the stay she made sandwiches for the kids and was careful to pack the knives she used to prepare those sandwiches in her checked luggage. She says she even alerted security screeners that the knives were in her checked bags and they told her that was OK.
But Beaman says she couldn't find a third knife. It was a 5 1/2 inch bread knife with a rounded tip and a serrated edge. She thought she might have lost or misplaced it during the trip.
On the trip home, screeners with the Transportation Security Administration at Los Angeles International Airport found it deep in the outside pocket of a carry-on cooler. Beaman apologized and told them it was a mistake.
"You've committed a felony," Beaman says a security screener announced. "And you're considered a terrorist."
Beaman says she was told her name would go on a terrorist watch-list and that she would have to pay a $500 fine.
"I'm a 57-year-old woman who is taking care of 37 kids," she told them. "I'm not gonna commit a terrorist act." Beaman says they took information from her Washington drivers license and confiscated and photographed the knife according to standard operating procedure.
She says screeners refused to give her paperwork or documentation of her violation, documentation of the pending fine, or a copy of the photograph of the knife.
"They said 'no' and they said it's a national security issue. And I said what about my constitutional rights? And they said 'not at this point ... you don't have any'."
KOMO News did reach a spokesperson with the Transportation Security Administration for comment. They said they did not have record of Beaman's confrontation but did admit that TSA screeners are, by design, becoming more strict.
Despite continued warnings to passengers, TSA screeners say travelers continue to bring banned items in their carry-on luggage. Knives, guns, and other weapons are found and confiscated daily.
Fines issued for knives and other sharp objects range from $250 to $1,500. Fines issued for firearms discovered in carry-on luggage range from $1,500 to $7,500.
The TSA web site also indicates firearms violations will be referred for potential criminal prosecution. The same site does not propose the same criminal referral for knives like the one Cecilia Beaman was carrying.
"This is not the way my country should be treating me," she said. My concern is that if that's the way they're treating American citizens I would hate to think how they're treating other people. It's crazy."
The TSA reminds travelers that is has the authority to impose civil penalties up to $10,000 per violation.
"TSA needs the help of the traveling public in reducing the number of prohibited items brought to airport screening checkpoints," reads the Sanction Guidelines section of the TSA web site. "TSA recognizes that most passengers who carry prohibited items do so without any ill intent. TSA does not impose fines on the vast number of passengers who inadvertently carry prohibited items. Dealing with any prohibited item, however, adds time to the screening process both for the traveler who brought the item and for other travelers as well."
You can find a complete list of banned items, range of fines levied for violations, and information on how to plead your case with the TSA at www.tsa.gov.
Gun found in congressman's carry-on bagThere seem to be two sets of laws in this country -- one for the well-connected and one for the rest of us.
The congressman said he did not know the gun was in his bag and apologized, the official said.
"He was pulled aside and questioned," and then was allowed to take a different flight, Jahr said, adding that he didn't know if the gun was confiscated.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
TSA should be passing out knives to passengers as they board. An armed flight is a peaceful flight. Let’s Roll!
Oh, they're getting along just fine, thanks to the lobbying of their victim-rights groups.
The real two Americas.
A friend of mine flew out of LAX a year ago and ran into trouble. His buddy had borrowed his leatherman and had put it in his rucksack instead of his A3 bag.
All the screener did was confiscate it. They let him keep the case...
It’s time to get rid of the dept. of homeland securiity and the tsa. We aren’t any safer because these clowns are working at the airports, but we do have another Federal Bureaucracy draining our wallets.
Yet another reason not to fly the friendly skies.
You can’t carry a butter knife on a plane but if you sit in first class, the airline will provide you with a steak knife.
The 9-11 hijackers sat in first class, by the way.
He might be interested in this article:
Confiscated Airline Contraband Shows Up on eBay
In recent years, air passengers in the United States have surrendered more than seven million items, such as small knives and scissors, to Transportation Security Administration officials, who are trying to keep terrorists from bringing dangerous items on board airplanes. Some of these items are showing up for sale to the highest bidder, on the auction website eBay.
She had better pray that Johnny Sutton ,Fitzgerald or Nifong isnt the prosecutor. This could turn into a capitol crime.
That has always been the case.
It is a shame there is no common sense applied in these matters.
Disband the TSA. Its all security theater anyway.
Meanwhile we let thousands of people (many of them dangerous, some of them certainly terrorists), waltz over the southern border every day.
This the government protecting the country? Stinking Keystone Cops. Can’t be very intimidating to terrorists.
Confiscated it for personal use.
Last year coming back from Florida (including Disney World) I did the same thing (couldn’t find my leatherman -like knife). They asked about my carry-on and were going to search it and asked if there was anything sharp inside.
“OOHHHH - THAT’s where I left it!” i said. (Still took awhile to find the right pocket that it was zipped up in!).
I figured it was a goner but not too upset as it was a knock-off. But the guy said there was a mail office just down the hall and I could mail it home. My wife and kids are waiting “on the other side” and it wasn’t that expensive and I was going to just give it to the guy, but he was real nice and kept saying I had time for my flight, it’s easy to mail, etc.
So I mailed it and came back through again with smiles all around. Small airport though. And the guy with the TSA and I are about the same demographic!
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