|“Liberty Groped” – Anthony Freda|
Ethan A. Huff
Aaron B. Tobey, a 21-year-old University of Cincinnati (UC) student from Charlottesville, Va., is one heroic young man that is unwilling to roll over and have his personal and constitutional rights violated by the illegal US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Recent reports indicate that following his illegal detainment at Richmond International Airport (RIA) back on December 30, 2010, Tobey is now pressing charges against both the federal government and RIA for violating his protected rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution.
The First Amendment, as most people are already aware, protects freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble, while the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Fifth Amendment guards against government abuse during legal procedures, and the 14th Amendment contains the Due Process Clause that prohibits the government from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness.
The TSA, of course, violates all of these with its excessive and illegal airport security protocols, which involve searches and seizures without warrant or probable cause, abuse by government agents, and the deprivation of individual liberty through invasion of personal privacy and confiscation of personal property. And when Tobey decided to peacefully protest these violations by stripping down to his boxer shorts in the security line, revealing messages about them in large letters on his chest and torso, TSA agents and airport security harassed him, stole his personal property, and detained him for hours without probable cause.
Anand Agneshwar, the attorney representing Tobey, stated that TSA agents and airport security officials “humiliated and punished [Tobey] in direct retaliation for his protected act of peaceful protest, detaining and arresting him without probable cause, repeatedly searching his belongings, (and) seizing and discarding certain of his personal effects.”
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Tobey’s lawsuit against both RIA and the TSA alleges false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and violation of Tobey’s rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, and 14th Amendments. He is seeking $250,000 in compensatory damages, legal fees, and additional training for TSA agents.
You can watch surveillance footage of the TSA and airport security abuses against Tobey here:
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