Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Cop, Veteran, US Citizen don't mean nothing
Not to the thugs being hired to handle customs these days. One such person, a New York police officer, Army veteran and citizen of the US found himself detained for hours by the ignorant thugs hired these days by US Customs as he returned from a post deployment vacation overseas. His crime was being Muslim.
Syed Ali is an American citizen, an officer in the New York Police Department, a combat veteran and a major in the United States Army Reserve. But none of that made a difference at passport control last month when he arrived at Kennedy Airport on an evening flight from Istanbul.With Trump detaining citizens and passing secrets to the Russians, I have to say I haven't felt this safe in years!
After landing, Officer Ali was led from passport control to a holding area for what Customs and Border Protection refers to as secondary screening. But instead of a quick check to confirm his identity, Officer Ali said, he was held for hours, past midnight. When he asked, after more than an hour of waiting, whether it would take much longer, an officer threatened to incarcerate him, he said.
“If you can’t sit patiently, I can gain compliance from you by putting you in a detainment cell,” he recalled a Customs and Border Protection officer’s telling him.
“I feel like my rights were violated,” Officer Ali said in an interview, still sounding a little shaken. “Are you telling me that every guy with the last name Ali is a terrorist? Are you telling me every guy with brown skin coming in from overseas is a terrorist?”
Officer Ali’s trip was part of a vacation to decompress after a two-year military deployment to Kuwait, where he had served in Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission to combat the Islamic State. In September, he is scheduled to return to his regular job with the Police Department, where he most recently worked in the transit unit.
Officer Ali is one of a number of Muslim Americans who have complained that since the start of the Trump administration they have been subjected to additional scrutiny when returning from abroad, facing hours in airport custody and what they described as hostile questioning. A retired North Carolina police chief, Hassan Aden, recounted an experience similar to Officer Ali’s, also at J.F.K., in March.
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