Man With 4th Amendment on Chest Sues Over Airport Arrest

Now here’s a brave, courageous act of “creative non-compliance” used to make a stand against TSA tyranny!! Acts like this is how we beat and tear down the Orwellian system, by using their own insane rules and regulations in a healthy, constructive and peaceful manner.

The second article notes that authorities probed into Aaron Tobey’s affiliation with any terrorist organizations, clearly indicating that making a political statement to defend our constitutional rights is being likened to acts of terrorism and anyone that commits such an act is a terrorist.

The real surprise here is that Aaron made the flight to his grandfathers funeral! Kudo’s to Aaron Tobey, a smart, passionate young man with a bright future ahead…we need more people with the courage and creative intelligence to stand in their power, to bring attention to the tyranny locking down what was once the greatest country in the free world.

Mar 15, 2011

Lauren FrayerLauren Frayer Contributor
A college student who was arrested for stripping down at airport security to reveal the Fourth Amendment written across his chest is now suing the U.S. government for violating his rights as ordained in — you guessed it — the Fourth Amendment.Aaron Tobey’s dramatic strip-protest is one of the latest in a series of stunts by American travelers fed up with airport security procedures some consider too invasive. A YouTube video of a California man’s airport security pat-down, in which he warns the agent not to “touch my junk,” went viral last year. John Tyner’s infamous quote has been made into T-shirts and bumper stickers and even became the colloquial title of proposed legislation, the Transportation Security Administration “Don’t Touch My Junk” bill.

Man With 4th Amendment on Chest Sues Over Airport Arrest

Henrico County Police
Aaron Tobey stripped down while being held at Virgina’s Richmond International Airport in December to reveal the Fourth Amendment written across his chest.

The Constitution’s Fourth Amendment outlaws “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Tobey, a 21-year-old University of Cincinnati architecture student, had those very words scrawled across his chest and abdomen when he stripped down to his underwear at a Richmond, Va., airport back in December. He was heading to his grandfather’s funeral at the time. Tobey was arrested and cited for disorderly conduct.

The misdemeanor charge has since been dropped, but Tobey is still suing. The defendants listed in his legal filing are Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, the Richmond airport authority and several security officers there. He’s seeking $250,000 in damages and reimbursement for legal fees.

“This action seeks vindication of the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Aaron Tobey, who … was arrested without probable cause, falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted,” the legal complaint states. The civil lawsuit was filed on Tobey’s behalf by the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group.

“Tobey was unduly seized by government agents in violation of the Fourth Amendment, despite the fact that he did nothing to disrupt airport routine,” John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, said in a statement on his group’s website.

Neither federal officials nor Richmond airport authorities could immediately be reached for comment. Tobey also did not respond to an e-mailed request by AOL for an interview.

Both Tobey and “Don’t touch my junk” Tyner exercised their right to opt for a thorough pat-down from TSA agents rather than walk through sophisticated X-ray machines and imaging scanners newly introduced at airport security checkpoints. Some cite health or privacy concerns about the machines.

Tobey claims he was handcuffed and held for 90 minutes after stripping off his clothing during the pat-down. He still made his flight.

Notable excerpts from a second article “Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest”:

In sending the case to trial, unless there’s a settlement, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 and reversed a lower court judge and invoked Benjamin Franklin in the process. According to the opinion by Judge Roger Gregory:

Here, Mr. Tobey engaged in a silent, peaceful protest using the text of our Constitution—he was well within the ambit of First Amendment protections. And while it is tempting to hold that First Amendment rights should acquiesce to national security in this instance, our Forefather Benjamin Franklin warned against such a temptation by opining that those ‘who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ We take heed of his warning and are therefore unwilling to relinquish our First Amendment protections—even in an airport.

Tobey didn’t want to go through the advanced imaging technology X-ray machines, or so-called nude body scanners, that were cropping up at airports nationwide. Instead, when it was his turn to be screened, he was going to opt for an intrusive pat-down, and removed most of his clothing in the process.

Among other things, the federal lawsuit claimed wrongful detention and a breach of the First Amendment and Fourth Amendment. Tobey was on his way to Wisconsin for his grandmother’s funeral. Despite his detainment, he made his flight.

According to the suit, while under interrogation, the authorities wanted to know “about his affiliation with, or knowledge of, any terrorist organizations, if he had been asked to do what he did by any third party, and what his intentions and goals were.”

Two weeks later, Henrico County prosecutors dropped the misdemeanor charge against him, and he sued the Transportation Security Administration and others.

In dissent, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson wrote:

Had this protest been launched somewhere other than in the security-screening area, we would have a much different case. But Tobey’s antics diverted defendants from their passenger-screening duties for a period, a diversion that nefarious actors could have exploited to dangerous effect. Defendants responded as any passenger would hope they would, summoning local law enforcement to remove Tobey—and the distraction he was creating — from the scene.

Submitted by Kevin 1-25-13

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