On July 3rd I was flying out of Newark, NJ on my way home from a business trip. While waiting near my gate to board the plane I noticed a uniformed TSA agent and her supervisor were talking about 5 feet to my right. The sentence that caught my attention was when the supervisor, who was in a nice 3 piece suit, said to the agent, “Things like that end up with guys wearing black suits and dark sunglasses showing up and you’re never seen again.” At that point I began to pay less attention to my phone, but still kept staring at the screen so it didn’t look like I was listening to them:

Female Agent: “The shirt he was wearing, what did it say exactly?”

Supervisor: “’Shoot ‘em up!’ An agent at the checkpoint asked him if he could change shirts with another one in his carry-on bag. He said he had the right to wear whatever shirt he wanted.”

Female Agent: “Some people just take the freedom of speech TOO FAR!... So they let him on the plane?”

Supervisor: “Yeah, but once everyone was on board the pilot locked down the plane until THEY got there.”

Female Agent: “So they apprehended him in front of everyone? How many of them were there?”

Supervisor: “Oh yeah, it was like 3 or 4 of them. They came on the plane, the flight attendant pointed him out, and they surrounded him at his chair. They told him that he needed to come with them, RIGHT NOW. The passenger said, ‘well what about my bag?’ One agent then asked ‘Which one is yours?’ The passenger started to raise is arm to grab his bag and immediately the agent behind him grabbed his arm and cuffed him all in one move.”

Female Agent: “What happened then?”

Supervisor: “The one agent tore the bag out of the overhead compartment while two others grabbed the cuffed passenger and carried him down the aisle. They dragged him out like he was a piece of luggage. His knees were scraping on the steps as they left the plane. It looked like they tore a hole in his jeans.”

Female Agent: “How old was the passenger?”

Supervisor: “Just a kid. Looked like he was just out of high school.”

Female Agent: “Where did they take him?

Supervisor: “Who knows? Some deep dark hole. People gotta learn, you don’t f—k around with these guys.”

At that point, another TSA agent walked up and they changed the subject and my plane had started to board.

Jul 6, 2013

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