Former Police Chief Says He Was Detained At JFK: ‘This Country Now Feels Cold’: Gothamist

A former police chief from Virginia says he was held for an hour and a half at JFK Airport earlier this month, after landing in the United States on a flight from Paris. Hassan Aden, a naturalized US citizen, detailed the experience in a Facebook post, stressing that the lengthy screening process marked a departure from his frequent encounters with Customs and Border Control over the years. Five international trips within the last year alone, all prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, had gone off without incident, he said.”On all of my prior trips, I was greeted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers with a warm smile and the usual, ‘Welcome home sir,'” Aden wrote. “Not this time.”Aden, 52, was en route to Alexandra, Virginia on Monday, March 13th, according to the Washington Post. He had spent the weekend abroad with his mother, celebrating her 80th birthday. Born in Italy (his mother is Italian, his father, Somali), Aden became a naturalized citizen 42 years ago, when he was 10 years old. The former Chief of Police for Greenville, North Carolina also serves as a senior policy advisor on police reform for the Vera Institute of Justice.According to Aden, a Customs officer at JFK pulled him out of a routine security check.”I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, ‘Remain seated at all times’ and ‘Use of telephones strictly prohibited,'” he recalled. Another officer eventually explained that the name Hassan Aden had been “used as an alias by someone on some watch list.” Another officer told Aden that he was not technically being detained—CBP has a “secondary processing” protocol if an officer “determines that additional inspection is needed”—but Aden found any technical distinction meaningless.”I certainly was not free to leave,” he wrote.After an hour and a half, Aden said a new CBP officer arrived and “aggressively asked… for status updates” until Aden was released, an hour and a half after after being pulled from the line.

Source: Former Police Chief Says He Was Detained At JFK: ‘This Country Now Feels Cold’: Gothamist