TSA under Scrutiny for Patting Down Children and Adults Exiting Train

Earlier this month, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents allegedly gave “intrusive” pat-downs to children and adult passengers exiting an Amtrak train in Savannah, Georgia.  A group of 30 to 40 firefighters, policemen and their families who traveled to Savannah for a Valentine’s Day getaway, were ordered by the TSA to go into a roped off area of the terminal as they were getting off the train.  Once in the roped off area, TSA officers began what was described as “intrusive” pat-downs.  It was reported that female TSA officers made women lift their shirts up to their midriffs and patted their bras.  When one plaintiff complained to a TSA supervisor, he was told to calm down and were not given an explanation for the search.  It was reported that what the passengers encountered is known as a VIPR operation.

This is a randomized searches involving federal, state and local law enforcement.  These types of searches increased in Savannah 2004 after the Madrid train bombings where 181 people were killed. It was also explained that these types of operations happen all around the country and at random times.  The TSA has since apologized for the incident. See: http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/02/28/why-did-tsa-pat-down-kids-adults-getting-off-train/

Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without proper cause. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that there is a limited constitutional right of privacy.  This includes a right to privacy from government surveillance into an area where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy” and also in matters relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing and education. However, records held by third parties such as financial records or telephone calling records are generally not protected unless a specific federal law applies.  See: http://definitions.uslegal.com/i/invasion-of-privacy/

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC works hard to defend the rights of their clients, against an illegal invasion of privacy.  Our firm has had considerable success in civil matters throughout Long Island and the New York City area.  For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at