January 23, 2011
Phil Mocek of Seattle was told by TSA goons and police at the Albuquerque Airport on November 15, 2009, that he did not have the right to use a video camera in a public space outside a TSA Gestapo zone. He was also told that when goons ask him for ID, he must comply or the police will be called. Mocek was arrested for disorderly conduct and concealing his identity.
Mocek is a software developer and civil liberties advocate. He was in New Mexico in November of 2009 to attend the International Drug Policy Reform Conference on behalf of the Cannabis Defense Coalition.
Visible and audible in the airport video are Mocek, Albuquerque Airport Police Department officers Robert F. “Bobby” Dilley (badge number 116), Landrow “Wiggy” Wiggins (badge number 137), and Julio A. De La Peña (badge number 135), and TSA staff LTSO Jonathon Breedon, TSM Gerald Romero, STSO Anthony M. Schreiner, Greg Martinez, and BDO Laura Moots.
According to Edward Hasbrouck, founder of the Identity Project, a nonprofit organization that “builds public awareness about the effects of ID requirements on fundamental rights,” Mocek’s case marks the first time anyone has ever challenged the TSA’s authority to question and detain travelers, Seattle Weekly reported on January 19.
“[TSA] wants people to show ID and submit to a search and groping, but there’s no legal basis for most of this,” Hasbrouck said. “The TSA relies fundamentally on intimidation. The ultimate threat is ‘We’ll call the local police.’ And when they’re called in, they don’t say ‘We don’t see a crime here.’ They get that person out of there.”
On January 21, a jury cleared Mocek of all misdemeanor charges. “I feel good that we had police and TSA on record saying that you don’t have to show ID to fly and that you can use a camera at the airport,” Mocek told KOBTV 4 in Albuquerque.
Mocek was represented by Nancy Hollander, a New Mexico defense attorney known for representing two Guantanamo Bay detainees. Hollander argued that Mocek did not conceal his identity because his name was on his boarding pass.