A man who was jailed on charges of making “terroristic threats” following a run in with the TSA was acquitted within minutes at a court hearing, after video proved that a TSA agent lied.
Roger Vanderklok was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport when a TSA supervisor named Charles Kieser confronted him at a security line and asked whether he had “organic matter” in his bag.
It emerged that Kieser was referring to protein bars that Mr Vanderklok was carrying. The Supervisor raised the question after also seeing a watch in the same bag and concluding that the items combined could be some kind of explosive… or something.
Philly.com notes that “PowerBars, which contain milk, grain and sugar, are considered “organic matter” and can resemble a common explosive. Terrorists often use a small electronic device, like a watch, to detonate the explosive. Hence the agent’s concern.”
Mr Vanderklok, having to guess what the TSA supervisor meant by “organic matter”, concluded that he was referring to fruit or vegetables, so he told Kieser that he did not have any in his bag.
The report continues, “Once the items were deemed harmless, Vanderklok says, he told Kieser that if someone had only told him what ‘organic matter’ meant, he could have saved everyone a lot of trouble. Kieser then became confrontational. Vanderklok says he calmly asked to file a complaint. He then waited while someone was supposedly retrieving the proper form.”
The form never arrived, however, but Philadelphia police officers did, when Kieser called them in to arrest Mr Vanderklok.
Vanderklok was detained in the airport for three hours, missing his flight, before being hauled off to the police station in handcuffs and jailed for a further 20 hours, without being told what charges he was facing. The bail amounted to $4,000.
“The police at the airport never even questioned Mr. Vanderklok. They just detained him,” said Vanderklok’s attorney, Thomas Malone. “The detectives at the 18th [District] also never spoke with him. He was charged based on a single allegation by one TSA employee.”
When the case went to trial, the TSA supervisor told the court, “I saw a passenger becoming agitated. Hands were in the air. And it’s something we deal with regularly. But I don’t let it go on on my checkpoint.”
Kieser also claimed that Vanderklok, “had both hands with fingers extended up toward the ceiling up in the air at the time and shaking them,” and “put his finger in my face. And he said, ‘Let me tell you something. I’ll bring a bomb through here any day I want.’ And he said you’ll never find it.”
However, Kieser neglected to remember that the entire incident was caught on security video, which showed that Mr Vanderklok NEVER raised his hands, and in fact remained calm throughout the exchange. The case was thrown out by the judge almost immediately and Vanderklok is now suing the Philadelphia police along with the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security.
One would think that this kind of thing won’t go on again at Charles Kieser’s checkpoint, because he presumably no longer has a checkpoint or a job with the TSA. But one would be wrong, because unbelievably he still does, according to the Philly.com report.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.