July 26, 2012
Evidently, TSA isn’t looking for press coverage during its roll out of checkpoints at train stations across the nation.
Citizen journalist Julio Rausseo, a roaming correspondent for WeAreChange.org, was labeled a “terrorist” and threatened with arrest for filming a TSA checkpoint at the Union train station in Chicago.
An Amtrack police official confronted Rausseo, telling him that the government had sent them video of him filming the checkpoints, warning them to look out for people filming the station. A week after Rausseo filmed the TSA, Amtrack identified the reporter eating at restaurant inside Union Station and confronted him. That conversation is recorded in the following video:
“I’m telling you to your face, do not video tape us,” the Amtrack officer can be heard telling Rausseo in the video. “If you come beyond that point… if you come like you did before, you’re going to jail, Sir. Because it could be used for terrorist activity. Right now, you’re in violation.”
When Rausseo objected that he was a reporter and not a terrorist, the employee asked: “Did you approach us and ask to take video?”
When the reporter responded, “I didn’t think I had to. I thought this was America,” the Amtrack police official told him, “No, America nothing. You know better.”
The incident continued, with the employee demanding his ID and claiming that illegal activity had taken place, before admitting, incredibly, that the company had been sent video of Rausseo filming the checkpoint. Clearly, the company keeping tabs on such “trouble makers.”
“And the video didn’t even come… it came from the government. They sent it to us because now somebody is taking pictures of us doing our activity,” the Amtrack officer finally admitted.
These checkpoints are a violation of the 4th Amendment, and as such blatantly unconstitutional, yet they have seamlessly expanded from airports to train stations, and will soon be pervasive in all public life, unless the TSA is stopped politically and the fear of terrorism checked by the exercise of American rights and the return of common sense.
Here is Julio Rausseo’s previous video of the train station checkpoint run jointly by TSA and Amtrack in Chicago. He defends his first amendment right to film the checkpoint and report it to the world: