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  • Air Marshals Act

    Officials Defend Air Marshal's Acts

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Federal officials defended the response of an air marshal who trained his gun on a passenger-filled jet cabin for 30 minutes after detaining a man, prompting protests by a judge who was on the flight.

    Two armed marshals detained the man on Delta Flight 442, which was flying from Atlanta to Philadelphia with 183 people on board, because he allegedly was rummaging through other people's luggage.

    One marshal then held his gun on the coach cabin passengers because some of them ignored orders to remain seated with their seat belts on, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said Sunday.

    ``If people would have stayed in their seats and heeded those warnings, that would not have happened,'' said TSA spokesman Robert Johnson in Washington. ``It's our opinion that it was done by the book.''

    He said the TSA, which oversees federal air marshals, was still reviewing the marshals' response on the Saturday flight. The man whom the marshals detained was released and the U.S. Attorney's office decided not to press charges, said FBI spokeswoman Jerri Williams.

    Johnson said that despite the passengers' complaints, he thought the marshals did what they needed to do to make sure that the plane could land safely.

    ``It's a highly charged situation,'' Johnson said. ``It's (about) keeping the plane secure.''

    Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge James A. Lineberger, who was sitting diagonally across from the detained man, said he thought the marshals overreacted by holding their semiautomatic weapons on passengers for so long.

    Lineberger also said he hadn't noticed any disturbance before the marshals suddenly took the man up to first class and restrained him.

    Several minutes later, the judge said, the marshals returned to the coach cabin and pulled out their guns.

    ``I assumed at that moment that there was going to be some sort of gun battle,'' he said. ``I'm looking right down the barrel of the gun as though it was pointed at me.''

    Lineberger said he plans to file a complaint with the TSA on Tuesday. He said about 30 other passengers also plan to complain.

    David and Susan Johnson of Mobile, Ala., said they hadn't been aware of any disturbance when the sky marshals took the man first to the back of the plane and then to the first-class section.

    ``It never made sense,'' said Susan Johnson, 51, a social worker. ``This guy was not any physical threat that we could see. Maybe he said some things to them that made them concerned. He just appeared to us unstable, emotionally.''

    One passenger, however, said he thought the air marshals handled the situation in a calm and professional manner.

    ``These guys looked pretty well like they had things under control,'' said Robert Venditti-Kramer, 28, who was in first class. He said the marshals only pointed their guns straight down the aisle, not at any passengers. ``I think the situation was extremely well-handled.''

    Delta Airlines spokeswoman Kristi Tucker said airline officials would talk with crew members on the flight and would cooperate with federal authorities, but she declined to comment further.

    After the plane landed, police boarded and briefly questioned another man sitting behind Lineberger, but did not detain him, the judge said.

    [ 09-02-2002, 12:47 AM: Message edited by: Gubmentcheez ]

  • #2
    I don't get some people. Wasn't 9/11 more than one hell of a wake-up call? The more I think about what I just read, the angrier I become.

    Of course, had that been an actual terrorist attack and the air marshals difused the situation, they would have been praised. And if the man went psycho on the passengers, the air marshals would have been praised.

    Of course I'm just an outsider trying to get a look on the inside, but from what I'm reading, if the story is accurate, the air marshals felt there was a potiental threat and were only doing their job.

    [ 09-02-2002, 06:46 AM: Message edited by: kateykakes ]

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    • #3
      quote:
      Originally posted by Gubmentcheez:
      ``It never made sense,'' said Susan Johnson, 51, a social worker. ``This guy was not any physical threat that we could see. Maybe he said some things to them that made them concerned. He just appeared to us unstable, emotionally.''

      There you have it. The social worker said so - she's the one trained to recognize threats and an expert in tactics, not the marshals.
      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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      • #4
        From the limited information posted, I think it was an overreaction by the Air Marshals. But then again, I am opposed to the Air marshal program anyway.

        Retired
        Retired

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        • #5
          I can't see how they overreacted. They obviously had some sort of reason to detain the guy.

          If I've got a guy on the floor and I've already told the passangers to stay in their seats, I will assume anyone getting up is an accomplice of the first guy. After 9/11 it seems like a very real possibility.

          My 2c anyway.
          There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.

          Steven Wright

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          • #6
            Only a complete fool, or somebody looking for trouble, would fail to comply with an Air Marshal's request to stay seated.

            Comment


            • #7
              Glad I don't have to put cases in front of that judge........ he's probably a bleeding heart.

              Comment


              • #8
                What they did was right on. Who knows if that guy had any cohorts on that plane.
                And Retired how can do oppose the program? If we had it in place this way we could have had a better chance of preventing 9/11.

                That Guy
                Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The views expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer [This sig stolen from Brickcop who stole it from Frank Booth].

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                • #9
                  "And Retired how can do oppose the program?"

                  I can't resist........

                  Because it's a federal program. Not other reason needed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That Guy,

                    quote:
                    Originally posted by That Guy:
                    What they did was right on. Who knows if that guy had any cohorts on that plane.
                    And Retired how can do oppose the program? If we had it in place this way we could have had a better chance of preventing 9/11.

                    That Guy

                    It's easy for me to oppose it. I oppose the federal government providing police services for a private enterprize. Since the feds provide LE agents for airlines, why not provide them for banks, shopping malls, seven-elevens, abortion clinics, etc? Why not just do away with all local LE and federalize all LE agencies in the U.S.? Why do the airlines deserve anymore special LE sevices than the banks, schools, etc?

                    Secondly, I didn't read that the passanger did anything to suggest he was getting ready to commit an act of terror that justified the AM's drawing their weapons and pointing them at the entire cabin.

                    I feel that based on the information provided, I would have been outraged at their conduct also, and filed a complaint. They sounded like Rambo's to me.

                    It sounds like you and some others are prepared to live the rest of your lives based on what happened on September 11, 2001. I am not!

                    best regards,

                    Retired
                    Retired

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Niteshift,

                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Niteshift:
                      "And Retired how can do oppose the program?"

                      I can't resist........

                      Because it's a federal program. Not other reason needed.

                      You are entitled to your opinion, you and I obviously come from two different schools of LE.

                      Regards,

                      Retired
                      Retired

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It was a joke. If you want to get all pizzed off about it, go right ahead.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Niteshift,

                          quote:
                          Originally posted by Niteshift:
                          It was a joke. If you want to get all pizzed off about it, go right ahead.

                          First off, I am not pizzed off at you. Secondly, I didn't know it was a joke, and since it was, I apologize if I appeared indignant.

                          Retired
                          Retired

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I realized that my smilie after "I can't resist" didn't post.

                            Oh well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Only a complete fool, or somebody looking for trouble, would fail to comply with an Air Marshal's request to stay seated.

                              Or someone that is totally clueless and unaware.Lots and lots of people out there like that.

                              Retired: I understand where you are coming from on the federal government thing. The day will come when all police forces are federalized. Before everyone here guffaws and protests, its been talked about for years and even recently.

                              Now its the airlines.

                              Someday it might be powerplants. Then food manufacturing facilitys. Then any industry deemed to be "important" to the federal government.
                              Once the federal government gets the attitude that it can do things better than private industry might be able to, we take another step on the road to socialism. Give them an inch and they'll take 100 miles.

                              And it will be in the name of "safety".
                              The sheeple will love it.They'll sleep better at night.
                              "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                              Norman Thomas

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