published Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Woman to fight charges in Tennessee airport pat-down

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee woman charged with disorderly conduct after a dispute over a security screening at the Nashville airport plans to fight the charges.

Andrea Abbott, 41, was arrested last month after airport police said she was belligerent, refusing a body scan and then a pat-down for herself and her 14-year-old daughter, whom she was accompanying to the gate for a flight to Baltimore.

The Clarksville woman eventually allowed her daughter to be screened but then walked away, refusing herself to be patted down. When she was told to return she cursed and told officers, "I'm done with you people," according to a police report.

Defense attorney Brent Horst said in an interview Monday that he feels Abbott did nothing illegal and believes the officer violated her First Amendment right to freely express her opinion about the screening.

He quoted from the arrest report in which Officer Jeffery Nolen wrote, "Ms. Abbott was loud in her speech and very belligerent" before her arrest.

"He arrested her because she just wanted to argue with him, and that is just not a crime," Horst said.

Airport spokeswoman Emily Richard issued a statement defending Nolen's actions.

"Ms. Abbott refused to be screened and was verbally abusive. The Airport Authority's Department of Public Safety followed its procedures and tried to work with Ms. Abbott, who was not cooperative and subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct," the statement said.

A local court hearing on the charge initially scheduled for Monday was carried over to Oct. 13.

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sar720 said...

Why do people keep fighting the system?

August 2, 2011 at 7:55 a.m.
dao1980 said...

That's a dangerous way to live sar.

Sure, it's usually quite foolish to argue with a cross eyed beat copper.

But to assume that things are always as they seem in regards to authority being executed with responsibility... is, well.. just plain dangerous.

August 2, 2011 at 8:04 a.m.
woody said...

Cave..if that is your wish Sar..however, I say, "Rave on Ms. Abbott!" "The Patriot Act" was a constitutional infringement from the 'get-go."

Again, I paraphrase.."...those willing to give up any of their constitutional rights for safety-sake deserve neither...." (see Ben Franklin quotes for actual wording--yes, he knew even back then)..Woody

August 2, 2011 at 8:22 a.m.
noapathy said...

Thanks for pointing that out dao1980.

August 2, 2011 at 9:05 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Ms. Abbott was unwise, but I completely understand her irritation at the screening practices and the attitudes of many TSA workers. Give them a little power, and one dare not look cross-eyed at them for fear of retribution. We've created a scary, totalitarian-like system under the guise of "security."

August 2, 2011 at 9:38 a.m.
sar720 said...

What I am saying is, there probably would not have been a problem if people just abide by the policy. Everyone has to go through the security process at the airport. Some are randomly selected for further screening, if you are then you abide. What is dangerous about that? But hey, I wasn't there so I don't know exactly what happened. By reading, it SEEMS like she didn't want to her daughter to be screened.

August 2, 2011 at 10:24 a.m.
LibDem said...

I'm not afraid to travel and find airport security nettlesome. I see a couple of problems: 1) Some people go looking for a fight (this may be the case with Ms. Abbott), and 2) The agents probably get pretty tired of people (I go through as an individual expecting to be treated so, but, to the agent, I am the 500th pinhead of the day.).

We've given up more than we should, but, when things go wrong, we are more than willing to blame the authorities for not keeping us safe.

August 2, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Agreed Libdem...

August 2, 2011 at 12:02 p.m.
VoiceOfTruth said...

I work in the nuclear industry and have to go through two full-body scanners every day that I go to work. I don't understand why people are so against this screening process. If it means boarding a safer airplane than I don't care what type of screening is required. All of you naysayers would feel the same way if it had been you onboard one of the planes that crashed on September 11, 2001 or if one of your family members had been on one. When you choose air as your mode of transportation, you know before hand what the requirement for boarding the plane is - if you don't like it, simply don't fly.

August 2, 2011 at 12:49 p.m.
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