March 17, 2018

Allegedly detained at JFK: Former GPD Chief Aden

20 March 2017, 04:27 | Taylor George

Reflector Aileen Devlin

Reflector Aileen Devlin

While returning home from his mother's birthday celebration in Paris, Hassan Aden, the retired police chief of Greenville, North Carolina, says he was unfairly detained for 90 minutes at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport because of his name.

The stories of travelers being held up by Customs officers when arriving in the United States keep coming, and now include someone with decades of experience as a law enforcement officer.

"I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility".

The customs agent told Aden his "name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list".

After complaining, Aden was told that he was not being detained. He explained his profession and the fact that he was a US citizen but the officials stated that his name was used fraudulently by someone on a watch list and he had to be cleared with another agency.

A US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer reportedly told Aden that his information would be sent to another agency to "de-conflict and clear me".

In a long and blistering Facebook post, Aden wrote Saturday that he was detained for 90 minutes because he shared a name with "someone on some watch list". Aden worked in the police department in Alexandria, Virginia for almost 25 years and then served as the police chief in Greenville for around two years. That is, until the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Hassan Aden is pictured at George Washington Middle School while working at Alexandria Police Department.


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"I was held for an hour and a half", he said. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials nearly daily.

Listing his law enforcement and government service credentials, he wrote: 'If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be "profiled".

"My freedoms were restricted, and I can not be sure it won't happen again, and that it won't happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel overseas", Aden wrote in the lengthy Saturday status. The statement also said that "less travelers underwent secondary processing in February 2017 than in February 2016" and that "travelers may be inconvenienced as we work through the arrival process to ensure those entering the country are doing so legitimately and lawfully".

Speaking Sunday from his home in Alexandria, Virginia, Aden said, "I wonder what would happen to a regular citizen with no idea about his rights?"

According to Aden, it wasn't until a new officer came on duty and took an interest in his case that he was eventually released.

The event occurred amid mounting legal challenges to the Trump administration's latest travel order and as other us citizens have claimed that they have been detained under dubious circumstances.

"This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world and its own people in an unprecedented fashion", Aden said. Aden was released after an hour and a half and, thanks to his Transportation and Security Administration Pre-Check status, was able to get back through security quickly and made his next flight.

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