All 29-year-old Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent Nicholas Fernandez would have to do is claim that he was “following a lead” pertaining to national security, in which case he’d probably be promoted for being so proactive in his approach.
Fernandez worked at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport. He was being investigated by the TSA following allegations they had received that he was following women and using his cell phone to record up their skirts.
Sure enough, when a TSA special agent was watching him during the investigation, he could be seen – while on break – following a woman up an escalator and turning his cell phone light on, aiming it up her skirt, and appearing to record.
Fernandez was suspended without pay and arrested on voyeurism charges. He’s now in jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.
Ironically, instead of the TSA applauding this behavior and trying to defend him from unlawful charges, they appeared to chastise him in a statement released by a TSA spokesman:
“TSA does not tolerate illegal, unethical or immoral conduct.”
That’s weird. They have no problem groping and taking naked pictures of people in the “security” line. They do it all the time, and if you object in any way, you get in trouble.
But when those things happen away from the security line, it’s deemed “illegal, unethical, or immoral conduct.” I honestly don’t see a whole lot of difference. (I realize they’ve enhanced the scanners so that the images rendered aren’t as graphic as they used to be, but their quality is probably not much worse than Fernandez’s upskirt video he recorded.)
The TSA spokesman continued:
“When such conduct is alleged, TSA investigates it thoroughly. When appropriate, TSA requests that it be investigated by a law enforcement authority. When an investigation finds that misconduct has occurred, the appropriate action is taken.”
Last year, a couple TSA agents – a man and a woman – were fired when it was discovered that they had developed a scheme that allowed the male agent to grope male travelers whom he found to be attractive:
The male screener would give a signal to a female employee when a male passenger arrived that he thought was attractive, and she would falsely enter the sex of the passenger as female, so the machine would report an anomaly that triggered a pat down of a passenger’s groin, police said in a report.
According to the female agent involved, she helped out in this scheme at least 10 times. TSA investigators observed the male agent using the palms of his hands – apparently in violation of policy – to grope attractive men’s groins and buttocks.
The worst part? No charges were ever filed, because the travelers who were targeted didn’t think anything about it.