Pilot Refuses Full-Body Scan, Pat Down Over Rights Violation

By: Rob Adams
Staff Writer
Published: Oct 21, 2021

Pilot Refuses Full-Body Scan, Pat Down

Pilot refuses full-body scan, pat down over rights violation. A pat down or full-body scan is something all travelers go through, but one pilot refuses. The pilot said the airport security procedures violate his rights.

Michael Roberts, a pilot for ExpressJet Airlines, refused a full-body scan last week at a Transportation Security Administration check point. The incident occurred at Memphis International Airport in Memphis, Tennessee. Opting out of scanning is permitted, but those who opt out must receive an enhanced pat down from a TSA employee.

"Pat down is misleading," Roberts said in a statement. "They concentrate on the area between ... the upper thighs and torso, and they're not just patting people's arms and legs, they're grabbing and groping and prodding pretty aggressively." Roberts said TSA security measures are ineffective, and cited concerns for his rights and privacy in refusing the procedures.

"I was trying to avoid this assault on my person, and I'm not willing to have images of my nude body produced for some stranger in another room to look at either," Roberts said. The TSA said in a statement that "security is not optional" and any person who refuses security screening is not allowed to fly. "TSA's responsibility is to keep the traveling public safe and we use an unpredictable variety of security techniques to carry out this mission," the statement said.

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