NYPD Copper, Combat Vet, Muslim – detained at JFK Airport


Officer Ali at home in BrooklynKarsten Moran/New York Times

❝ Syed Ali is an American citizen, an officer in the New York Police Department, a combat veteran and a major in the United States Army Reserve. But none of that made a difference at passport control last month when he arrived at Kennedy Airport on an evening flight from Istanbul.

❝ After landing, Officer Ali was led from passport control to a holding area for what Customs and Border Protection refers to as secondary screening. But instead of a quick check to confirm his identity, Officer Ali said, he was held for hours, past midnight. When he asked, after more than an hour of waiting, whether it would take much longer, an officer threatened to incarcerate him…

“I feel like my rights were violated,” Officer Ali said in an interview, still sounding a little shaken. “Are you telling me that every guy with the last name Ali is a terrorist? Are you telling me every guy with brown skin coming in from overseas is a terrorist?”

❝ Officer Ali’s trip was part of a vacation to decompress after a two-year military deployment to Kuwait, where he had served in Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission to combat the Islamic State. In September, he is scheduled to return to his regular job with the Police Department, where he most recently worked in the transit unit.

Officer Ali is one of a number of Muslim Americans who have complained that since the start of the Trump administration they have been subjected to additional scrutiny when returning from abroad, facing hours in airport custody and what they described as hostile questioning…

❝ Officer Ali said his feeling of powerlessness in airport custody “was one of the lowest points in my life.”

I’ve dedicated my life to public service,” he said. “I want my country to treat me fairly, too.”

Yup, tell me about “post-racial” America, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. We have a government run by sniveling chickenhawks like Trump, racist weasels like Jeff Sessions. It ain’t new. It ain’t getting old in a country where elections are managed by money and an electoral college that has little to do with democracy.

I’ve confronted crap like this my whole life and I’m native-born and white. The ignorant bigots I rejected in the 1950’s are back as strong as ever. Republicans roll over and stick their hind feet in the air out of something they call Party Loyalty – and ignore any loyalty to the Constitution of the United States and all the bits and pieces added trying keep our legal system within a couple decades of modern society.

Officer Ali faced the scumbag ideology that’s always been part of this country. The scum just has a better chance to surface when idjits elect a scumsucker to live in the White House.

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