Former Chief of Police Vetted At JFK When Returning From Paris
Hassan Aden is a former Police Chief of Greenville, North Carolina. He is currently senior policy advisor at the Vera Institute of Justice. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the Greenville, NC Police Department, he served in the Alexandria, Virginia Police Department for 26 years rising to the rank of deputy chief of police.
Aden is a United States citizen who traveled to Paris, France to celebrate his mom’s 80th birthday.
On March 13, 2017, Aden was held for an hour and a half at the JFK airport by Customs and Border Agents. On his Facebook page, Aden wrote:
“My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.”
“This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad. 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. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.”
Custom’s agents told Aden that he had to be vetted because his name “was used as an alias by someone on some watch list.”
Aden described the room he was held in as a “back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, “Remain seated at all times” and “Use of telephones strictly prohibited.”
He asked several times, ‘How long of a detention do you consider to be reasonable?” CBP Officer Chow told him that he was not being detained. Aden was not allowed to leave either. A new shift officer expedited his release, allowing him to miraculously make his connecting flight.
A spokesperson for Customs and Border Patrol said that all travelers arriving to the United States are subject to CBP inspection.