PHOTO: Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. (photo via Flickr/Todd Van Hoosear)
A former North Carolina police chief said he is disappointed after being stopped and detained for 90 minutes last week at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
According to The Associated Press, 52-year-old Hassan Aden of Alexandria, Virginia, was en route back to his home following a trip to Paris for his mother’s birthday when he was stopped at JFK airport by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers.
Aden is the former police chief of the Greenville Police Department in North Carolina and now works as a law enforcement consultant. While he supports and understands the issues officers are faced with every day, he believes being detained for 90 minutes was unnecessary.
As he made his way through customs, Aden was stopped by officers who informed him that his name was used as an alias by someone on a watch list. He was not allowed to use his phone and was not permitted to leave his seat, but officers told him he was not being detained.
“When it goes to 90 minutes with no phone ... and you can't move around, it seems more than an investigation to check your passport,” Aden told The AP.
“It begins to feel like you are in custody. I certainly was not free to leave.”
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Aden, whose mother is Italian and father is Somali, said that he had become a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of 10. He also revealed that he worked for the Alexandria police department for about 25 years and as the Greenville police chief for about two.
While the incident won’t deter Aden from visiting family overseas, he did tell The AP that he will reconsider sending his 12- and 15-year-old children on international flights as unaccompanied minors due to the chance they could be detained just as he was by customs agents.