Home / PINAC News / Atlanta Cops Detain Man for Recording TSA Checkpoint

Atlanta Cops Detain Man for Recording TSA Checkpoint


By now, everybody except TSA screeners and airport cops pretty much know we are legally allowed to video record TSA checkpoints at airports.

The policy has been clearly stated on the Transportation Security Administration website since at least 2008, which is when I first came across it, and has been modified over the years to make it shorter, clearer but, of course, to add a disclaimer that “taking photographs may also prompt airport police or a TSA official to ask what your purpose is.”

In the latest video, which was posted August 30, a man with two video cameras, including a Go Pro strapped to his head, decides to test out the policy by standing well away from a checkpoint and recording at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

At 1:30 in the video, an Atlanta cop named S. Garono marches up to him in a frantic manner and tells him he is not permitted to do so.

That begins the tired-old routine of the cops firing off questions with the citizen refusing to answer them, prompting the cop to find his refusal suspicious.

In this case, the cop immediately got on his radio to call for the FBI.

The man recording, who goes by the Youtube username OccupyFromTheNorth, began shaking, which is something cops are trained to find even more suspicious, oblivious to the fact that nervousness is a natural reaction to being confronted by gun-wielding government agents legally allowed to kill you on the spot.

I’ve found that not drinking coffee prior to the confrontation as well as eating a full meal helps with the shakes in these situations, if you’re going to purposely test out their knowledge of the policy.

Despite his nervousness, he handled it well, even though he was eventually surrounded by several cops. He never showed his identification, even though he was eventually forced to show them his boarding pass.

However, he also apparently made them nervous because they had to shut down that particular checkpoint. They eventually allowed him to leave just before 13:00 in the video.

The rest of the video probably should have edited out but there is another minor interaction with the goon wearing a business suit in the initial confrontation after he started recording another checkpoint.

We’ve seen so many of these videos over the years that you would think somebody would just print the policy off the site and post it on a wall somewhere because it would save them from a lot of Youtube embarrassment.

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So let’s try to record them any chance we get because eventually it will sink through.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.