A retired U.S. police chief received a surprising welcome back to the United States over the weekend, calling it an experience that “has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great.”
Hassan Aden detailed in a March 18 post on Facebook that recently the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers greeted him at John F. Kennedy airport in New York with a frown and an order: “Let’s take a walk.” He wrote in the post that for the first time in 42 years he was detained for 90 minutes by CBP upon his return from Paris, where he celebrated his mother’s 80th birthday.
The former chief of police in Greenville, North Carolina, was then taken to a CBP detention center where despite CBP holding his passport, an officer told him he was “not being detained.”
“I was in a room with no access to my mobile phone to communicate with my wife and family about what was happening, my movements were restricted to a chair and they had my passport,” Aden wrote. “His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge — but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion.”
CBP would neither confirm nor deny Aden’s account. A spokesperson for the agency told ATTN: that “we cannot comment on specific cases, but all travelers arriving to the U.S. are subject to CBP inspection.”
“This experience makes me question if this is indeed home,” Aden wrote on Facebook. "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.”
Thanks for the support I've received since detailing my CBP detention.I'm fortunate to be able to give this problem a voice and a platform.— Hassan Aden (@chiefaden) March 20, 2017
Aden did not immediately respond to ATTN:’s requests for comment. But speaking to CNN, the former cop said he thinks his experience is a product of President Donald Trump being in the White House.
"I think there's a lot of rhetoric on travel bans, homeland security and measures around national security," he told CNN. "I do think it has something to do with the new administration... I don't think it's a coincidence."
Read Aden's Facebook post below, which details the entire ordeal: