Hassan Aden, a former chief of police in Greenville, North Carolina, also a veteran in law enforcement and regular traveller abroad, stated that he used to be welcomed back to the US by Customs and Border Patrol “with a warm smile and the usual, ‘Welcome home sir.’ ”
This time, however, after flying back from his mom’s 80th birthday party in France, he said that he had been asked if he was traveling alone, then told, “Let’s take a walk.”
Aden stated that customs officers then detained him upon landing in NY’s JKF airport last Monday for over almost two hours.
Events That Unfolded
The veteran police chief posted on Facebook over the weekend to discuss his story.
“I was taken to 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’ – my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention,” he wrote.
Then an officer “explained that my name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list. He stated that he sent my information to another agency to de-conflict and clear me, so that I could gain passage into the United States…. my own country!!!”
Police Officer and Frequent Traveler
Aden had spent two years in Greenville as the police chief before he retired in 2014. Before that, he spent over 25 years in the Alexandria Police Department located in Virginia. Since he retired, Aden began as a consultant in the Department of Justice as well as federal courts.
“I support and respect the CPB mission and their very difficult job,” Aden stated in an interview on Sunday.
“I fully support reasonable detention, with the key word being ‘reasonable,’ ” he added. “When you get into an hour, an hour and a half, in any law enforcement situation, that’s unreasonable. The clock is ticking.”
In the post on Facebook, he wrote, “If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be ‘profiled.’ No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.”