Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nashville airport releases security footage of Sen. Rand Paul

Nashville airport releases security footage of Sen. Rand Paul: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul showed no visible signs of being “irate” as Nashville International Airport police asserted in an incident report, according to newly released video of a run-in with airport security.

A security video of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul at a Nashville International Airport checkpoint doesn’t show him being “irate,” as police asserted.

The Kentucky Republican ran afoul of a millimeter-wave screening machine Monday morning that went off as he tried to enter the airport terminal. Transportation Security Administration officials asked him to undergo a pat-down, but he refused.

An incident report describes the police response as being to “a passenger being irate.” But videos released by the Metro Airport Authority late Wednesday show Paul entering the security line at 7:57 a.m. and then alternately sitting and standing in a glass cubicle while being watched by authorities. Paul appears to make a few phone calls as well.

Paul is shown being escorted by an airport official at 9:04 a.m. Paul rebooked his flight and later went through security without incident.

For about half of the video, Paul is obscured by a column blocking part of the cubicle. When asked why the camera would be set up only to be obscured by a column, airport spokeswoman Emily Richard said that cameras are “placed for the widest view possible, not a specific area.”

The airport authority said it didn’t have any comments outside the incident report and referred questions to the TSA. The TSA referred questions back to the airport authority, which oversees policing of the airport.

“It is our protocol to refer to law enforcement when a passenger refuses to complete the screening process,” said TSA spokesman Jonathan Allen.

The incident brought outcry from Paul’s father, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who is running for president. The elder Paul vowed to abolish the U.S. Transportation Security Administration if he were elected.

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