Two pilots fight TSA body scanning

Nov. 17, 2010 at 2:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Two airline pilots are suing the federal government to stop what they call invasive new airport screening procedures.

The plaintiffs are Michael Roberts of Memphis, a pilot with ExpressJet, and Ann Poe of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a Continental pilot.

On Tuesday, they sued the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration in federal court in Washington, saying the rules violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Roberts and Poe have been grounded since refusing to submit to full body scans or the alternative, enhanced patdowns by TSA officers.

The lawsuit seeks to bar whole body image scanning technology or enhanced patdowns as the main method of screening air passengers. It also seeks damages for Roberts and Poe, saying the policy threatens their livelihood.

Roberts hasn't flown since mid-October, when he refused screening alternatives at the Memphis airport, the newspaper said. He's on unpaid administrative leave, and the lawsuit says his family has lost its health insurance.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA administrator John Pistole have said the screening as vital to safe air travel.

"I think the outrage has reached a point where Napolitano and company had to respond," Roberts said.

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