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Stripping protester sues TSA

Aaron Tobey was pissed at the TSA's "gate rape" search procedure. He did everything he could to avoid taking a flight, but when his grandfather died late last year, he had no other option to get to the funeral but to fly. "So," he says, "I decided that the next time I would go through one of those screenings that I would make a statement somehow."

Last December, he wrote a portion of the Fourth Amendment on his chest, and headed to the security line at Richmond International Airport. "Upon being directed there I took off my t-shirt and my sweat pants and stood there in my running shorts waiting for them to proceed with the screening." (Note that some versions of this story going around the internet have him stripping to his underwear, but that's apparently not correct.)

But instead of being searched, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. (He was released in time to make his flight.) The charges were dropped -- according to This morning in Henrico County Commonweath's Attorney Wade Kizer, Tobey's conduct did not rise "to what is covered by the disorderly conduct standard".

Tobey is now suing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the head of the TSA, the Richmond airport authority, and several security officers, for $250,000 in damages and reimbursement for legal fees. The lawsuit states that it "seeks vindication of the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of Aaron Tobey, who ... was arrested without probable cause, falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted"; it was filed on his behalf by the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties group.

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