Miyamae May Be Fined by TSA

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LONGMONT, Colo. — Yukari Miyamae, who got into an altercation with TSA agents at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport on July 14, may face a civil penalty of thousands of dollars.

The 61-year-old Colorado resident has been commuting from Denver to Phoenix every week. She says that on the day in question, she asked to go through a metal detector rather than a full-body scanner because she was concerned about radiation exposure, and was immediately surrounded by TSA agents.

Although she was initially accused of grabbing and twisting a TSA agent’s breast, Miyamae claims she felt threatened and simply pushed away an agent who was invading her space. She also says she has had an aversion to being touched by strangers since she was kidnapped as a child in Japan.

The City of Phoenix decided not to charge Miyamae with sexual assault but has not yet made a decision about whether to charge her with a misdemeanor.

In a recent post on her Facebook page (Yukari Miyamae Legal Defense Fund), she wrote, “The TSA recently sent me a letter asking for my response as they consider whether to assess a civil penalty of up to $11,000 for my alleged violation of 49 C.F.R. sec. 1540.09, which states that ‘No person may interfere with, assault, threaten or intimidate screening personal in the performance of their screening duties.’

“I am very concerned about this possible fine. I am hopeful that the TSA will be understanding and realize that there are mitigating circumstances due to my personal experiences. I had never before been arrested or charged with a crime and did not intend to assault or threaten anyone … I have already been punished by being arrested and jailed and still face possible criminal charges, not to mention how my reputation has been damaged by the false and misleading news coverage.

“I have been told by my lawyer that an assessment of a civil fine by the TSA remains very possible.”

Miyamae added that her response to the TSA will include a report from a clinical psychologist that she hired.

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6 Comments

  1. TSA should be fined $11,000 for every passenger they molest every day. The agency has become a runaway poster child for ignoring the 4th amendment.

  2. Yukari Miyamae is, like thousands of other passengers in this country, a victim of assault. And she has more guts than most of the people in this country. Hundreds of us have already contributed to her legal defense fund and will gladly contribute more.

    The TSA is a criminal, out-of-control agency that abuses people with impunity. It hasn’t caught or thwarted a single potential attacker in its multi-billion-dollar history.

    Pistole and Napolitano are its sick, twisted ringleaders. They should be fired — after being forced to go through a few gropes themselves — and the entire agency dismantled.

    But I’m not holding my breath. Congress is craven, the president clueless (after all, his wife and children don’t have to get stripped or groped), and half the population willfully ignorant.

    A colleague and I have kept track of accounts of abuse for the past 19 months, and they are legion:

    http://www.travelunderground.org/index.php?threads/master-lists-of-tsa-abuses-crimes.317/

    Empirical evidence, risk assessment, statistical analysis, security experts, logic — none of it matters to the United Sheeple of America. “The Terrorists! The Terrorists Are Everywhere!” No wonder our rights are being shredded right before our eyes.

  3. This is a case of the victim being punished for an abuse of authority by the TSA screeners. There is no legitimate basis for fining Ms. Miyamae since she was ultimately prevented from completing the screening process by TSA and Phoenix police.

    The court decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her as requested by TSA so there is no basis to further harass her. It is also doubtful that any TSA fine is enforceable or even legitimate under current regulations. What is their option if she refuses to pay it, they have no law enforcement authority.

    TSA has promoted a law enforcement style approach of passenger-focused suspicion that has become abusive and ineffective. The cockpit doors were reinforced and pilots armed long ago, assuring that a terrorist couldn’t gain control of a plane. It is distressing that TSA continues to focus on groping passengers while allowing 60% of cargo on airliners to go unscreened and ignores the obvious threat of a ground-based attack.

    TSA has only been effective at stripping us of our rights. In less than a year they have managed to convince millions of Americans that it acceptable to digitally strip search and fondle the genitals of their children. No one would have believed this last year and yet here we are, forced to endure these abuses, including submitting our bodies, to a government clerk because spineless politicians have been bullied into allowing this atrocity by a power hungry bureaucracy only interested in its own fortunes

  4. The only question here is what part of the TSO’s job description includes threats and intimidation, and sexual advances toward ticketed passengers? The TSO in question did not have to leave her post to threaten Yukari, nor did any of the other TSOs. Yukari had not yet begun the process, and in fact, the TSA refused to screen her when she presented herself for screening. Instead, they offered to let her bypass the screening process if she would submit to their sexual advances. She refused, and was arrested. The TSOs involved should be discharged and the police officers involved disciplined.

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