Several months ago, we reported on the firings of two men from the Dulles Airport TSA staff. These firings came after police charged the TSA employees with various crimes of sexual misconduct.
It seems the TSA still hasn’t fixed its pervasive problem of hiring men who objectify and abuse women. The Miami New Times reports that Juan Garcia, the Assistant Federal Screening Director for Miami Airport, has a history of soliciting prostitutes.
Garcia was forced to resign from the Miami Police Department in 2000 after he offered an undercover officer $60 for a “fuck and a suck.” We apologize for the language, but we think passengers should know what kind of men the TSA is hiring. These charges against Garcia were sustained in the Miami Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigation.
The TSA hired the fired cop and promoted him to a position of power and authority even though they were aware of his actions. A TSA spokeswoman confirmed that the incident was disclosed on Garcia’s application to the agency.
TSA employees, of course, began their systematic sexual aggression against passengers long after the TSA hired a man who thinks a few dollars should entitle him to use a woman’s body. Garcia was hired before TSA employees started touching the genitalia of innocent travelers, before the TSA began displaying the nude bodies of women and girls to male screeners in back rooms.
There is no excuse for granting men with such ugly attitudes toward women the power to abuse passengers. Many travelers have reported feeling sexually exploited at checkpoints: by the selection process for body scanners, by male screeners who gawk at patdowns, by misogynistic and inappropriate comments that screeners make, or by the “accidental” exposure of their anatomy.
That airport screening is sexually humiliating and degrading is taken by many people as a given, as a fact of life. The least the TSA can do is to stop hiring and promoting criminal sexual abusers in its workforce.
(Photo: zoetnet/Flickr Creative Commons)