A woman who stood up to TSA screeners and refused to allow them to grope her or her 14 year old daughter has been found guilty of “disorderly conduct” and sentenced to one year of probation by a court in Tennessee.Back in July 2011, Andrea Fornella Abbott of Clarksville, was arrested by Nashville airport authorities for expressing outrage at the TSA procedures.
A police report stated that Abbott would not allow her daughter to be “touched inappropriately” or have her “crotch grabbed”. Abbott also refused to submit to a full body scan, saying that she did not want her or her daughters’ naked bodies revealed by the scanner.
The report noted that she attempted to take cell phone video of the incident but was prevented from doing so by the TSA screeners.
When police were called to the scene, Abbott reportedly cursed at them and referred to the TSA screeners as pedophiles, leading to her arrest.
The Associated Press
reports that the prosecution argued that Abbott’s behavior “prevented others from carrying out their lawful activities,” and held up two security lines for thirty minutes.
“You can speak your mind, but you can’t do it in an illegal manner,’ said Assistant District Attorney Megan King, adding “What the defendant did was a crime.”
The defense argued that Abbot was exercising her right to free speech. “Telling a police officer your opinion, even in strong language, to me that’s a First Amendment right,” Abbot’s attorney Brent Horst told reporters.