According to court documents, the victim told police Shane A. Hinkle, 38, touched her breasts and put his hand down her pants twice on two separate occasions. The arrest report indicates the incidents all happened at the airport, and surveillance video captured some of the groping.
When I first read the arrest report, I couldn’t help but wonder what the big deal was. Perhaps he just thought he was doing a little on the job training.
In all seriousness, TSA agents across the United States subject hundreds of innocent Americans to this kind of behavior on a daily basis. In a very real sense, Hinkle went to jail charged with doing what he does at work every day. Only the fact that federal law and a badge authorizes his on the job behavior differentiates it from his alleged criminal acts. And in some weird parallel universe, that makes groping OK.
Wrap your head around this: a federal stamp of approval legitimizes sexual abuse.
I don’t mean to minimize the victim’s experience. I can’t imagine the humiliation and fear she must have felt. My point is that airline passengers who must endure strangers touching their breasts, butts and genitals at the airport feel degraded and humiliated as well.Details