Dictator of Their Immediate Area

I have argued before that police often behave as if they are legally dictator of their immediate area, and frequently assume they can issue orders, however asinine, to anyone in their visual range.  Of course this is legally not true (though I suppose it is legally true if you take into account that courts and the minimal accountability processes that exist for cops never punish them for such behavior).

Here is a great example.  The 2-minute TSA freeze drill, with the TSA yelling at people -- already through security -- within their visual range for moving.  I think they are ripping off Heinlein - was this in Starship Troopers?


  1. Don:

    No matter how outlandish the a fictional description of the police state may be, the reality eventually becomes even more surreal.


  2. JKB:

    Interesting. Do the TSA actually have police powers? Are they special, as in special agents. Do they hold warrants or commissions delegating them police/arrest powers? Or are they security guards who seem to be trying to execute policy outside their domain?

  3. JKB:

    Okay, I did my own research. Seems the TSA website lists "law enforcement and federal air marshals" separately from airport security jobs.
    Available TSA Careers on usajobs.gov

    Law Enforcement and Federal Air Marshal Careers
    Airport Security Careers
    Individuals with Disabilities Outreach
    Veterans' Outreach
    TSA Intern Program
    TSA Resident Program
    New Horizons Career Evolution Program
    So unless an identifiable police officer or air marshal was issuing the freeze order, they got no authority at all. The authority of a police officer or air marshal issuing such an order is questionable as long.

  4. Matthew Slyfield:

    In order,
    Yes, but more as in "He's so special"