NEW YORK - Former Greenville Police Chief ,Hassan Aden, claimed he was racially profiled when he was recently detained at JFK Airport in New York for more than an hour.
Aden took to his Facebook page Saturday night to describe his ordeal, which happened on a trip back from Paris, France on March 15.
Aden said he was returning to the United States after celebrating his mother's 80th birthday in Paris when the incident occurred. Upon his arrival in New York, Aden, a U.S. citizen and retired career police man, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers called him aside and proceeded to take him to a back room.
That's where, according to Aden's account, officers told him he was being detained because his name had been used as an alias by someone on a watch list. Aden said his detention lasted for an hour and a half before CBP officers cleared him from entry in to the country and onwards to his journey home.
He believes that despite the fact that he has served the public in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, he was a target of racial profiling and that his rights were infringed by what he calls an 'unlawful detention'.
"Since I retired as the Chief of Police in Greenville, NC, I founded a successful consulting firm that is involved in virtually every aspect of police and criminal justice reform. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials almost daily," Aden said in his lengthy post on the social media site.
"Prior to this administration, I frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms-all that to say that If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be "profiled". No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion," Aden wrote.
He also added that the experience left him feeling vulnerable and concerned about the future of the country.
"This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won't happen again, and that it won't happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad," he wrote.
"This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America."
Aden said he has contacted his U.S. Senators to report the incident. Since late January, there have been similar incidents linked to the controversial travel ban by the Trump administration, which prohibited travelers from seven mostly Muslim countries.