Thumbnail image for phil_mocek_headshot_cropped.jpg
UPDATED on Monday, January 24, with comments from Mocek.

After an hour of deliberation Friday evening, a Bernalillo County, New Mexico, jury found Phil Mocek

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Jury Finds Phil Mocek Not Guilty of All Charges From TSA Arrest

Thumbnail image for phil_mocek_headshot_cropped.jpg
UPDATED on Monday, January 24, with comments from Mocek.

After an hour of deliberation Friday evening, a Bernalillo County, New Mexico, jury found Phil Mocek not guilty of all four charges he faced after refusing to show his ID and using a video recorder at a TSA checkpoint in 2009. If you're keeping score at home, that's Mocek: 1, TSA: 0.

Reached by phone, Mocek was obviously pleased with the verdict. "A jury looked over the situation and found I wasn't guilty of the things I had been accused of," he said. "That's satisfying."

Mocek says he did not plan on being arrested when he walked into the airport last November, but he did anticipate a hassle since he didn't have his ID.

"I definitely planned to fly home when I walked into the airport on that day," he says. "In the past, when I flew without ID there was always at least some additional hassle. And when I have either flown without ID, or when I presented ID but simply asked the TSA representative what would happen if I didn't have ID to show, most of the time they were not familiar with TSA's stated policies. So it's reasonable to expect that no matter the circumstance, if you go to the airport with a boarding pass and no documentation of identity, there's going to be additional hassle."

Mocek also noted the value of recording his interaction with the TSA officials, and encouraged other citizens to do the same when dealing with police and other public servants.

"People who have something to hide while working as public employees and interacting with the public tend to prefer not to have a record made of their interactions with the public," Mocek says. "We've found out a lot about behavior of police in Seattle that we would not have known if someone had not been there with a camera."

He says he hopes others will use civil disobedience to learn about TSA's secretive procedures and reaffirm their individual right to air travel. However, after his arrest and trial, Mocek says his flying days are over.

"Unless I suck it up and compromise my principles," he says. "I won't be flying anytime soon."

The original post follows.

According to Edward Hasbrouck of the Identity Project, Mocek did not testify, and the defense rested on Friday without calling any witnesses or presenting any evidence. Hasbrouck attended the trial; he writes:

The jury found that even without rebuttal, the TSA and Albuquerque police had failed to satisfy their burden of proving any of the four charges: concealing his identity, refusing to obey a lawful order (it was never entirely clear whether this was supposed to have been an order to turn off his camera, an order to leave the airport despite having a valid ticket, or an order to show ID, none of which would have been lawful orders), trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Here's a report from the local Albuquerque TV news station, with Mocek's reaction shortly after the verdict was announced:

And today, Mocek released a portion of the video he recorded shortly before his arrest:

 
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