Former Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden said he was unreasonably detained, after allegedly being forced to sit in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention center for an hour and a half, which he detailed in a Facebook post earlier this evening.
“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,” Aden said in the post.
Aden was returning from visiting his mother in Paris, when he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He said this is something he has done numerous times since becoming a U.S. citizen, but this is the first time he has been detained by CBP.
“On all of my prior trips, I was greeted by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers with a warm smile and the usual, ‘Welcome home sir’,” he said.
Aden said the officer who stopped him asked if he was traveling alone and then proceeded to escort him to a back room. He told the officers numerous times of his past experience as a police chief, but they continued to hold him saying someone on the watch list was using his name as an alias.
According to Aden, there were around 25 other foreign nationals who were also stopped by the CBP. However, they were released after a few minutes, while he stayed detained longer than anyone else.
“I told him as he avoided eye contact how wrong this scenario was that the only US citizen, career US police officer and chief of police out of the group of detainees was the one with the longest unreasonable detention,” Aden said.
He went on to include in his post that when he tried to take up his complaints with the CBP, they claimed he was not being detained.
“I was in a room with no access to my mobile phone to communicate with my wife and family about what was happening, my movements were restricted to a chair, and they had my passport, and he had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained,” Aden said.
After being released, he has continued to reach out to representatives about his experience and plans to continue reaching out to as many people as necessary.
“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,” Aden said.