NEW YORK, N.Y. (WNCT) – Former Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden took to Facebook Saturday night after he said he was detained at JFK Airport in New York for more than an hour.
Aden had been traveling back to the United States from Paris after celebrating his mom’s 80th birthday.
Aden said when he arrived at the airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers asked him to come with them. He said he was taken to a room, and was told his name was used as an alias by someone on a watch list.
Aden said it took around an hour and a half for CBP officers to clear him from entry.
He believes he was a target of racial profiling.
“I spent nearly 30 years serving the public in law enforcement. 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 the post. “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 said he feels as if his constitutional rights were infringed on during the detainment. He said the country he loves has changed.
“This experience has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. 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 said. “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.