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Ex North Carolina police chief reflective, worried after detention

If you're looking for an individual to criticize the efforts of American customs and border officials in knee-jerk fashion, Hassan Aden is not your guy.

Aden, who is a former North Carolina police chief, quickly points out that he appreciates the work done by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. He readily acknowledges "the difficult and dangerous" nature of their jobs.

Yet he also appreciates the concept of reasonableness, which he says was glaringly lacking in his most recent encounter with a CBP officer.

That interaction took place recently at JFK International Airport in New York, where Aden alit after visiting his mother in Paris for her birthday. He says he knew that something was immediately amiss when an agent said to him, "Let's take a walk."

The alleged reason: Aden's name was the same as that employed as an alias by a person that customs officials were looking for.

Aden said he quickly established his bona fides -- U.S. citizen, former police chief -- and reasonably figured that CBP could sort things out in about five minutes. He said that about 25 other people were ushered into the same detention area he was directed to and were quickly examined and released during the time he was kept confined.

He sat for 90 minutes -- and stewed.

And he reflected on reasonableness, which he says lacked entirely during his detention. He contends that even a cursory look at his passport entries and personal travel history should have cleared him within a matter of minutes.

Aden says that the individual who interacted with him had a clear "ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment," and that his treatment while detained might reasonably suggest that "the Constitution is [now] a mere suggestion."

Some people might of course argue from personal experience with criminal justice authorities that legal safeguards were diluted and only subjectively on display. The bottom line with the Constitution, though, is that it is an enduring document of precious utility that is often centrally cited to by experienced criminal defense attorneys who are conscientiously advocating best-case outcomes for persons who come to them with dire legal needs.

North Carolina residents with questions or concerns regarding any aspect of a criminal detention or charge might reasonably want to contact a proven Charlotte defense attorney without delay.

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