DOJ: Assault on Airline Employees in Airports Could Lead to Criminal Charges
The U.S. Department of Justice said earlier this month that a federal law written to protect TSA agents and law enforcement officers in airports also applies to airline employees at airport ticket counters and gates.
The law was first enacted in 2001 and calls for criminal fines and up to ten years in prison for anyone who assaults “a federal, airport, or air carrier employee who has security duties within the airport, interferes with the performance of the duties of the employee or lessens the ability of the employee to perform those duties.”
It was originally interpreted to apply only to TSA agents and law enforcement officers but the DOJ, in a letter to Representative John Garamendi of California after he and other congressmen sent a letter to the Transportation and Justice departments asking for a broader interpretation of the law.
We agree “that the statutory language considers not only TSA and law enforcement officers in this criminal offense, but also airport and air carrier employees who have security duties in the airport,” said Peter Kadzik, an assistant attorney general in the office of legislative affairs, in the letter.
Federal prosecutors would still have to determine if charges were warranted in any such incidents.
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