UPDATE: A TSA spokesperson has denied any officer misconduct to Rolling Stone. “TSA takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and strives to treat every passenger with dignity and respect,” Mike England says. “Upon review of closed circuit TV footage, TSA determined that the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures in the screening of this individual.”
Morrissey claims he was sexually assaulted by a security officer who grabbed his genitals after a routine security check at the San Francisco Airport on July 27th, according to a post from the musician on True to You.
The incident reportedly took place around 2:30 p.m. after Morrissey had finished regular security procedure, without problem, and was gathering his belongings. “I was approached by an ‘airport security officer’ who stopped me, crouched before me and groped my penis and testicles,” Morrissey wrote. “He quickly moved away as an older ‘airport security officer’ approached.”
While Morrissey said he was initially reluctant to lodge a complaint — “as with any complaint against a figure in ‘authority,’ the complaints are simply collected in order to protect the guilty officer,” he wrote — he was convinced to do so by two accompanying members of British Airways Special Services.
But first, Morrissey confronted the officer, identified only as the General Manager on Duty, who responded to his accusations with, “That’s just your opinion.”
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“Apart from ‘that’s just your opinion,’ he would not comment, even though, since the penis and testicles were mine and no one else’s, then my opinion must surely have some meaning,” Morrissey wrote. “But, of course, what the airport security officer was saying was: your opinion will never count in the eyes of the law.”
A spokesperson for San Francisco International Airport did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Though the incident, as Morrissey noted, was probably captured by a CCTV camera, and despite corroborating accounts from the two Special Service members who witnessed the incident, Morrissey ended his post on a skeptical note.
“In the interests of imperishable bureaucracy my submitted complaint against this ‘officer’ will obviously be either unread or ignored because, as we all know, on matters of officialism it is not possible to be pleasantly surprised by anything at all,” he wrote. “However, what is clear is that, should you find yourself traveling through San Francisco International Airport, you should expect sexual abuse from the so-called ‘security officers’ who, we are unconvincingly warned, are acting only for our security.”