Former police chief detained at JFK airport

Greenville Police Department

NEW YORK (WFLA) — A former North Carolina police chief says he was detained at JFK International Airport for 90 minutes on March 13.

Former Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden, who now lives in Alexandria, Virginia was allegedly held by customs agents who told him his name was used as an alias by someone on a watch list.

He reportedly sat in a detention facility while agents looked over his details with a second, unspecified federal agency.

“I was in a room with no access to my mobile phone to communicate with my wife and family about what was happening,” Hassan wrote on Facebook.

“My movements were restricted to a chair and they had my passport. When it goes to 90 minutes with no phone … and you can’t move around, it seems more than an investigation to check your passport,” he said. “It begins to feel like you are in custody.”

He was barely able to make his connecting flight to Washington, D.C  after an officer, who had just started her shift, expedited his release.

Aden, who had all his paperwork, was returning from his mother’s home in Paris where he had celebrated her 80th birthday.

He says he’s traveled abroad many times in the past year and never ran into issues until the incident.

“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 wrote.

“This is my country and with things I see happening, I see certain rights eroding in the name of national security. It’s worrisome,” Aden added.

Aden, who is a U.S. citizen, retired from the Greenville Police Department in 2010 after a two-year stint.

He had a 25-year tenure with the force in Alexandria, Virginia where he was deputy police chief.

When reached for a comment on the incident, The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said it doesn’t comment on individual cases.