Goodness gracious. A Huffington Post contributor published a story this month entitled “Framed, Arrested and Robbed by the Police in Frankfurt: A Not-So Funny Thing Happened on my Way to the Forum in Delhi.” Since the story had a picture of Frankfurt Airport, I couldn’t help but click. The story is unnecessarily long, at over 4,000 words, so read at your own risk.
The lady in question claims to be a professor at Georgetown University, a national security expert, and a very frequent flyer. That makes this story even crazier, in my opinion.
Her version of the story is so unnecessarily wordy and includes so many details that don’t matter, so let me try to boil it down as much as possible:
- Due to a mechanical delay she was rebooked onto another flight at Frankfurt Airport, and headed to the security checkpoint
- When they did an explosives check, her bag tested positive; this is rare, but I’ve had it happen before, and it’s normal for them to then call over the police
- Based on her account of the situation, she comes across as extremely annoying and impatient; she’s concerned about missing her flight, and from the very first moment seems argumentative with the security officers
- Eventually the topic turns to how she has too many liquids in her bag, and specifically, about how her solid deodorant causes her to exceed the limit; I get it, it’s ridiculous that solid deodorant is considered to be a liquid for these purposes, but in Germany it is
- Suddenly she doesn’t care anymore about whether or not she makes her flight, but now she makes it her personal mission to make sure she schools them on solid deoderant
- Based on her writing style, it sure seems like she’s incredibly aggressive and confrontational towards the officers (“Inspector Clouseau and his daft sidekick was too busy impounding my solid deodorant and offering various preposterous explanations for why it was a liquid when it was clearly a god-damned solid to notice the fellow conspicuously sporting the preferred coiffure of the Hitler’s Youth”)
- She wants to file a complaint against the police officers, and she claims they threaten to arrest her for doing so, though she also acknowledges that they’re threatening to arrest her for being a “belligerent and rude passenger”
- She claims that she says out loud “the crack German police have seized my deodorant…but they don’t seem to care about that Nazi-looking dude over there!”
- At that point they take her into custody in the police station, and fine her; she claims that the officer claimed she called him a Nazi, while she claims she called someone else a Nazi (regardless, just stop)
That’s as much as I can boil down the story in a simple way. I try to be as balanced in these stories as I can. I understand there’s a lot of abuse of power out there. I also don’t want to “mansplain.” But I’m sorry, this lady comes across as a nut.
First she’s super concerned about missing her connection, then she’s willing to miss her connection over a pointless deodorant battle, and in all of this she isn’t exactly acting like a model traveler. Your deodorant has nothing to do with the “Nazi-looking dude over there.”
The woman is now being sued by the German police, as they allege she called them “f*cking bastards” and f*cking German Nazi police.”
Ultimately we don’t know exactly what happened. We don’t know what she called the officers and what she didn’t. Is it possible the police officers may have crossed the line? Perhaps. One thing is for sure, though — the traveler crossed the line. She was unnecessarily argumentative, she went from being very concerned about missing her flight to agreeing to miss it over deodorant, and at a minimum (by her own account) she called someone “Nazi-looking.”
What do you make of this story?