Cook County Judge Yolande Bourgeois has served on the bench for ten years, and she had absolutely no reason to suspect that her quick trip to Cancun for her 65th birthday would be anything but smooth.
However, after a layover in Indianapolis, Bourgeois was shocked when her boarding pass was marked “SSSS,” which stands for “Secondary Security Screening Selection.”
When a TSA noticed the designation, which Bourgeois did not realize was amiss, a supervisor was summoned, at which point Borgeois got the shock of her life.
“He hands her my documents, she looks at it and she goes, ‘Her?’,” Judge Bourgeois told NBC Chicago. “She said, they’ve got you on a known terrorist list, and I said—what??””
The Chicago judge said that six or seven TSA agents then checked her suitcase and electronics, and they ran her through a full-body pat-down.
Although Bourgeois was told that it was the airline that put her on the list, TSA spokesperson Michael McCarthy suggested that it could have been random as a result of the TSA’s Secure Flight protocols.
“Is anyone safer because I’m on a terror list?” the judge asked of the protocols. “I don’t think so!”
If it was random, Bourgeois will not run into any future trouble, but if she has been placed on a list, she will have to petition the TSA for redress.