The union that represents Transportation Security Administration officers renewed its push for armed agents at checkpoints of the nation’s airports after a violent attack by a machete-wielding taxi driver in New Orleans, the New York Daily News reports. J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said TSA officers are subjected to verbal and physical violence on a regular basis. Transportation security officers (TSOs) “all too often, TSOs become the targets of violence themselves, both verbal and physical,” Cox said.
Richard White, 63, stormed a checkpoint at Louis Armstrong International Airport, sprayed agents with wasp spray and swung a machete Friday night before being shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy. “The security of TSOs and the flying public at checkpoints is a real concern,” AFGE tweeted yesterday Monday. “We can’t just keep repeating the same incident over & over.” Local law enforcement is responsible for policing airports. AFGE represents 45,000 TSA officers. The union doesn’t want all TSA agents armed, rather a special law enforcement unit administered by the TSA, Cox said.