Merrick Garland Focuses On Flight Violence: Attorney General Directs Federal Prosecutors To Tackle Flight Violence

Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland, the Attorney General has directed federal prosecutors across the US to give priority to flight crime cases. The memo issued on Wednesday was meant to tackle an upsurge in unruly behavior by passengers that have been upsetting air travel, putting additional strain on a system weighed down by a sharp spurt in air travel.

The memo from Merrick Garland stated that passengers who attack, threaten, or intimidate flight attendants and other crew not just harm the employees but also disrupt the performance of critical jobs that help in a safe air journey.               

Merrick Garland further noted that when passengers indulge in violence or other aggressive behavior on flights, they endanger all passengers and crew on the flight.

The FAA has been taking action against unruly passengers and has used authorities to open 266 cases of enforcement. It has also sought the intervention of federal investigation into 37 criminal cases.

Many of the cases in recent weeks has been over-wearing of masks on flights and in the airports, leading to severe disruption throughout the already strained aviation system.

Merrick Garland Has Directed Federal Authorities And Others To Adopt A Zero-Tolerance Policy

Federal authorities also stressed that they have a zero-tolerance policy for unruly behavior and violence on airlines. But this has been an unusually bad year as the surge in the number of cases has put an enormous strain on the system as people take to the air with a vengeance after the pandemic restrictions were eased.

The onus for investigation is normally shared among multiple agencies, and that includes the local police.

Merrick Garland’s memo is designed to bring in additional resources to tackle the spike in incidents and also streamline the investigation process.

Merrick Garland has also directed prosecutors to inform the local authorities, including the police, that aviation crimes were of high importance for the Department.

The Federal Aviation Authorities have received 5,338 instances of unruly behavior and have launched an investigation in 1,012 cases.