Lentils Get NY Family Questioned by 6 Officers

Wife was researching pressure cookers...
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2013 11:30 PM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2013 5:18 AM CDT
Lentils Get NY Family Questioned by 6 Officers

So you're interested in learning to cook lentils; your news-junkie son has been reading about the Boston Marathon bombings; and your husband is shopping around for a new backpack. It's the "perfect storm of terrorism profiling," writes Michele Catalano, and it's what got Catalano and her family visited by six police officers with guns (the Long Island woman describes them as "agents from the joint terrorism task force"), she says. Catalano had been researching pressure cookers, so when the officers showed up Wednesday morning, they asked her very confused husband if the family owned a pressure cooker. "My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked," Catalano recounts in a Medium.com post picked up by the Guardian.

After completing a casual search of the house and determining they were not dealing with terrorists, the officers left. Catalano, not home at the time, was shaken: "This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do." (In an update posted later, she explained that the suspicious searches also involved things her husband had looked up at his former workplace, but they weren't made aware of that at the time.) Click for her full post. (More pressure cooker stories.)

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