The Transportation Security Administration has — once again — made headlines for its invasive pat-down practices. This time it involved a young boy named Aaron, and his mother is “livid.”
“He is still several hours later saying, ‘I don’t know what I did. What did I do?’ ” Jennifer Williamson, Aaron’s mother, wrote in a Facebook post published Sunday following the ordeal. “I am livid.”
Along with her lengthy statement about the event, which occurred at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Williamson posted a two-minute video showing a TSA agent giving Aaron an extremely thorough pat-down.
When everything was said and done, the frustrated mother said the ordeal took “well over an hour.” She accused TSA officials of “deliberately” keeping them from making their flight.
“We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules,” Williamson wrote.
According to Williamson, Aaron suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder, which can result in an oversensitivity to sound and touch. Also, Aaron’s mother was not sure why her child was subjected to such an invasive TSA check, when her son set off “no alarms” and “passed through the detector just fine.”
“I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying,” she recalled, noting that, as the ordeal was unfolding, two police officers “were called and flanking him on each side.”
“Somehow these power tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in,” she added.
Williamson asked those who see the video on Facebook to help “make this viral.” So far, more than 7,000 people have reacted to the video and it has been shared nearly 20,000 times.
This most recent issue with the TSA comes several months after agency officials at the Los Angeles International Airport drew immediate backlash for subjecting a breast cancer patient to a what some people called a “horrific” body search.
“I have never been so humiliated or felt more violated in my life,” Denise Albert, co-founder of The Moms, a lifestyle brand on television, the internet and in print, wrote in December.
According to Albert, she was pulled aside by aggressive TSA agents for a full-body pat-down, much like Aaron’s, because they spotted a tube of medical cream stashed in her carry-on bag.
The most difficult part for Albert, who has had a lumpectomy, was when TSA officers told her they had to pat down her breasts, “us as much pressure” as necessary “to clear the area.” The officers also forced her to remove her wig — the first time she had done so publicly, aside from a couple appearances at breast cancer awareness events.
“I didn’t want them touching my head. It caused me a lot of anxiety and I just started crying,” she said. “When I kept asking why they needed to do all of this, they kept saying because I wanted to bring medical cream on the plane.”
Ultimately, Albert said she received a call from a TSA official, who apologized for her treatment and the agency’s 3,000 LAX officers would be immediately retrained on how to approach travelers with medical conditions.
(H/T: Independent Journal Review)