Here, at 2oceansvibe, we are quite familiar with some of the unusual pat-downs that the American Transportation Security Association (TSA) has conducted, but this one is surely the most controversial yet. They actually said they had identified something “wet and firm” and that they needed to remove the diaper to complete their checks.
A Floridian woman, Jean Weber, filed a complaint with federal authorities last week alleging that security officials forced her 95-year-old mother to remove her adult diaper as part of a security pat-down at the Northwest Florida Regional Airport.
According to Weber, TSA agents said they had “felt something suspicious” on her mother’s leg and needed to search her in a private room while Weber waited outside.
Citing national security concerns, TSA officials have defended their decision to search the woman who was too ill to walk through the security gates.
The pair had been traveling to Michigan on June 18 so Weber’s mother could spend some time with relatives.
The invasive search was all the more insulting because Weber’s mother has entered the final stages of her battle against leukemia and is bound to her wheelchair.
Weber told the Northwest Florida Daily News:
It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil. Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.
Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the TSA in Miami defended the decision:
TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability.
On Sunday, following further review of the case, the TSA released a statement saying their officers “acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”
Weber went on to explain that her mother had remained calm throughout the search, despite the fact they had not packed another diaper for her to change into.
The incident obviously left Weber in state of distress:
My mother is very ill. She had a blood transfusion the week before, just to bolster up her strength for this travel. I was in tears, just sobbing.
It seems that dignity is not something the TSA has ever heard of.
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