On May 15 Jeanne LaBrier Clarkson went to Outback Steakhouse before heading to Washington Dulles airport on May 15 to fly home to Indiana. She and her fiance accompanied her 96 year old mother through the security checkpoint.
Her mother was subjected to a pat down that lasted for over six minutes, which she knows because she was filming the whole time once TSA pulled her mother aside for additional screening and wouldn’t tell her why or what they were doing to the woman.
“My 96 year old mother being extensively searched by the TSA,” Clarkson wrote. “The 3 of us were all in wheelchairs. Only my 96 year old mother was subjected to this prolonged, repetitive search.”
TSA asks the 96 year old wheelchair bound woman to remove her windbreaker. It takes her effort but she manages to do it. Then they pat her down, including her inner thighs. They make her adjust herself so they can reach underneath her. They feel around her stomach and her breasts. They have her lift her legs.
A passenger watching says “she’s not Gumby” and another says “Oh, for God sakes.”
Washington Dulles airport says ‘don’t blame us, it’s the TSA.’
Instead of blaming the incident on “a few bad apples who in no way undermine the hard work that thousands of men and women at the TSA do to keep us safe, day in and day out” they’re defending the search as no big deal,
In this instance, the TSA officer provided advisements during the pat-down and was extremely polite. The passenger was very cooperative and gave no indication that she was agitated or in discomfort. She received a pat-down and was cleared for her flight.
I suspect that asking the government’s permission to travel and being groped in exchange for the privilege has become so normalized that many people will agree with the government here — and that the bigger wrong was done by United Airlines in cancelling their flight.