Aviation expert Peter Goelz shares his thoughts on the TSA's decision to pat-down a 95-year-old cancer stricken woman.
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, a woman filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security alleging that her 95-year-old mother was asked by Transportation Security Administration officials to remove her adult diaper in order to comply with a pat-down search.
The incident reportedly took place June 18 when Jean Weber's mother, who is in the final stages of leukemia, was attempting to fly from Northwest Florida Regional Airport to Michigan to visit family members. Weber's mother required the assistance of a wheelchair to pass through the security.
Sari Koshetz, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Miami who would not comment specifically on the case, told the Daily News that it is policy to pat-down passengers in wheelchairs.
“TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would then exploit that vulnerability,” Koshetz told the paper.
Weber said that her mother was detained for 45 minutes. She was first taken into a glass-partitioned area for a pat-down and then to another private room for additional screening. Weber said that security personnel emerged from the room and asked that her mother remove the diaper, which was soiled, in order to complete the search. Weber took her mother to the bathroom and removed the diaper; Weber's mother did not have another clean diaper with her.
A Homeland Security representative told Weber on Wednesday that procedures had been correctly followed during the search.
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber told the Daily News. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”
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