My July (expletive deleted) at ONT

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Anonymous, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The following events occurred on Friday, July 8, 2011 between 0745 and 0815. I took Southwest flight 1183 from ONT to MCI.

    I put my possessions on the belt. The man in front of me kept alarming the metal detector. When I suggested that he take off his watch after his third attempt, a female screener told me to step to the side. My things were going through the machine, so I refused to lose line of sight on my possessions. She said that I still had to step to the side. I refused to go through the scanner; I have had several moles removed for being precancerous, so I had no intention of risking any more exposure to radiation. The screener tried to force me to stand right next to the machine, and I refused, as standing next to it defeats the purpose of avoiding extra radiation and exposure. I said "I won't be raped to fly."

    I was finally allowed to step through the gate and start going towards my belongings and to maintain my line of sight when another female screener came up behind me and said she was going to do my pat down, but she suddenly started shoving me towards the belt. As I felt her hand start shoving me hard on my right shoulder, I stepped forward, turned around and said “You will NOT touch me without my consent.” She called for a supervisor. A male screener started rifling through my belongings while they were still on the belt; I said “I have the right to maintain a line of sight on my things.” The supervisor let me point out which things were mine and we walked to the screening area.

    The negligence of the first female screener who shoved me put me in a heightened state of anxiety. I was already shaking. I rapidly told the supervisor (who never gave me her name, she only ever identified herself as “the supervisor”). I told her I would rather strip naked than go through the machine and that I didn’t want to do a pat down because I had been raped in college and a pat down would be extremely traumatic. She said we could go to a private screening room. I said “I won’t go to any rape room with you,” as I have read several accounts of very abusive treatment in the private rooms and considering that I had been shoved only moments before, I was not leaving the public’s view. She said she would have me arrested if I took off my clothes; I was well aware of that, but her tone and attitude became increasingly abusive and controlling. I asked if I could have paperwork to fill out after the pat down; she said I could have it. I nodded and said "I consent to the pat down under duress."

    I told her again that I had been raped in college and that this was extremely traumatic. At some point, she pulled me up by my left arm with excessive force; this caused a bruise to appear on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. (Dr. Silvia Jones said that it could take several days for bruises to appear, especially when the trauma is deep and that I could expect other bruises to show up later as well.) I have enclosed pictures of this injury as well.

    A male screener behind me looked me in the eyes, snapped his gloves behind my head and licked his lips lasciviously as I stood up to assume the position for the pat down. I maintained his gaze and said, “You will not touch me without my consent.” I told the supervisor that I just wanted to go to my grandmother’s funeral. She started pressing her thumb very violently and with excessive pressure into my left leg. I began to whimper from the pain of having her continually dig and grind her thumb into my knee. I began shaking more, as her negligent and violent actions made me begin to have flashbacks to having my legs spread apart violently (almost with the same amount of pressure that she was using) at the knees and being raped shortly thereafter. I was shaking more and more, and she was violently and intentionally causing me physical pain and I whimpered again and started crying. She said that she would start with my back. She finished my back. I had my eyes closed and I was trying to get through the pat down. She never told me that she would move to my chest; she never told me that she would start examining my breasts. I started shaking more and whimpering louder as the flashbacks became more and more vivid. She hissed “Just let me finish the pat down” as she started touching my breasts. When I was raped in college, my rapist told, “Just shut up and let me finish” as he caressed my breasts. I was having my breasts touched with absolutely no notice and I was already traumatized from being shoved. I began having a panic attack and started sobbing loudly as the screener’s hands became my rapist’s hands on my breasts. She stopped and called the cop.

    She and the male screener who had snapped his gloves and licked his lips began to talk about how they “should have called the cops from the beginning and had [me] arrested”. I groveled, "Please, just let me bury my grandma. Please, just let me go to her funeral." The supervisor "You have two choices," she said, "consent to the pat down or leave the airport." She went on about how "on the way home they won't be as understanding as I am.” I felt threatened. She started talking about how I could be arrested and that she would make sure I was if I didn’t cooperate and consent to the pat down.

    The cop came. The female supervisor willfully lied to him and said “She was using abusive language and interfering with the screening process.” Crying out from a panic attack and sobbing is not abusive language. At no time did I use obscenities or foul language with the supervisor. I realized in that moment when she lied to the cop that she would go through with her threat to not let me fly to my grandmother’s funeral if I told the cop about how she had been hurting me earlier or the shoving from the other screener. I was still panicking, and I was terrified that the cop would have no power to get me on my flight. The cop asked me some questions. Another male passenger put his hand on my shoulder and said "We all go through this."

    When the cop was in front of me and another male clerk thought the cop was blocking my line of sight, he started to go through my things, thinking I couldn’t see him. I said "You will not touch my things without my presence or consent. Are you trying to steal from me? I have a right to see you go through my things. Don't do it because you see the cop is blocking my line of sight."

    With the cop observing, the pat down was less violent and abusive. The wrenching and shoving into my knees stopped and she did not apply the same amount of abusive pressure on my legs during the rest of the pat down; however, she never ever said what she was going to touch—she just touched me. She never told where her hands were going, making the experience even more traumatic.

    The male clerk who tried to go through my stuff admitted to the cop to "just touching your sweater." They were looking for my boarding pass, but they tried to go through my things without my consent or permission. They would not give me the paperwork that I asked for in the beginning.

    I finally left the pat down area, vividly remembering a second rape where my rapist tried to drown me in a slow draining bathtub. I was covered with sweat and shaking. Looking for my gate, a different male passenger came up to me and said, "What a waste of time." I asked, "Are you mad at me?" He said, "No, it was a waste of your time and theirs."

    I wrote up only part of my experience on an online forum, as to not lose the more important details. On Saturday, I noticed a very dark bruise on my left leg where I had been violently pinched and grabbed by the female supervisor who was negligent in her duties. The bruise was approximately two and a half to three inches long. Due to my grandmother’s funeral, I did not take a photo that day. Due to the shoving, the abusive holding of my leg and the threat of arrest, I wanted to forget the whole thing happened. However, on Sunday, when I cleared security uneventfully in MCI, and I looked and saw the deep bruise on my leg, I decided that the abuse and threats were unwarranted and that I needed to document it. Enclosed are two photos of the bruise.

    I spent the weekend having panic attacks, waking up with full sweat, and reliving the rapes. I began scratching the back of my ears, scratching my arms, grinding my knuckles into the palms of my hands and pulling hair as an unconscious, physical manifestation of the anxiety caused by the brutality and abuse I suffered from the negligent actions of the TSA agents at ONT airport Friday morning.

    I landed at ONT on Sunday evening, and I asked for a supervisor. I wanted the paperwork I had been denied on Friday. The supervisor brought the paperwork and asked for my name and number. I did not want to give that information to him because I sincerely feared and still fear retaliation if I fly out of ONT and report what happened to me. I relented and gave him that information and left the airport.

    On Monday, July 11, 2011, I went to the doctor. I had her record my bruises and I recounted how the anxiety had become almost unmanageable and made me get to the point where I had decided on my top three ways of committing suicide. I began reliving both the brutal treatment that left a bruise that is still dark and visible on my left leg four days later (Tuesday, July 12, 2011) and my college rapes. I was sobbing and panicking in the office. Due to my state of agitation, the doctor (Dr. Jones) made an emergency appointment with the psychiatrist. I then spoke to the psychiatrist for half an hour, and had to make a follow up appointment.

    The negligent and abusive actions of several TSA clerks at ONT on Friday, July 8, 2011, has resulted in me having cascading panic attacks, needing several more appointments for mental health, needing to increase what was a sub-clinical dose of Lexapro to a much higher dose to just manage to get through the day, having vivid recalls of both the college rapes and the violent treatment of my left leg during the pat down, having a deep tissue bruise that was visible for over two weeks later, having a lower quality of life, and a loss of work productivity.
  2. AngryMiller

    AngryMiller Original Member

    Sorry something like this happened to you. It should never happen. Please complain. Nag. Complain and keep complaining.
  3. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    Thank you for detailing this awful experience for us. While I am not trained in dealing with trauma, rape and post-traumatic stress disorders it is very clear you should continue seeking treatment to help you cope. I hope you can recover and regain your life again but in the meantime, I am so angry that we must face these indignities and abuses just to fly.

    This is so very wrong and that's why TUG and dozens of other great forums & organizations exist, to eliminate TSA, take back our liberties and fight for an end to these abuses.
    KrazyKat and AngryMiller like this.
  4. exbayern

    exbayern Original Member

    I'm so sorry that this happened to you. It seems that there are a lot of female screeners who seem to take pleasure in mistreating flyers (I'm not saying that the male ones don't either, but one of our LTSOs had admitted the challenge TSA faces with female screeners)

    I hope that you are getting the help you need and deserve and that things are more positive for you.

    Thank you for having the courage to post that and best of luck to you.
  5. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    This is sick, this is wrong, and this should never happen in a so-called free nation.

    Anonymous is not a criminal. She is not a political prisoner, a prisoner of war, a suspected (*gasp horror scandal*) terrorist (*gassssp!*), or any other class of "dangerous individual" that would warrant such invasive search methods.

    (expletive deleted), those dangerous individuals themselves don't get searched like that.

    Anonymous, I just received a reply from my senator today that was a response to a letter I'd written regarding the ORD grope video. He was disappointingly sympathetic to "the need to keep us safe." With your permission, I'd like to send him (and my other elected officials, all of whom have been disgustingly negligent in their duties to protect our rights, one even going so far as to defend TSA) a copy of the account you've posted here.

    One thing is for certain - I have become a single-issue voter on TSA and TSA alone until the problem that is TSA is resolved. To (expletive deleted) with the economy, to (expletive deleted) with taxes, to (expletive deleted) with keeping church and state separate (yes, really) and to (expletive deleted) with jobs and to (expletive deleted) with foreign policy. Until abuses like those perpetrated against Anon here are stopped, I care about nothing but abolishing TSA.

    "TSA delenda est" indeed. There is no humanity left in that organization and there is no humanity left in any single one of its employees. They all deserve the worst of whatever life gives them, and worse still.
    AngryMiller likes this.
  6. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach


    Sorry to hear of your abuse. Things like that are why many of us have quit flying.

    Depending on how how you arrived here, you might have already found this, but we provide a long list of places to lodge your complaint:

    Please start at #2 (#1 was to post here) & work your way down the list.

    If you'd to return as a regular user ("registered" users are still as anonymous as they wish to be), you're certainly welcome to join us.

    KrazyKat and AngryMiller like this.
  7. Anonymous -- Your story is deeply troubling, and I'm struggling to find the words I want to say to you. I hope you can see that you're not alone in this struggle, and that by violating you they violated all of us. And by posting your story and sharing it, you're turning a brutish violation into a powerful message. You've transformed it into something powerful and useful.

    Please keep taking good care of yourself. You can overcome this.

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