TSA addresses harassment of sick girl in wheelchair

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by TSA News Blog, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. TSA News Blog

    TSA News Blog News Feed

    The TSA has once again been forced to respond to an instance of abuse because a video went viral. Not apologize, mind you, just respond.​
    If it hadn’t been for that video, the experience of 12-year-old Shelbi Walser would’ve been just another day in American airport screening, a story of harassment told only to family and friends, unknown to the rest of us.​
    But because the story and video got such wide play, the TSA was finally forced to step forward. And what did our security overlords say?​
    An agent in Tampa provided his cell phone number to the family, offering to personally walk with them through security after Shelbi’s next treatment in Florida.​
    Oh, great. So the next time Shelbi and her mother pass through Tampa, they might, if they can get a hold of this guy, not be abused as they go through the checkpoint. As for other airports, I guess they just have to take their chances. After all, the TSA did nothing wrong:​
    “We regret that the experience of this young lady was not a positive one as we always strive to screen passengers with dignity and respect while ensuring the safety of all travelers. Everything TSA does is designed to protect against another terrorist attack. In all likelihood, this traveler would have presented no risk, yet we could take no chances. She alarmed for explosive residue and TSA took the necessary steps to resolve the alarm.”​

    You see? No apology given because no apology needed. Merely “we regret that the experience of this young lady was not a positive one.”
    Not “we’re sorry” or “we apologize” or “we were wrong.” Of course not. We simply “regret” that this 12-year-old girl didn’t like the way we handled things. “We could take no chances,” which is why we detained her for almost an hour, prevented her mother from comforting her, and then merrily sent her on her way even though we know we “resolved” nothing.
    But it’s always this way. The TSA didn’t apologize to Lenore Zimmerman or Ruth Sherman or Lena Reppert or Carolyn Durand or Nina Gilkenson or Sommer Gentry or Amy Alkon or Andrew Ian Dodge or Michelle Dunaj or anybody else either. Oops — sorry; they did apologize to Thomas Sawyer for spilling his urine all over him, but then they went and did it again a few months later.
    I would direct the TSA to a site that explains, step by step, how to make an apology if I thought it would do any good. But as we know, the TSA is never wrong. Only you, dear traveler, are wrong.
    (Photo: zappowbang/Flickr Creative Commons)
  2. FetePerfection

    FetePerfection Founding Member Coach

    TSA believes they did nothing wrong, therefore no apology needed...this is merely another case of them being forced to issue a public relations spin.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    I saw the piece on TSA News and left a comment about my experience with DFW TSA thugs.
  4. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I'm putting my money on the kind screener who contacted the family being "retrained" very shortly.
  5. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    As usual, the TSA doesn't address the problem - they make excuses for the reaction to the problem.
  6. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Taking the train in today I ran into a couple of fellows and the cavity search in texas story came up. Immediately, one of the fellows started talking about his weekend experience
    taking his aged father (wheelchair bound) and mother to the airport. "He's a military vet, paid his taxes, followed the law, and the screener humiliated him, touched every part
    of his body. I objected to the police officer there who said, 'yes, this clerk does this crap to everyone he can' but did nothing about it". Several other people chimed in with
    similar stories. These are just regular people in a liberal area. I think the frustration and anger is building up in ways the TSA cannot fathom. It's not just us types
    on Travel Underground!
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Any story in the news with comments from readers paint TSA and its employees as (expletive deleted). This wasn't so a year or so ago. The tide has turned. The Transportation (expletive deleted) Agency is in some deep do do. It may take some time for the changes to be made but the changes are coming, voluntarily or forced, the changes are coming.
    nachtnebel and phoebepontiac like this.
  8. Agreed. I think the nature of this checkpoint story itself also represents a change in tide. The mother reports that there were people around complaining audibly about this girl's treatment. I don't recall that happening in any other stories; the folks may be hitting a point where they're not going to pass through so quietly anymore. Then the bomb squad guys showed up, looked at the stupidity of the situation, got on their cell phones and canceled the show. Could it be that the bomb guys, whose position is much more skilled and legit than that of the checkpoint screeners, are starting to turn against the ETD dog and pony show in situations like these? I do hope these details are a sign of a larger movement to reject the screeners' authoritah.
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I noted that when the story first came out:

    At the very least, this is a major milestone if not a turning point.

    Smart cops are not going to allow themselves to be sucked into TSA's stupid games. Unfortunately, not all cops are that bright, and we've seen a number of shining examples of stupidity that play right along with TSA, e.g. in the Andrea Abbott, Yukari Mihamae & Phil Mocek cases. Officer "Scott" at BNA who posts at that "other place" is a real zero. In the Phil Mocek case the police officer actively worked to destroy evidence and falsify the charges, and he had had other previous issues noted in the media; he's now the target of a federal civil rights lawsuit.

    Paul Sanchez regularly tangles with (and photographs) cops carrying water for TSA. He always seems to win out in the end but often as not has to rub their noses in the law and Constitution to get them to comply.

    In short, as long as TSA exists in whatever capacity, we will have to deal with the low level of cognitive skills that you get with rent-a-cops & run-of-the-mill airport cops.
  10. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Ain't that the frellin' truth.


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