Agents coldly refer to kids as “suspects” and scream at parents who attempt to diffuse situations
by Steve Watson
Two notable incidents this week indicate that despite a “change in policy” last year, the TSA is still conducting enhanced patdowns on children as young as four years old.
At a Kansas airport, a four year old girl was called a “suspect” and ordered to undergo a full patdown by TSA officers after hugging her grandmother during the screening process.
In a Facebook post, which has since been removed pending a formal complaint, the girl’s family noted that agents accused the child of potentially having a handgun in her possession when she ran to hug her grandmother during the screening process.
The TSA agents then threatened to shut down the entire airport unless the “suspect” was subjected to a full patdown. According to the family’s account, the agents were shouting at the girl, ordering her to co-operate, causing her to start screaming and kicking at them. The TSA workers even attempted to take the girl away from her family and frisk her in a separate room.
“…they didn’t explain anything and she did not know what was going on,” the girl’s grandmother said. “She saw people grabbing at her and raising their voices. To her, someone was trying to kidnap her or harm her in some way.”
In a separate incident, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the TSA forced a seven year old mentally handicapped girl to undergo an enhanced patdown because her use of crutches dictated that she could not walk through metal detectors.
The girl’s parents attempted to alleviate her anxiety by asking the TSA agents to calmly introduce themselves and explain what they were doing. However, the agents would have none of it and instead “were exceptionally aggressive,” according to the girl’s father.
After he began recording footage of the screening with his iPhone, one of the agents “started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” he told The Daily.
“They’re harassing people,” said the father, Dr. Joshua Frank. “This is totally misguided policy.” Added Mrs. Frank: “They still attack her like she’s Osama bin Laden. It’s not fair.”
The family ended up missing their flight altogether because of the incident.
The TSA has defended agents in both incidents, issuing almost identical statements saying that they followed the correct procedures.
As we have previously reported, the TSA has revised its policy on patdowns of children on two separate occasions, yet the procedures have continued regardless.
The two new incidents this week highlight the fact that until it is written into law to make the grope-downs illegal, there is no safety net against TSA tyranny.
We cannot simply take the word of an agency that has repeatedly lied to the public about its actions over and over again.
FLASHBACK: No ‘enhanced’ pat-downs for kids, TSA says