A video of TSA agents searching a 96-year-old woman in a wheelchair at the Dulles Airport in Washington has gone viral.
The video was uploaded on Facebook a month ago by Jeanne LaBrier Clarkson and has since garnered over 140,000 shares and 9 million views. According to the video description by Clarkson, the three members of their group were all in wheelchairs, but only her 96-year-old mother was “subjected to this prolonged, repetitive search.”
According to Clarkson, she, her fiance, and Evelyn LaBrier were traveling home after visiting her son in Maryland. While the TSA screener was polite and explained the process during the search, which included a pat-down of Labier’s chest and pelvis reason, Clarkson can be heard expressing her frustration and concern in the video.
“You don’t need to block it,” Clarkson can be heard saying as another TSA agent moves to obscure the camera’s view. “That was uncalled for. What in hell do you think she’s going to do? Set off a shoe bomb?”
“I was just shocked. I’ve been in a wheelchair myself unable to walk through the machines and I’ve never had that kind of a pat-down ever,” Clarkson said in an interview with CBS News. ” I couldn’t believe they were doing this to my 96-year-old mother.”
Facebook users also weighed in on the situation in the comments, both in the defense of LaBrier and the TSA agents.
“These are the types of clowns who would violate all civil liberties to keep their job,” one commenter wrote in outrage. “This is how average Germans could so easily look the other way. They’re worse than mindless robots.”
Another commenter stated that the video was unusual given the circumstances. “This was more than any pat down I have ever seen at a US airport. This person’s private areas were violated for no apparent reason. It would have been kinder to force her to walk through the screening machines like everyone else. What caused this kind of search?”
Other commenters, however, thought that the TSA agents were professional and simply doing their jobs.”These ladies have a job to do, and that job is to protect everyone on the plane. No, this lady doesn’t look dangerous at all but who’s to say someone hasn’t put something on her to get it on the plane, against her will,” a commenter wrote in defense of the TSA. “The world we live in is crazy. You’d think people would respect them for doing the job they were hired to do.”
Another commenter agrees with the state of today’s society. “Nothing was done wrong. People have no morals today. so I’m sure they would plant something on nana because they don’t think they would search her. It’s hard to run a pt through a metal detector on a metal wheelchair. Get over it.”
The airport addressed the video on with a statement on their Facebook page.
“Many of you have reached out to us to express concern over a video of a security screening taking place at Dulles International Airport,” the statement reads. “We have shared customer comments with the TSA for their immediate review and appropriate action.”
Clarkson told CBS News that TSA has yet to contact the family directly, and her mother still asks, “Why did they do that to me?”
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