The TSA denies a 90-year-old woman’s claim that she had to remove her blouse and bra during a private room airport search.
Who do you believe? A 90-year-old woman or a TSA agent?
According to the TSA, 90-year-old Harriette Charney went through a body scanner at Portland International Airport and the scanner picked up “an abnormality on her chest.”
TSA agents then pulled her aside to a private room for extra security checks. TSA spokesperson Mike England said at no time was she asked or required to take off her shirt and bra. When she started to take them off, the TSA officer asked her to stop immediately.
However, Harriette Charney and her son, who was traveling with her, claim that’s not what occurred.
“I presumed they were just going to sort of pat her down,” Harriette’s son Alan Charney said.
Instead, according to Harriette, the TSA agent asked her to remove all her clothing from the waist up.She of course complied.
What did the body scanners pick up to initiate a security screening in a private room? The “abnormality” turned out to be a tiny pocket in her bra where she carries extra cash in case her purse is lost or stolen.
The New York Daily News reports that the TSA is investigating the incident.
Could the 90-year-old woman have misunderstood the TSA agent and complied with a strip search that she was never asked to do? We’ll never truly know as there isn't video surveillance footage available.
However, let’s take a look at what TSA agents do when they know they’re being watched on airport surveillance video:
Last month, Denver TSA agents Ty Spicha and Yasmeen Shafi were fired for groping passengers.According to The New York Daily News, these two agents found a way to manipulate the body scanners so that Spicha could “pat-down and fondle” (also known as molest) “travelers he thought were good looking.”
This sleazy team figured out how to manipulate the scanning machines so that men were identified as women. Since the machine thought men were women, it detected abnormalities in the passengers’ genital areas, which gave Spicha every reason to pat that area down. Officials considered the “gropings” as “sexual assault,” but the two will not be facing charges because “investigators were not able to identify the victims from the grainy surveillance video.” Scans were altered for about 10 male passengers, according to The New York Daily News.
Also last month, a TSA agent at JFK Airport was arrested for stealing money out of a passenger’s wallet. The New York Daily News reports Joe Bengay, a 37-year-old TSA agent, was arrested after police determined through surveillance footage that he did in fact steal money out of a man’s wallet when it went through the x-ray machine.
Bengay lost his job and now has a police record, all for stealing a whopping $61 dollars. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property and larceny.
In August, we also reported on British singer/songwriter Morrissey's experiences with the TSA. He says he was groped by at TSA worker at the San Francisco Airport. TSA officials claim they are “looking into” the complaint.
I could go on and on about the other despicable acts TSA agents have been caught on camera doing, such as frisking a three-year-old girl in a wheelchair or announcing loudly that an elderly man was wearing a diaper and then forcing the man to remove the soiled diaper during an "extensive search" so it could be examined.
So again, I’ll ask, who do you believe: A 90-year-old woman or a TSA agent?
Sound off below!
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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