A woman battling breast cancer had a really unfortunate experience with the TSA in Los Angeles last night.
She says Sunday night at LAX, TSA agents aggressively tried to do a body cavity search – in public.
This all happened after she informed them of the metal port on her chest and the medical cream in her bag.
“Her hands were shoving up me, and she went around me and down my pants in the back. And then when she tried to put her hands in my shirt is when I said, ‘enough,'” Albert said.
She had to take off her shoes, but has open sores and rashes on her feet from cancer treatment. It’s why she has a medical cream that was apparently an issue leading to additional screening in the first place. She wasn’t wearing socks, so she was allowed to sit on a bench for her extra screening.
TSA procedures are not to let a passenger touch any of their belongings that have been given up until the enhanced screening has been completed. She had to take off her shoes, so she was expected to leave them off until the screening was complete. When she was finally offered private screening she was told she’d have to walk there barefoot, which with sores and rashes from her cancer treatment was inadvisable.
The TSA wanted to clear everything so she eventually took off her wig in public, something she never does, but she felt the need to protect it from possible damage.
She posted a video of a portion of the experience:
On the video you see the woman shove her hand up my crotch and then try to go down my shirt. That’s when I said (again) I have a medical port and had a lumpecomy. Many of you have remarked about how calm I was. I have to admit, after the video ends (though I do have it on video), I lifted up my shirt. Rather then have them touch my breasts and port “with pressure” as the TSA agent stated. That’s when they said they were calling law enforcement…
I do think it would have been advisable for her to wear socks (in fairness, with PreCheck she didn’t expect to take off her shoes), unless there was a medical reason she wasn’t doing so which isn’t mentioned in media coverage or her Facebook post.
She should have been offered a private screening at the outset, and have gone to a private room with a same sex screener. It seems someone finally took compassion on her and allowed her mid-screening to put her shoes back on and go to a private room where things were resolved.
[T]hey opened my bags, removed everything and another TSA agent joked about all of the eyelashes I had. I told her, it’s because I don’t have real ones from my cancer treatment.
Naturally the TSA in a statement says “We regret any discomfort the security screening process may have caused the passenger.” They can’t even bring themselves to say discomfort that the screening process did cause, they have to caveat it with ‘may’. That’s bureaucracy for you.