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Outrage Video: TSA Agents Patting Down 96-Year-Old in Wheel Chair

06-11-2018
TSAPatDown

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is coming under heavy criticism on social media after a woman captured video of TSA agents completing a six-minute patdown search of her 96-year-old mother in a wheelchair.

Nearly nine million people have watched the video as Evelyn LaBrier was searched by two female agents for six minutes including in her chest and pelvic region. 

CBS reports that the incident took place at Washington Dulles International Airport on May 15th. 

Jeanne Clarkson, LaBrier's daughter, captured the entire incident on video. 

"The three of us were all in wheelchairs. Only my 96-year-old mother was subjected to this prolonged, repetitive search," read Clarkson's caption.

Clarkson told The Washington Post that she went through security only to discover that her mother was stopped and searched. 

"I am my mother's legal guardian and responsible for her well-being. I went through security. When I saw that they had pulled Mother aside to search her. I tried asking why. They ignored me," Clarkson recalled. "That upset me so I began videoing what they were doing to document my complaint that I intended to file."

"I have traveled extensively and never seen anything like this. Mother had traveled with me before and never been groped like that!" she added.

In the video, Clarkson can be heard asking, "What do you think she's going to do - set off a shoe bomb?"

Clarkson, her fiancé, and LaBrier were traveling home from Indiana after visiting her son in Maryland. In the video, the TSA screener was polite and explained what was happening, but Clarkson told CBS the patdown was "long and repetitive."

"I was just shocked. I've traveled with her before, 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. I was just shocked," she said. "I couldn't believe they were doing this to my 96-year-old mother. It was just shocking, and frustrating because they would not talk to me. I felt helpless."

TSA says it had no indication the woman was in distress during the check.

"TSA is committed to ensuring the security of travelers while treating all passengers with dignity and respect. In this instance, the TSA officer provided advisements during the pat-down and was extremely polite," the agency told CBS. "The passenger was very cooperative and gave no indication that she was agitated or in discomfort. She received a pat-down and was cleared for her flight."

TSA added that the screener did follow procedure.

Washington Dulles Airport also responded to the controversy via Facebook.

 Clarkson said her mother doesn't want to ever fly again.

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