Mother 'Livid' Over 'Horrifying' TSA Pat-Down of Her Son with Special Needs
A furious mother has posted a video of her young son with special needs being given a lengthy and invasive pat-down by a Transportation Security Administration agent – but the TSA says the screening was all within policy.
Jennifer Williamson’s 2-minute video from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has been viewed nearly 5 million times. She said that her son Aaron suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder and was traumatized by the experience.
“Let me make something else crystal clear. He set off NO alarms,” Williamson wrote. “He physically did not alarm at all during screening, he passed through the detector just fine.”
Williamson said said Aaron was detained for “well over an hour,” causing the family to miss their flight and leaving the boy confused – all this despite the mom requesting an alternate screening for her son.
“He is still several hours later saying ‘I don’t know what I did. What did I do?’ I am livid,” she shared.
Williamson continued, “I wish I had taped the entire interchange because it was horrifying. We had two DFW police officers that were called and flanking him on each side. Somehow these power-tripping TSA agents who are traumatizing children and doing whatever they feel like without any cause, need to be reined in.”
ABC affiliate WFAA received a statement from the TSA defending the procedure, which was in response to “an alarm of the passenger’s laptop.” They also stated that the family was detained for about 45 minutes, less than the hour-plus estimate given by Williamson, including the time it took to search three carry-on items and discuss the screening.
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“The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates. Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process,” they said in the statement. “In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother.”
The TSA was not immediately available for further comment.