TSA Defends Interrogating 4 Year Old
TSA officials are defending their actions after interrogating a 4 year old girl at a Montana airport.
Michelle Brademeyer, of Missoula, Mon., wrote about the incident on her Facebook page alleging TSA officers called for backup after her daughter would not stop crying and at one point was ordered to spread her legs.
The young girl had ran to give her grandmother a hug. After the two second embrace, TSA officials went into action – suggesting that a handgun was passed between the two.
Brademeyer’s four year old child was so excited to see her grandmother that she ran over to give her a brief hug. At that point, a TSA officer began yelling at the child and demanded she sit down and undergo a full body pat-down.
“It was implied, several times, that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter,” Brademeyer wrote on her Facebook page.
Brademeyer says that TSA agents then went into action.
They told her she had to come to them, alone, and spread her arms and legs,” Brademeyer wrote, noting that her daughter began screaming “No, I don’t want to.”
“That is when a TSO told me they would shut down the entire airport, cancel all flights, if my daughter was not restrained,” she wrote. “It was then they declared my daughter a ‘high-security threat.’”
Brademeyer said she tried to pick up her daughter and comfort her but the TSA ordered her to stop. They were eventually escorted to a private room where she said her daughter was treated like a terrorist.
TSA officials defend their actions – suggesting that they’ve seen problems with kids and weapons before.
“I will never forget the look of pure terror on her face,” she said. “A TSO began repeating that in the past she had ‘seen a gun in a teddy bear.’ The TSO seemed utterly convinced my child was concealing a weapon, as if there was no question about it.”
Via a spokesperson, TSA officials have also said that their agency has recently modified their protocol for interactions with juveniles under the age of 12.
“TSA has recently implemented modified screening procedures of children 12 and under that will further reduce the need for a physical pat-down for children,” Sterling said. “These new screening procedures include permitting multiple passes through the metal detector and advanced imaging technology to clear any alarms as well as the greater use of explosives trace detection. These changes in protocol will ultimately reduce – though not eliminate – pat downs of children.”
“In this case, however, the child had completed screening but had contact with another member of her family had not completed the screening process,” he added.