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Reader Story – 6 Year Old Aggressively Patted Down in Charlotte

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UPDATE: TSA pats down ANOTHER 6 year old, this time a girl. Video here

Reader Spencer writes:

En route home through Charlotte, our 6 year old son was subjected to an aggressive pat down by a female TSA employee. He was pleading for me to help him and I was admonished for trying to comfort him. His genitals area was groped. He walked down to the plane in tears. When the stewardess asked why he was crying, I explained my frustration and I was further admonished for not being more compliant. My wife was in a wheel chair so she also recieved the pat down by another very unfriendly TSA worker. She felt violated afterwards. We were not given the choice of a full body scanner but would have preferred it over this humiliating experience. The scanners are still intrusive, but at least my 6 year old son would have been unaware of the intrusion. And just to be clear, I am NOT endorsing the scanners either. Both methods are too intrusive on our rights as American citizens.

Is that the idea, TSA? Are the patdowns this aggressive and outrageous in the hopes of getting us all to expose ourselves in the porno-scanners? I won’t send my small son through the scanners because he’s still small and I don’t want to ruin his life by risking some medical issue. What a stupid, fake “choice”: traumatize your children emotionally or traumatize them medically.

  • Aeronot

    While I can appreciate the efforts of all involved, I can’t get past the idea that all this effort might just be a day late and a dollar short. FULL BODY CAVITY searches are allowed under the 4th amendment. This was true before 911 and post 911 it seems to be demanded by many of our citizens. Even logical after the rectum bomber’s detonation in the middle east. Seems to me that it is possible the courts could rule the ONLY thing unreasonable is searching body cavities that are too small.

    • DMac

      Your comments are interesting, but not supported by fact. The 4th Amendment protects the citizen from “unreasonable searches and seizures”, and it limits the right of government to conduct intrusive searches. Body cavity searches are permitted only under very limited circumstances, such as prisoners being processed into custody, etc. They certainly are not allowed simply because someone wants to fly on an airplane. The fact that people have been hiding things in their body cavities for hundreds of years does not mean that we all have to submit to having our body cavities searched in order to visit an airport. Any search is permissible, even by competent and duly authorized government agents, when there is probable cause. This does not exist in the cases we are discussing. You are simply wrong, and frankly, I am glad of that.

      • Cheryl

        Aggressive pat downs and body scans are unreasonable search and seizures given the technology available that is less intrusive and just as affective. It’s cheaper to have someone grope you than to employ these newer technologies. At the same time, if a TSA agent suspects you may be hiding explosives in your vagina and/or rectum, then they have reason to do a cavity search. If you fly, you are a terrorist suspect by default and are subject to whatever procedures deemed necessary to protect the safety of the airplanes and the airport.

        • Ann

          No, I am an American born Citizen and Honorably Discharged Veteran. I did NOT serve my country to turn around and have any of my freedoms taken away for false security. These invasive pat downs can not be performed by our police unless we are under arrest. What you are saying is that we are under arrest when we enter an airport & the TSA (not the police) can do what they want to us. NO, you are wrong!!! If you are willing to give up your constitutional rights & freedoms for alleged security – you deserve neither!!!! I for one do NOT give up any of my rights! Until the criminal behavior of the TSA ceases I will NOT spend one red cent on the airlines!!!!!

  • Aeronot

    It would be a shame if TSA had to post signs like the ones at the amusement park. You have to be under a certain height or weight to be exempt from cavity searches. I am pretty sure the courts are not going to reverse decades of case law that allows cavity searches at borders, prisons, and other places. If you so much as approach a cop to ask directions he has a right to pat you down for his own safety. This has been the law for 50 years.

    • Mike

      You, sir, need to do the world a favor. Kindly pull your bottom lip over your head and swallow.

      • Serafinos

        ROFLBMO – great reply, Mike! :D

  • Aeronot

    From what I understand you can opt out of the pornoscope but you CAN NOT opt out of security once you start the process. If TSA is yelling opt out in order to persuade people to get the pornoscan, is it so far fetched to think they will start screaming cavity search when confronted with large numbers of individuals refusing the pornoscope? Surely they will find something that requires further exam.

  • John McCuan

    4 years ago before this new crack down, I was grabbed and pinched around my middle because I have a large belly. The agent said he was making sure it was real and not a body suit. No warning just lefting of my fat then pinching. I almost floored the guy. Asked for a superviser and was told that if I intended to “cause trouble” I might not make my flight. I thought this was America and not a dictatorship country were we have rights. I guess I was wrong. I also have not flowen since and was flying 6-10 times a year.

  • advc

    wow… I can’t believe people are so submisive and in great fear that they think patting down a 6 year old is fine. you know these tsa can pretty much do anything… even pat down your wife if they think se is hot… but oh no. this doesn’t hapen In the great america…. were deviating far off from being right… I’m in support of this angry poster… email me if you need to talk…. take care…

  • Carol

    The government is completely out of control. It used to be that laws were written to protect people from rape, abuse, and violation. Now the laws are written to enforce abuse and violation. And they call it security!

    • barb

      Laws are written to protect the ones who are writing and enforcing the laws. Sad but true.

  • http://www.ChristianPatriot.com Rev. Bob Celeste

    For an adult to touch a childs privates is criminal. Parents who allow thier children to go thru a machine that allows a pervert to see them naked or allows them to be groped, touched, felt up, etc by an adult need to face the fact that one day they are going to meet face to face with Christ.

  • Neferhuri

    It’s awful that Mr. Spencer’s family had to endure such outrages. What kind of country IS this? It boggles my mind that this is happening! How stupid does a person have to be to imagine that someone who is wheelchair bound or someone who is six years old is a terrorist? Clearly, John Pistole, the head of TSA, has an IQ of minus 100.

    • barb

      Really? You don’t think a terrorist would stoop to something like that to carry out his mission? Open your eyes! There is really evil in this world.

  • pilot robinson

    Why don’t ALL airlines stop flying period. Bring the world to a halt. In a few days those scanners would b gone. I’m a pilot & would stop flying to protest. Even without pay. T

    • barb

      That is what I say. If you have such an issue with it then stop flying. They will get the message.

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  • Adrienne Burke

    I’ve wanted to go to Ireland for many years. Now that I am free to do so, and could possibly get the money, I won’t go. We may be safer from terrorists, but at least they won’t hate us for our ‘freedoms’ now…………….

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  • chris

    Do we have to bail out the airlines after the TSA get’s done with them ?.

    • Adrienne Burke

      Probably. I heard this once: a man saw a vacation cruise advertised at a really good price, so he signed up. When he got aboard, he discovered that the boat was oar-driven and that he would be working as a slave, plying the oars, So for the entire cruise, he manned an oar while one guy beat on a drum and another whipped the workers. At the end of the cruise, he whispered to one of his crew mates, “How much are we supposed to tip the whippers?”

  • chris

    Again my wife tells me.

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  • AtlasObjectivist

    There must be a better way to find terrorists. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps there is some common trait among them? If there was, we could save the trouble of harassing law abiding citizens and focus on the bad guys, oops… I mean bad people (don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here).

    • Adrienne Burke

      So far, none of them have been six years old, at least…………….

  • Philip B Kirschner

    Sir, I urge you to prosecute the bastard TSA rent a cop who grabbed your childs privates. This is sexual abuse, degredation and humiliation. This is what the NAZI’s did to jews and this is what is done to prisoners of war.

  • EMR

    Adrienne, Cunard offers service from NY to Liverpool. It takes a while, but you can enjoy the cruise. The boat looks very well appointed and, in the right weather, two cruises is a sweet way to spend a vacation.

    • Adrienne Burke

      So I can drive, take the train or the bus to NYC, then get on a cruise ship to Liverpool, then a ferry to Ireland, visit my ancestral whatever, then it’s back on the ferry, then the cruise ship, take a train or bus back to L.A. from NYC! I think my 6 days/7 nights will be used up fairly fast!

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  • Rick

    i like what pilot robinson said. if all the pilots would follow what he would do things would change.

    • Adrienne Burke

      Once the pilots don’t have to face such treatment (and they shouldn’t – it’s riculous since the aircraft they’re flying is weapon enough!) the pilots will probably lose interest in what happens to the poor idiot passengers.

  • Jennifer

    This is outrageous, illegal and indecent treatment of a child. TSA keeps saying that we “give up rights” by flying- last time I checked this was still the United States and we have the right not to have our children molested! This story is terrible and strikes fear into the heart of any parent. I had already decided to drive for our next trip instead of fly, so that my children won’t be subjected to groin groping, and this post confirms my decision. We will keep doing that until TSA and the nation comes to its senses.

    • Cori

      Last time I checked you had to buy a plane ticket to fly so that means they shouldn’t violate me or piss me off by groping my 2 year old or they won’t get my business. I didn’t give up any rights, last time I checked the constitution is supposed to apply in the air and at airports too. The person who molested that 3 year old is probably a closet pedophile or sex offender. If I worked TSA I would NEVER grope a child… you couldn’t unless your a pedophile

  • In Atlanta

    The TSA is the moder day burger flipper. I know they are doing their jobs, but their job sux.

    • IndyPissed

      This is why TSA is an acronym for Too Stupid for Arby’s.

      The SS were only “doing their job” as well – they weren’t excused from prosecution at Nuremburg and the TSA agents actively participating in sexual assault of children should not be excused either.

      All this TSA assault is not about protection, it’s about compliance and conditioning – teaching the younger generations that their constitutional rights can be “suspended” by the government on a whim, or to “protect” them. In a couple of decades, the idea of some random “officer” grabbing your junk and treating you like a criminal mastermind/terrorist without probable cause to do so will just seem normal.

  • TX TEA

    I believe this is about two things:

    First, it is about getting Americans used to being humiliated, radiated and manhandled by the federal govt. It shows us “cattle” who is in control. In the near future, there will be worse abuses, this is a “conditioning” for that time.

    Second, it is about money. I’d be willing to bet that someone in office has a friend who got the contract to sell these I’m sure over-priced) scanners to the federal govt.

    Benjamin Franklin warned us, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    • Adrienne Burke

      Michael Chertoff, or the Dept of Homeland Security, is also a lobbyist for the makers of these scanners. “Fascism is Corporatism” ~ Benito Mussolini

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  • anon

    Part of the problem is that the TSA can do whatever it wants and is not accountable to explain itself to us, nor to our elected representatives.

    I am glad this problem is getting more visibility, as these ‘custody searches’ (which are actually closer to all-out cavity searches than a normal, slightly less embarrassing clothed custody search) are not new but have been applied to those million folks on the watch list since the inception of the TSA.

    I personally stopped flying as a form of boycott after being selected to receive such treatment in the mid 00′s. For the TSA and politicians to now attempt to pass this jailhouse routine off as “just pat downs” is the height of arrogance. The ‘porno-scanners’, too, seem like something out of a sick joke or a nightmare.

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  • Jack

    TX TEA gets it. Just another step in the long agenda of control by the Feds.

    Have no doubt, we’ve reached the point the Constitution and Bill of Rights mean
    whatever the Feds decide they mean. And their goal is to make both, ultimately, meaningless.

    This ain’t a drill, folks.

    TX TEA November 20, 2010 at 9:12 am
    I believe this is about two things:

    First, it is about getting Americans used to being humiliated, radiated and manhandled by the federal govt. It shows us “cattle” who is in control. In the near future, there will be worse abuses, this is a “conditioning” for that time.

  • Chisel Last

    Refuse no matter what age, then you
    Do Not fly. Plain an Simple.
    I was patted down in Ampsterdam last
    Year by a male and I resisted the yell
    Higher, it felt so good. Thought they would
    Refuse boarding.

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  • DT

    What I want to know is this: why hasn’t anyone from TSA been arrested for sexual assault and battery yet? Where are the state police, sheriffs, and district attorneys? And why aren’t they doing their jobs?

  • barb

    Maybe the employee that assaulted the child needs to be retrained or even charged with a crime. Either way it was inappropriate and traumatizing to the child. On one hand, I am glad they are taking our safety more seriously these days. On the other hand, what in the hell happened to our rights as Americans. The average, ordinary, everyday person is harrassed simply because they want to get from point a to point b. Welcome to reality folks, this has been happening for many years all through America. It’s just reached areas other than the “HOOD”. Police officers do this every single day.

  • Matt

    I don’t care how much they need the money. Anyone who willingly molests an innocent child is scum. Period, full stop, end of sentence. “Just following orders” definitely doesn’t cut it, and I have absolute zero sympathy for any TSA employe who stands for this.

  • Sharon

    Anytime you have an adult groping a child, that is molesting. We have given the terrorist what they want and that is to be afraid in our own country. Does TSA thinjk that by “molesting” small children, they will find a terrorist. Come on and use some common sense folks

  • Mel H

    Imagine ‘Take Your Child to Work’ day;

    “Daddy, I thought you told me we aren’t supposed to touch other peoples’ pee pees.
    Why are you touching that boy’s pee pee?!”

  • Mel H

    Eventually won’t there be an xray scanner everyone has to walk through? I’m not sure why there isn’t now, not that I want the extra cancer causing stuff bombarding my body – but TSA can do what it wants it seems.
    And since explosives can be put in plastic, after the thorough xray scanner, we’ll all be stripped and cavity searched.
    THEN – since some terrorists might want to overcome the crew – we’ll all be subjected to interrogation.
    Hell, since some folks lie, we’ll all be tortured so that we don’t hold back lies.

    FLY THE FRIENDLY SKIES OF UNITED STATES

  • Mel H

    Know how to tell if someone’s a terrorist?

    They won’t have an ass.

    Why not? Because they’re all laughing their asses off at the way Americans have given up their liberties.

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