TSA makes little boy remove shirt during pat down UPDATE: TSA responds

posted at 12:00 pm on November 21, 2010 by The Right Scoop

via Wire Update:

A disturbing video surfaced on Friday night showing what appears to be a TSA agent strip searching a young boy, with his father standing nearby. The video, which was uploaded to Youtube by user lukemtait, was filmed while a boy was randomly selected to undergo a random security check.

The video’s description read, “Lets get the facts straight first. Before the video started the boy went through a metal detector and didn’t set it off but was selected for a pat down. The boy was shy so the TSA couldn’t complete the full pat on the young boy. The father tried several times to just hold the boys arms out for the TSA agent but i guess it didn’t end up being enough for the guy. I was about 30 ft away so i couldn’t hear their conversation if there was any. The enraged father pulled his son shirt off and gave it to the TSA agent to search, thats when this video begins.”

This is sure to enrage lots of parents and it should. I understand the need for security, but this is such overkill. It’s really starting to feel like an incompetent administration, who doesn’t want to have another bombing attempt on its watch, is going to extraordinary means to ensure it doesn’t look bad. I mean, yeah, it’s about the American public’s safety, I get that. But with this level of privacy invasion, it is also starting to feel political as well.

I’m sure there are a lot of these stories out there, but another one that caught my attention happened in August where a TSA agent forced a breast cancer survivor to remove her breast implant during a pat down. You can read more about that here.

UPDATE: The TSA responds to the above video (h/t Verum Serum):

A video is being widely circulated showing a shirtless boy receiving secondary screening from a Transportation Security Officer (TSO). A passenger filmed the screening with their cell phone and posted the video on the web. Many are coming to their own conclusions about what’s happening in the video which is now perched at the top of the Drudge report and being linked to in many other blogs and tweets. We looked into this to find out what happened.

On November 19, a family was traveling through a TSA checkpoint at the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Their son alarmed the walk through metal detector and needed to undergo secondary screening. The boy’s father removed his son’s shirt in an effort to expedite the screening. After our TSO completed the screening, he helped the boy put his shirt back on. That’s it. No complaints were filed and the father was standing by his son for the entire procedure.

It should be mentioned that you will not be asked to and you should not remove clothing (other than shoes, coats and jackets) at a TSA checkpoint. If you’re asked to remove your clothing, you should ask for a supervisor or manager.

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