TSA forces woman with ‘cute figure’ to pass though nude body scanner 3 times
posted at 2:39 pm on February 14, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
What do TSA checkpoint screeners have in common with movie directors? They can both insist on multiple takes until the “actor” gets the scene right.
That is what Ellen Terrell, a wife and mother, fears was at the root of her disquieting experience in the hands of TSA agents several months ago at Dallas Fort Worth Airport. As Terrell and her husband approached the security checkpoint, a female agent asked her if she played tennis. Terrell was taken aback at the question and asked why the agent wanted to know. The reply: “You just have such a cute figure.”
Terrell was singled out for a “random” body scan. But her curiosity mounted when she was asked to pass through the nude scanner not once, not twice, but three times. After the third pass, she heard the agent say into a microphone to co-workers who were not visible, “Guys, it is not blurry, I’m letting her go. Come on out.”
Terrell and her husband are convinced that the extra screenings were unnecessary, possibly even voyeuristic. Texas State Representative Lon Burnam of Fort Worth is inclined to agree. He told CBS 11 News in Dallas, “I think it’s sexual harassment if you’re run through there a third or fourth time. And this is not the first time I have heard about it,” he said, noting that a number of his constituents had voiced similar concerns about privacy.
CBS reports having pored through 500 records of TSA complaints and believes it has identified a pattern, but the TSA insists the searches are purely randomized.
Curiously, several weeks after this story broke, the TSA held a news conference in which the agency revealed that all-new scanners had been installed at DFW and Love Field that show only a generic-body outline.
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