A two-minute video showing a very thorough and some say aggressive TSA pat down of a 10-year-old girl is causing a firestorm of controversy surrounding the agency’s treatment of the child.
A video of a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener performing a pat down on a young girl at Raleigh–Durham International Airport (RDU) over the holidays has become one of the first viral video sensations of the new year. The short video captured on a mobile device by the girl’s father has also created controversy over what some are calling a clear case of overzealousness by the screener.
The girl is repeatedly inspected and prodded by a female TSA screener for nearly the entire length of the two-minute video. The captured images have caused widespread outrage on social media and led to questions about the federal agency’s policies regarding the treatment of minors.
The girl’s father, Kevin Payne, who called the ordeal “an uncomfortable situation,” said he did not raise an objection at the time, but later posted his video online. ”My goal was just to clear security as quickly as possible so we could make our flight even though I knew that in my mind they shouldn’t be doing what they were doing,” Payne told NBC affiliate KNSD in San Diego. “I didn’t want to make an issue of it there or then because it wasn’t the time or place and I didn’t want to further traumatize my daughter.”
For her part, 10-year-old Vendela said it was the seemingly endless nature of the pat down that made her feel uncomfortable. “I know it’s to keep everybody on the plane safe, but she kept patting me down,” the girl told NBC News in an on-camera interview. “Pat down, pat down. It was like, over and over.”
Payne says it took his family nearly an hour to clear the TSA checkpoint because of the extra security screening that was triggered because his daughter inadvertently left a pouch containing juice in her carry-on bag.
[Screenshot via YouTube]