Passenger Rhonda Mengert is taking legal action against the TSA after she says that she was subjected to a strip search by agents at Tulsa International Airport. The grandmother was asked to undergo a more invasive search after a “common feminine hygiene product” was found on her person back in May.
A grandmother from Las Vegas is taking legal action against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after she says that she was forced to remove her clothing during what the court documentation describes as a “strip search,” reports The Daily Mail.
The incident occurred on May 12th, 2019. When Rhonda Mengert, who holds TSA PreCheck clearance, was traveling from Tulsa International Airport (TUL) to Las Vegas. As Mengert was passing through the screening checkpoint at Tulsa International Airport, her hip implant activated the metal detector. While Mengert had told staff that she had an implant, she willingly submitted to a pat-down examination.
During the course of this routine examination, a TSA agent noted that Mengert was wearing an item described as a “common feminine hygiene product” beneath her clothes. While Mengert had tested negative for explosive residue, she was then told that she would be subjected to another search.
She was taken to a private room and was asked to take off both her pants and her underwear so that staff could conduct a visual inspection of her person. Court documents allege that this search was conducted without Mengert’s consent.
No prohibited items or substances were found during the course of this search and Mengert was eventually permitted to depart.
Mengert’s legal team, however, say that she incurred emotional distress as a result of the incident and that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated as a result of the TSA’s actions.
In addition to a trial by jury, Mengert is seeking unknown financial compensation for her distress.
She also added that she is seeking “injunctive relief requiring the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to direct its employees that they may not strip search passengers to clear apparent feminine hygiene products without the further heightened suspicion as required by law (or alternatively, under any circumstances).”
Commenting on the incident on Facebook, Mengert said that she is attempting to advocate for a change in the policies and procedures used by the TSA.
The TSA said that it cannot offer comment on the ongoing specific case, but reiterated that it “does not conduct strip searches.”
[Featured Image: Shutterstock]