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Teen With Cancer, Disabilities Allegedly Abused by TSA

The family of a teen with diasbilites is suing the Transport Security Administration for discrimination.

Hannah Cohen, 18, in June last year allegedly became a victim of rough TSA practices, according to the teen’s mother. The two were heading home to Chattanooga from Memphis, where they had been at St. Jude’s hospital getting the final treatment for Hannah’s brain tumor. At the Memphis airport, though, things took a turn for the worse.

Hannah and her mother, Shirley, had been through the airport many times before and had developed a system for getting through security. Hannah was often left confused and scared in unfamiliar situations due to multiple surgeries and cancer treatments that left her blind in one eye, partially paralyzed and deaf in one ear. According to The Guardian, Shirley would normally go through the security scanner first and then wait for Hannah in case anything went wrong that scared or confused her. This time, the scanner alarm triggered when Hannah went through. Hannah told the TSA it was because her shirt had sequins and offered to take it off and go through the scanners again with her undershirt only, but according to the lawsuit, a TSA agent laughed at her and told her she needed to go to a sterile area to be searched.

Shirley noticed her daughter was afraid, and though she was immobilized herself with a boot on a broken foot, she walked to the TSA agents to explain the situation — that Hannah was a St. Jude’s patient and needed gentle care, offering to help. According to the family, though, the airport instead called for armed guards who pulled Hannah’s arms behind her back and slammed her to the ground when she tried to get away out of fear. Shirley took a photo with her cell phone of her crying daughter’s bloodied face as she was handcuffed on the ground before a TSA agent allegedly shoved her mother back. Hannah spent the next night in jail.

The lawsuit is asking for $100,000 and costs plus an undisclosed amount, citing inadequate screening accommodation and discrimination due to a disability.

[Photo: Courtesy of Shirley Cohen]

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8 Comments
J
jonsg July 10, 2016

Bloody hell, an actual, genuine, good idea from the Trump camp! It can't have been authorised.

V
vielflieger July 10, 2016

As a father of a disabled daughter who flies with me a lot I cannot comprehend to have to go thru a situation like this! She gets scared easily too and the handling by TSA is mostly unpredictible. More, much more training is needed! Our society is multi faceted and the weak and disabled cannot defend themselves in situations like this. I can see that Hannah will be scared for the rest of her life going thru security...probably lots of therapy needed. No $ figure will take the pain and humiliation away. Hannah I wish you a quick recovery and that you can move beyond this experience quickly.

B
boboqui July 9, 2016

100 thousand only? They should sue for $100 million to put these incompetent idiots out of business. This is outrageous!

K
KRSW July 8, 2016

I'm still more afraid of the TSA than I am of a terrorist bombing a flight I'm on.

C
chinatraderjmr July 7, 2016

The TSA us as useless as the min wage workers who did this job before 9/11. It's got to be one of this countries most bloated, unseeded givt organizations. Without getting into politics, I was watching Trump the other night for my evening laugh and one of his "followers" actually had a great idea that had nothing to do with bigotry or God worship,...........this country has tens of thousands of Iraq & Afganistan vets, many wounded but still able to work. These are the men & woman who should be doing this job. A win win for everyone & the current TSA employees can go back to flipping burgers where they belong (and by the way - she's suing for only $100,000??? I think she needs a new lawyer & a few more zeros