adventures with cancer kid

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Old Jun 5, 19, 10:53 pm
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adventures with cancer kid

This week I went through the DCA TSA Pre-check line with my son. My carryon bag was selected for additional screening. I consented to a bag search, agreed not to touch the bag or its contents during the search, and told the Agent that the bag contains needles and glass vials of medication sandwiched in icepacks. My son was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2016 when he was 10 years old and his medication is critically important. As this is a common occurrence I always pack his medication sandwiched between ice packs and inside a padded container, which I place in an easy-to-access area of the bag. The agent proceeded to unpack the entire bag, including my son’s medications. He then began unwrapping and inspecting each souvenir we had in the bag. In my experience, this was a bit unusual for a bag screening, so I asked the Agent for permission to film his search. The Agent told me that he would prefer I not video his search. I asked for his name and badge number three times and he refused to give it to me. I then asked specifically if TSA allows me to video his search, he said “no” and asked for a supervisor.

Supervisor came over and introduced himself. I asked Supervisor for the Agent’s name and badge number but he refused to provide it. I repeated my request to film the search of my bag. Supervisor stated TSA policy does not allow filming. After some more back-and-forth with Supervisor , the Agent quickly “finished” his search and closed the bag at which point Supervisor told me I was now allowed to film the closed bag (super useful, I know). However in his haste to complete the search, the Agent separated my son’s medication from its protective, insulated case. He also failed to put the insulated case back into the suitcase at all. When I pointed out to Supervisor that the bag wasn’t repacked, he hastily jammed the case back into the suitcase along with an additional item that did NOT belong to me. I repeated to him what I had told the Agent before about being careful of the medication, and I told him to remove the item that does not belong to me from my bag.

Agent damaged my son’s medication and repacked it into the carryon without its icepack and protective case, and Supervisor attempted to provide my bag as “complete” without the medication case. When I protested that the case wasn’t in the carryon, Supervisor further damaged the medication by forcing the case into the carryon, and attempted to add additional items to my bag that do not belong to me. I discovered when I reached my destination that the Agent failed to repack the medication in ice, failed to place it back in its protective case, and put it against the outside of the bag.

I can provide the only photo I was able to take, after Unknown Agent had “completed” the search and “repacked” the bag. The medication case is clearly visible in the background. The additional item placed into the bag by Supervisor is behind the bag and not visible in this picture. I have also taken a picture of the medication which was separated from its icepack and ruined. Medication costs $2640 per vial, and I had two vials on this trip.

I have FOIAed footage from the airport authority which will hopefully show what these idiots did. I also filed a damaged item complaint with TSA. I had to file another FOIA request to find out what the name of the agent was.

anything else I should do?

Last edited by marak; Jun 5, 19 at 11:15 pm Reason: edit to scrub supervisor name
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Old Jun 6, 19, 9:50 am
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I think you were lied too by both TSA screeners. You should file a complaint with the DHS OIG.

You can video record TSA screeners as long as you do not video the xray monitor screens.


DHS Contact:

The preferred method of filing an allegation is via the DHS OIG Online Allegation form. You may also use the U.S. Mail, phone, or fax to file your allegation materials:

U.S. Mail:
DHS Office of Inspector General/MAIL STOP 0305
Attention: Hotline
245 Murray Lane SW
Washington, DC 20528-0305

Phone: 1-800-323-8603

Fax: 202-254-4297

and

DHS Complaint Online Form
If the screening caused an economic loss you should also file a complaint with:

TSA Customer Service
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Old Jun 6, 19, 10:42 am
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File a criminal complaint against the TSA screener for child endangerment.

And as was suggested, you were lied to by both TSA employees. Further, they are required to give their names/badge numbers when asked. File that complaint with the DHS IG today.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 11:11 am
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Who do I file the criminal complaint with? DC city police? Airport police?

And what is the point, donít these agents all have immunity from prosecution?

And for the IG complaint is there any point to that? What are the odds either of these idiots will be held accountable?

sorry for the questions I have never had this happen before. The screener seemed like a real dumb dumb which is why I wanted to document who he was and what he was doing. After all that nonsense at security I couldnít believe when I got back the idiot had done the one thing I asked him to be careful about.

I really just want TSA to pay for the meds and whatever problems my son hasnít for missing doses. I think thatís going to be a problem because my insurance company will pay for the next 9 refills but Iím using them early now. So when itís time to use refill 8 and 9 Iím goin g to have to pay out of pocket for vials 10 and 11. They arenít going to understand this are they?
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Old Jun 6, 19, 11:15 am
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File the complaints, but realistically, don't expect anything, particularly reimbursement for the damaged meds.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 12:21 pm
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There's nothing criminal described above, and it certainly isn't child endangerment.


You should thoroughly document any damages, eg with photos and notes.

You can file an FTCA claim for any monetary damages (or the monetary value of other damages).

You should FOIA + Privacy Act both the airport authority and the TSA for CCTV, and also FOIA + PA the incident report from TSA, and FOIAthe staff assignment list for that checkpoint at that time.

You should not ask permission to record. Just do it. The TSO saying he'd rather you didn't is merely expressing a personal preference, not a command, nor does he have any authority to stop you.

You may as well tell the OIG, but they don't care. You could try telling the House conmitees on Oversight & Government Reform and Homeland Security, as well as the constituent services staffer of your federal House & Senate members.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 1:02 pm
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Welcome to FT.

I have had my carryon bag inspected many times. Each and every time after the TSA has pilfered through it I have told them not to repack it and that I will do that. As such, I have to ask the OP why after seeing their ineptness, did you trust the TSA to properly repack your carryon which contained vital medical supplies? Why did you wait until you got to your destination to double check everything, rather doing that immediately after the TSA returned your carry on? Something seems amiss to me.

IMHO PAX have a responsibility, that if their bag is inspected in their presence, that it is repacked properly. The ONLY assurance that the bag will be repacked properly after it is cleared is for the PAX to tell the TSA to leave everything, make sure everything is present, and then proceed to repack it appropriately. PAX, especially after seeing the TSA ineptness, who have failed to take responsibility for their personal items and as such have no claim against the TSA.

As such, as I hate to say this, the only thing the TSA did wrong was lie about filming them. Technically one is not to film the x-ray scanner monitors.

“TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors.”
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Old Jun 6, 19, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
As such, as I hate to say this, the only thing the TSA did wrong was lie about filming them. Technically one is not to film the x-ray scanner monitors.

“TSA does not prohibit the public, passengers or press from photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or slowed down. We do ask you to not film or take pictures of the monitors.”
When a government says they "ask" you to do something, it means that they cannot command it.

Film the monitors all you want. It's not illegal so long as you are in an area that you are lawfully allowed to be. If the TSA, by its own negligence, leaves overly sensitive information in the plain view of the general public, then they're the ones responsible.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 1:50 pm
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
There's nothing criminal described above, and it certainly isn't child endangerment.


You should thoroughly document any damages, eg with photos and notes.

You can file an FTCA claim for any monetary damages (or the monetary value of other damages).

You should FOIA + Privacy Act both the airport authority and the TSA for CCTV, and also FOIA + PA the incident report from TSA, and FOIAthe staff assignment list for that checkpoint at that time.

You should not ask permission to record. Just do it. The TSO saying he'd rather you didn't is merely expressing a personal preference, not a command, nor does he have any authority to stop you.

You may as well tell the OIG, but they don't care. You could try telling the House conmitees on Oversight & Government Reform and Homeland Security, as well as the constituent services staffer of your federal House & Senate members.
They don't care either. TSA doesn't even show up for Congressional Committee Hearings.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 3:24 pm
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I thought the meds were in the case, it didnít occur to me that he would have dumped the case contents into the bag when I wasnít looking. And because I agreed not to touch items during the search I had no idea the case that I thought had ice and meds in it was now empty. Iím not going to apologize or justify my actions here, this goes far beyond incompetence. I think thereís a 50/50 chance when I get the video I see him dump that stuff out after he had already searched it when I wasnít looking.

I understand I can video but I also have heard stories about people missing flights or being arrested. It is a difficult decision to make when Iím the sole guardian and medical caregiver on the trip.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
There's nothing criminal described above, and it certainly isn't child endangerment.


You should thoroughly document any damages, eg with photos and notes.

You can file an FTCA claim for any monetary damages (or the monetary value of other damages).

You should FOIA + Privacy Act both the airport authority and the TSA for CCTV, and also FOIA + PA the incident report from TSA, and FOIAthe staff assignment list for that checkpoint at that time.

You should not ask permission to record. Just do it. The TSO saying he'd rather you didn't is merely expressing a personal preference, not a command, nor does he have any authority to stop you.

You may as well tell the OIG, but they don't care. You could try telling the House conmitees on Oversight & Government Reform and Homeland Security, as well as the constituent services staffer of your federal House & Senate members.
If a sheriff's deputy in Florida can be arrested and charged with child endangerment for not going into Parkland High School, a TSA screener can certainly be charged with child endangerment for destroying life-savings medicines.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
If a sheriff's deputy in Florida can be arrested and charged with child endangerment for not going into Parkland High School, a TSA screener can certainly be charged with child endangerment for destroying life-savings medicines.
Sorry but no.

I'm just saying what is, not what ought. Law and morality have only a distant relationship at best.
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Old Jun 6, 19, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by saizai View Post
Sorry but no.

I'm just saying what is, not what ought. Law and morality have only a distant relationship at best.
And I say "go for it" - they can only say "no."
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Old Jun 6, 19, 7:28 pm
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Id have been recording video the moment the bag was selected. Jsst casually holding the phone, NOT trying to frame a shot- you just want SOME kind of record. Audio almost more important.

Dont ask permission, dont be obvious. People are holding phones constantly, theyd never know it was rolling....

GL on the quest
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Old Jun 6, 19, 7:52 pm
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Yeah I guess I probably need to start recording every search. We have flown probably 8-9 times since my son was diagnosed and the meds get screened every time. Each time I tell them exactly what is in the bag, where it is, and how to get to it (I pack it so it can be easily accessed). They open the bag, open the med case, check the ice pack, zip everything back up and send us on our way. Not sure what these 2 idiots were doing or why they lied about recording and refused to give names.

I wasnt 100% sure I was in the clear on recording and I really didnít want to end up in bracelets. It was a very long week of medical tests and we just wanted to get home.
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