LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The daughter of a 95-year-old leukemia patient said on Monday she was “emotionally distraught” after airport security officers forced her mother to remove her soiled adult diaper during a pat-down.
Jean Weber of Destin, Fla., is calling for the Transportation Security Administration to review its procedures after the incident at June 18 at Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Pensacola, Fla.
“It’s something I couldn’t imagine happening on American soil,” Weber told the Panama City News-Herald Friday. “Here is my mother, 95 years old, 105 pounds, barely able to stand, and then this.”
While going through the airport’s security checkpoint, a TSA officer performed a pat down on Weber’s wheelchair-bound mother, Weber said. After an officer felt something “suspicious” on her leg, Weber’s mother was taken into a private room for further inspection.
The officer then told Weber that her mother’s Depend undergarment was soiled and prevented a complete pat down from being done. The officer asked for it to be removed, which Weber did in a restroom.
Weber told KNX 1070 that once she voiced her objection to the pat-down, she was detained for a security screening as well.
“They have a special group when someone displays unusual behavior, and they considered my breaking into tears and sobbing unusual behavior,” said Weber.
After being taken behind a partition wall, Weber said the agents patted her down, removed the contents of her purse and “started swabbing everything”.
The TSA released a statement Sunday saying the agency had “reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure.”
Despite the incident, Weber said she does not plan legal action against the TSA.
“I’m not suing them,” said Weber. “I just want them to assess what they have done, what their rules are, and perhaps to find another way to treat patients in wheelchairs.”