The TSA at the Memphis International Airport is being sued by the family of Hannah Cohen. Hannah, a 19-year-old suffering from multiple disabilities such as partial deafness, blindness in one eye, paralysis, and many others, was returning home from St. Jude Hospital, where she received treatment for a brain tumor. Shortly after going through security, Hannah was bloodied, battered, and arrested following a TSA inspection.
— Gossips RTNews (@GossipsRTNews) July 1, 2016
Hannah’s TSA experience began when her wheelchair set off the metal detector while going through security. TSA agents were going to attempt additional security procedures to make sure that the only reason that the metal detector was activated was due to Hannah’s wheelchair. With the alarms from security going off, Hannah became “disoriented and confused.” Hannah’s mother, Shirley, explained what happened next.
“They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do.”
Hannah was clearly scared. With all her disabilities, she easily would have been overwhelmed by the response that the TSA had in regard to inspecting her further. Shirley began screaming at the TSA agents about her daughter being disabled and unable to understand what was happening. The mother’s pleas were ignored. The agents at the security checkpoint were unable to identify that Hannah was severely disabled and unaware of what was happening to her. Shirley was helpless. All she could do was watch as the TSA continued on her daughter. Shirley continues explaining the horrific experience:
“She was trying to get away from them, but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor.”
The impact that Hannah’s head made on the floor of the airport due to TSA agents forcibly removing her from her wheelchair caused Hannah to begin to bleed from her head. While bleeding from her head, Hannah was arrested. The TSA charged her with assaulting an agent. The arrest report states that Hannah hit a TSA agent on the face, chest, and shoulder. Hannah was then going to spend the night in jail. Authorities eventually decided to dismiss the charges but the damage had already been done. The Cohen family swiftly filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Airport, Airport Police, and the Transportation Security Administration.
Hannah’s injuries are shown in the picture below from the day after the TSA arrest.
This is teen-age cancer patient Hannah Cohen after beating by TSA agents. She’s partly deaf & blind in one eye pic.twitter.com/cogDAiyZN2
— Ivan G.Goldman (@ivan_goldman) July 2, 2016
The lawsuit against the TSA and the other agencies calls for damages to be paid at a “reasonable sum not exceeding $100,000.” The lawsuit lists “causing physical and emotional injury as well as emotional injury” as the basis for the $100,000 being sought by the Cohens. The entire lawsuit can be read here.
Due to the pending lawsuit, statements from the TSA have been scarce. Sari Koshetz, a TSA representative, released a written statement about how passengers can go about finding information regarding the screening process.
“Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.”
The TSA and their screening process have been under fire for many years. There are numerous reports from people claiming they were fondled, discriminated against, and assaulted due to how agents of the TSA go about their inspection process.
Shirly said, “She’s 19, but she’ll always be my baby. We’ve been through so much.”
What do you think could have been done differently by the TSA in their inspection of Hannah Cohen?
[Image Via Twitter/Watcher_Machine]