Video: Agents confiscate stuffed toy, LIE about limits on filming
Steve Watson & Paul Joseph Watson
Feb 21, 2013
The Transport Security Administration has apologized following yet another incident involving a wheelchair bound child who became distressed when screeners stopped her and confiscated her stuffed toy.
Three-year-old Lucy’s parents questioned the screening procedure and were told, wrongly, by TSA workers that it was illegal to film at checkpoints.
The Missouri couple took exception to TSA screeners at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, on what should have been a trip of a lifetime to Disney World for the young girl, who has Spina bifida.
When the child’s mother, Annie Schulte, told agents that they could not touch her daughter unless she was filming the incident on her mobile phone, the TSA screeners said “it’s illegal to do that.”
That comment was caught on the camera and the subsequent footage uploaded to YouTube by the parents, creating yet another viral TSA infringement video, as Lucy is seen weeping and saying “I don’t want to go to Disney World any more.”
“To me it was pretty offensive because I was really tuned in when she said that, immediately I’m like, ‘OK, hold on, something doesn’t seem right.'” Schulte told ABC News.
The girl’s father, Nathan Forck, said “They are specifically singling out disabled people for this special scrutiny. It’s rather offensive to me as a father of a disabled child.”
“We are not unreasonable people,” Mr Forck said. “But to say you are going to do a bodily search with no probable cause whatsoever – just because she is in a wheelchair – that was offensive.”
Being an attorney, Forck also knew that it is completely legal to film the TSA. “It’s your worst nightmare,” he said. “It’s bad enough they are demanding they want to pat down my child and didn’t want me to videotape it. That set off alarm bells.”
To make matters worse, TSA agents refused to return Lucy’s stuffed toy lamb, named Lamby, after it had already been screened. This just made her cry even more.
Yesterday, almost two weeks after the incident occurred, the TSA issued an apology (of sorts). The statement read:
“TSA regrets inaccurate guidance was provided to this family during screening and offers its apology,” the agency said. “We are committed to maintaining the security of the traveling public and strive to treat all passengers with dignity and respect. While no pat-down was performed, we will address specific concerns with our workforce.”
Mr Forck said he accepts the apology but stated “Just because you slap a TSA badge on – I don’t know this person – and they’re going to be putting their hands on my child,” adding that if someone had attempted to frisk his daughter outside the airport, they would be facing a criminal law suit. “But you put a TSA badge on and now all of a sudden it’s okay,” he said.
As Mr Forck indicated, this harassment by the TSA of people, and even children, in wheelchairs is commonplace. The justification is that explosives can be hidden in the chairs.
In December, a similar video of a wheelchair bound child crying her eyes out appeared online. Twelve-year-old Shelbi Walser, who has a genetic bone disorder, was detained for over an hour by TSA agents at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Agents even called in the bomb squad when they found traces of “explosives” on her hands. In this case the TSA agents were too stupid to even check the wheelchair, which was most likely the source of the material on the child’s hands.
Clearly the agents have been told by superiors that people in wheelchairs are a potential threat, but apparently some agents do not fully understand why, only that they should subject the disabled to “enhanced screening” procedures.
In March of last year, another small wheelchair bound child was filmed being touched up by a TSA screener, prompting a deluge of criticism and complaints.
This is yet another example of how poorly trained TSA workers are not even familiar with the federal agency’s policy on filming at security checkpoints.
The TSA website makes clear that the, “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.”
Of course, in between targeting kids on their way to Disney World, the TSA is engaged in humiliating cancer victims, or removing diapers from sick grannies. Rest assured that the government is keeping you safe America. Keeping you safe from the dangerous terrorists that hate your freedoms.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.