From the Real Of The Rediculous
A friend sent me this link. All I can say is this is just out there. These TSA agents should be fired, I don’t care if they were doing their jobs, this should have REQUIRED a Female TSA agent, not male agents. One has to wonder just what is being thought of for a situation like this to come about. From the realm of the ridiculous I bring you this tidbit!
LOS ANGELES ― A Texas woman who claims she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.
“I wouldn’t wish this experience upon anyone,” Mandi Hamlin, 37, said at a news conference in Los Angeles. “My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way.”
Hamlin said she was trying to board a flight from Lubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a Transportation Security Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detector without problems.
The female TSA agent used a handheld detector that beeped when it passed in front of Hamlin’s chest, the Dallas-area resident said.
Hamlin said she told the woman that she was wearing nipple piercings. The female agent then called over her male colleagues, one of whom said she would have to remove the body piercings, Hamlin claimed.
Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked if she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was removed, she said.
She was taken behind a curtain and managed to remove one bar-shaped nipple piercing but had trouble with the second, a ring.
“Still crying, she informed the TSA officer that she could not remove it without the help of pliers, and the officer gave a pair to her,” said Hamlin’s attorney, Gloria Allred, reading from a letter she sent Thursday to the director of the TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties. Allred is a well-known Los Angeles lawyer who often represents high-profile claims.
Hamlin showed reporters at the news conference how she took off the second ring by applying pliers to the torso of a mannequin that had a peach-colored bra with the rings on it.
She said she heard male TSA agents snickering as she took out the ring. She was scanned again and was allowed to board even though she still was wearing a belly button ring.
“After nipple rings are inserted, the skin can often heal around the piercing, and the rings can be extremely difficult and painful to remove,” Allred said.
TSA officials said they were investigating Hamlin’s allegations to see if its policies were followed.
“Our security officers are well-trained to screen individuals with body piercings in sensitive areas with dignity and respect while ensuring a high level of security,” the agency said in a statement.
On its Web site, the TSA warns that passengers “may be additionally screened because of hidden items such as body piercings, which alarmed the metal detector.”
“If you are selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to a pat-down search,” the site reads.
Hamlin would have accepted a “pat-down” had it been offered, Allred said.
If an alarm does sound, “until that is resolved, we’re not going to let them go through the checkpoint, no matter what they’re wearing or where they’re wearing it,” said TSA spokesman Dwayne Baird in Salt Lake City.
People routinely pass through security wearing wedding rings without problems and it might take a larger bit of metal to trigger an alarm, Baird said.
“I’d be really curious to know what this woman had in her nipples,” he said. “Sometimes they have a chain between their nipples, or a chain between their nipples and their belly button. It would have to be made of heavy metal to be detected.”
Transportation Security employees are required to check anything that raises concerns at checkpoints, Baird said.
“No matter what it is, if it’s something that unduly alarms people or sets off the sensors they must check it,” Baird said. “But I’ve never heard of any of our people having anyone remove something that sounds as small as a nipple ring.”
Allred said celebrity Nicole Richie had her breasts inspected by security at an airport because of her nipple rings several years ago. Baird said he was not aware of the Richie incident either.
Hamlin filed a complaint but the TSA’s customer service manager at the Lubbock airport concluded the screening was handled properly, Allred said.
Hamlin wants an apology from the TSA and an investigation by the agency’s civil rights office.
Allred said she might consider legal action if the TSA does not apologize.
Hamlin was publicly humiliated and has “undergone an enormous amount of physical pain to have the nipple rings reinserted” because of scar tissue,” Allred said.
Hamlin said her piercings have never set off an airport metal detector. She added that she will never fly out of Lubbock again.
“The conduct of TSA was cruel and unnecessary,” Allred said. “The last time that I checked a nipple was not a dangerous weapon.”
It seems to me that this was a blatant sexual turn-on for these male TSA agents. If they aren’t fired they sure should be.
Another question I want answered is WHY did the female TSA agent not do the search herself? Why were males allowed anywhere NEAR this woman? Has TSA no guidelines male/female body searches? Give me a break here.
And WHY, pray tell, was she allowed to board with a belly piercing if not with nipple piercings? Seems to me like this is ALL about these male TSA agents giving a bad name to TSA. Someone ought to slap these people good! (TSA) I’m getting tired of hear about decent citizens being treated like criminals just because some TSA paranoid is getting his jollies off of seeing someone else humiliated and hurt!
I hope this woman’s lawyer sticks it to TSA good! Nothing like assholes and imbeciles!