Tuesday, April 24, 2012
A Montana mother takes to facebook, declaring her 4-year-old daughter, Isabella, was mistaken for a terrorist.
Michelle Brademeyer says it happened at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport last week.
Brademeyer says she and her two children passed through security at the airport, but her mother set off the alarm.
On facebook she wrote, "...when the source of the alarm could not be identified, she was told to sit aside and await a pat-down."
Brademeyer says when Isabella saw that, she ran to her grandmother to give her a hug.
That hug, Brademeyer says, resulted in her daughter being declared "a high security threat".
Brademeyer wrote, "First, a TSO (Transportation Security Officer) began yelling at my child, and demanded she too must sit down and await a full body pat-down. I was prevented from coming any closer..."
"It was implied several times that my mother, in their brief two-second embrace, had passed a handgun to my daughter."
"They told her she had to come to them, alone, and spread her arms and legs."
When Isabella became scared, and tried to run to her mother, Brademeyer says the two were pulled into a side room for a pat-down.
After minutes of Isabella crying, and security calling for back-up, Brademeyer says a manager finally allowed them to continue to their gate.
The Transportation Security Administration defends its employees.
The TSA released the following statement Tuesday.
"TSA has recently implemented modified screening procedures of children 12 and under that will further reduce the need for a physical pat-down for children. These new screening procedures include permitting multiple passes through the metal detector and advanced imaging technology to clear any alarms as well as the greater use of explosives trace detection. These changes in protocol will ultimately reduce - though not eliminate - pat-downs of children.
In this case, however, the child had completed screening but had contact with another member of her family who had not completed the screening process. While it was explained to family members why additional security procedures were necessary in this instance, TSA officers did not suspect or suggest the child was carrying a firearm.
TSA has reviewed the incident and determined that our officers followed proper current screening procedures in conducting a modified pat-down on the child."