TSA criticized over video showing agents searching 96-year-old woman in wheelchair
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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents are facing heavy criticism on social media after a video of a 96-year-old woman in a wheelchair being searched by agents at Washington Dulles International Airport was seen by almost 9 million people last month.

Jeanne Clarkson told CBS News that she was furious that her mother, who is seen in the video being patted down by TSA agents in her chair with a metal detector, was treated in such a manner.


"I was just shocked. I've traveled with her before, I've been in a wheelchair myself unable to walk through the machines and I've never had that kind of a pat-down ever. I was just shocked. I couldn't believe they were doing this to my 96-year-old mother," Clarkson said. "It was just shock, and frustration because they would not talk to me. I felt helpless."

Clarkson can be heard protesting in the nearly six-minute video, which was posted in mid-May, sarcastically asking if agents expected her elderly mother would try to set off a shoe bomb.

"What the hell do you think she's going to do? Set off a shoe bomb?" she asks in the clip. According to the caption on the video, Clarkson and another member of their party were also in wheelchairs, but only her elderly mother was subjected to the search.

Washington Dulles International Airport responded to the social media criticism in a Facebook post, announcing it had passed on the criticism to TSA officials and urged social media users to contact TSA personally.

"Many of you have reached out to us to express concern over a video of a security screening taking place at Dulles International Airport. Security screening at our checkpoints is directed and conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). We have shared customer comments with the TSA for their immediate review and appropriate action," the airport wrote on Facebook later in May.

TSA said in a statement to CBS that it had no indication the woman was in distress during the security check.

"TSA is committed to ensuring the security of travelers, while treating all passengers with dignity and respect. In this instance, the TSA officer provided advisements during the pat-down and was extremely polite. The passenger was very cooperative and gave no indication that she was agitated or in discomfort. She received a pat-down and was cleared for her flight," the agency said.

Clarkson said the incident will likely deter her mother from flying again.

"She didn't know what to say. She does not want to fly again ever. She didn't know what they were looking for. She was scared," Clarkson told CBS of her mother. "She was just following directions. She said she didn't know what to do."