Tester presses TSA for details on incident involving Montana four-year old
Senator concerned security agency ‘went too far’ in controversial response
(U.S. SENATE) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is pressing the Transportation Security Administration for more details in the wake of a widely publicized airport security incident involving a Missoula family.
News organizations are reporting Michelle Brademeyer’s account of the April 15 incident at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. Brademeyer says TSA officers yelled at and isolated her four-year old daughter after the girl ran to her grandmother, who was in the midst of a routine “pat-down” screening.
In a Facebook post, Brademeyer said TSA officers responded “in the worst way imaginable,” threatening to shut down the airport and cancel all flights. Brademeyer said her daughter “was obviously terrified.”
Tester is a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“I am a staunch advocate for effective transportation security, but I’m also a strong advocate for common sense and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” Tester wrote to TSA Administrator John Pistole. “Any report of abuse of the power entrusted to officers of the TSA is especially concerning—especially if it involves children.”
Tester told Pistole he looks forward to hearing more about “how exactly TSA officers responded, whether it was truly appropriate, and what steps will be taken in the future to ensure more common sense when dealing with young children and their parents during necessary airport security screenings.”
“I am concerned that the TSA went too far in responding to the incident in Kansas,” Tester added.
Tester’s letter to Pistole appears below and online HERE.
April 25, 2012
The Honorable John Pistole
Transportation Security Administration
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598
Dear Administrator Pistole:
I write today with concern about constituents of mine in Missoula, Montana. Michelle Brademeyer’s widely publicized account of the TSA’s recent treatment of her four-year-old daughter Isabella is concerning to me and many others. Ms. Brademeyer’s story has been reported by news organizations in both Montana and Kansas. As a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, I want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.
I am a staunch advocate for effective transportation security. But I’m also a strong advocate for common sense, and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Any report of abuse of the power entrusted to officers of the TSA is especially concerning—especially if it involves children.
In her widely circulated Facebook account, Ms. Brademeyer says TSA officers responded in the “worst way imaginable” when Isabella saw her grandmother at an airport in Kansas and ran to her to give her a hug. Isabella’s grandmother, however, was in the midst of a security pat-down.
According to Ms. Brademeyer, TSA officers yelled at the four-year old girl. She did not know what was going on, and she was terrified. Further, the officers declared Isabella a “high security threat,” telling Ms. Brademeyer they would shut down the airport and cancel all flights if Isabella wasn’t “restrained.” Worse, Ms. Brademeyer wasn’t allowed to be near her daughter to console her.
In news reports, the TSA responded with a statement claiming officers responded with “proper current screening procedures” according to “modified screening procedures of children 12 and under.”
Given Ms. Brademeyer’s account, I am concerned that the TSA went too far in responding to the incident in Kansas. I look forward to hearing more from you about how exactly TSA officers responded, whether it was truly appropriate, and what steps will be taken in the future to ensure more common sense when dealing with young children and their parents during necessary airport security screenings.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to your immediate response to this issue.