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Woman Undergoing Cancer Treatment Describes 'Aggressive' Search From TSA Officers At LAX
A radio host and TV personality currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer claims she was aggressively searched by TSA agents at LAX, which she described as an "overwhelming and horrific" ordeal.
She said that, after she had passed through the scanner, two TSA agents decided to search her because of a medical cream she wanted to take with her on the flight. The cream was for an infection she was suffering as a side effect to her chemotherapy treatment. Though she has taken the cream with her on other flights in the past, she said these particular agents told her she must submit to a full pat-down "with pressure" first. Albert said she explained that she was in treatment for breast cancer, had undergone a lumpectomy, had a medical port located in her chest, and was wearing a wig that she did not want to remove. When they asked her to take off her shoes, she informed them of the infection and told them that she was not wearing socks and therefore did not want to walk on the bare floor. She said she was made to sit for more than 20 minutes without her shoes, which made her feet cold—another side effect of her chemotherapy. A supervisor ultimately took Albert into a private room for a soft pat-down.
A video, which was included in Albert's Facebook post, shows her sitting sans shoes and telling the agents that they can't touch her in the area where her port is located. The agents then tell her it's procedure for them to "clear the area" to make sure "there's nothing there."
Albert said that another agent mocked the several sets of false eyelashes she had in her bag (these comments are not depicted in the video). Albert said she wears false eyelashes as she has lost her own due to treatment.
The TSA released the following statement to PIX 11, where Albert occasionally appears as a guest on the station's morning show:
The Transportation Security Administration takes reports of alleged impropriety very seriously. TSA is currently looking into the specific details as to what occurred during the screening process to ensure our security protocols were followed. We regret any distress the security screening process may have caused the passenger. We will work with the passenger directly to address her concerns.
Albert later posted that she had spoken with representatives from the TSA.
The TSA just called. I'm very pleased with our conversation. They apologized for my experience and at this point there is an LAX investigation into what happened. They very aggressively train their agents on how to screen medical / disabilities. This was not at their expectations and a lot of disappointment they didn't get it right. They are going to refresh training at LAX 3000 employees.