By Todd Starnes A Florida woman has filed a complaint with the Dept. of Homeland Security after she said TSA agents forced her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother to remove her adult diaper so it could be searched.
"It was humiliating," Jean Weber, of Destin, Fla. told Fox News Radio. "I couldn't believe they were doing all of this to my mother."
Weber said the alleged incident occurred June 18 at Northwest Florida Regional Airport. Her mother, who is confined to a wheelchair, was detained and forced to undergo an extensive search.
"They took her to a private room and that's when they told me I had to remove the Depends," Weber said. "They were not going to allow her to get on that plane until they could inspect her without the diaper on."
Weber said her mother complied with their demands, but she became emotional during the 45-minute search.
"I was bawling like a baby because I was so upset," she said. "This is not what I expected from my Homeland Security."
The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement that disputed Weber's accusation and said they screen passengers "in a respectful and sensitive manner."
"We reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper," the statement read.
But Weber said she was specifically told the diaper had to be removed because it was soiled and was impeding their search. She said her mother did not have another diaper and eventually boarded the plane without any under garments.
A TSA spokesperson for the TSA in Miami told the Northwest Florida Daily News that passengers in wheelchairs trigger additional protocols and that appeared to be what happened with Weber's elderly mother.
"TSA cannot exempt any group from screening because we know from intelligence that there are terrorists out there that would exploit that vulnerability," TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz told the newspaper.
Weber said she had no problem with airport security, but she did have a problem with the procedures.
"I'm an American," she said. "I vote. I believe in the American way and this does not seem like the American way to me at all."
"I understand that they have procedures, but if this is their procedure, then the procedure needs to be changed," she said.
The incident gained national attention after Weber wrote a letter to the editor in the local newspaper. She said she wanted to warn other people about what was happening at the airport.
"I don't want anyone else to have to go through this," she said. "This is crazy. It's just nuts."