TSA Is Very Sorry They Strip Searched Two Old Ladies

Illustration for article titled TSA Is Very Sorry They Strip Searched Two Old Ladies

Back in December, Transportation Security Administration officials caught some flack for forcing a couple of little old ladies at JFK airport to partially disrobe and show screeners their colostomy bags. Now, they'd like those two elderly grandmothers to know they're very sorry.


Back in November, 89-year-old Ruth Sherman and 85-year-old Lenore Zimmerman each suffered humiliating treatment at the hands of TSA when they were strip searched at New York's JFK Airport. Zimmerman uses a walker to get around and was deemed enough of a security threat that she was separated from the herd and asked to remove her clothing for female security officials. The wheelchair-bound Zimmerman was forced to show her colostomy bag and defibrillator to TSA employees.

Initially, the TSA balked at claims that what they did was totally fucked up, insisting that procedures were followed. But now, they've admitted that they acted in a way that was out of hand, remarking that it's not standard to ask travelers to offer their colostomy bags for inspection. This is a sort of big deal because the TSA doesn't apologize for anything; not no way, not no how. (They're sorry you feel that way, though.)


While a spokesperson for the agency admits that some of what happened to Zimmerman and Sherman was not okay, they still refuse to admit that either woman was strip searched.

Thank goodness they were able to put a stop to all that terrorism those grandmas were planning on doing.

TSA apologizes to elderly women for strip search at Kennedy Airport [NYDN]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


honey badger don't care

I'm glad that the TSA (sort of) owned up to their mistake, but the dignity of a 30-something brown man named Muhammad is equal to the dignity of an 89 year old white woman. Just because someone was born with the wrong name or skin color or gender, doesn't make them more deserving of humiliation.

I don't think anyone deserves to be strip searched without some evidence that they, specifically and individually, have set off some credible concern. But I don't believe the TSA actually does anything to make us safer (nor do I think it's possible to ever live in a world without some kind of risk. c'est la vie).