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The TSA is regularly infuriating.

It spends tax dollars by the millions on technology that is non-functional or just plain ridiculous.

It misses 95 percent of fake bombs and weapons passed through security checkpoints in testing procedures.

It makes elderly women strip to the waist, forces mothers to drink their own breast milk to prove it’s not explosive, and brings felony charges over harmless jokes.

It is, in short, an expensive, invasive, ineffective assault on our civil liberties.

But this new story of TSA brutality in Tennessee is perhaps a new low. A disabled teenager heading home after treatment for a brain tumor set off a TSA metal detector, and the agents and police on the scene refused to listen to her mom’s explanations as the girl got more and more agitated. The situation only escalated from there, as reported by Memphis’ WREG News: (emphasis added):

Disabled St. Jude patient sues airport and TSA after bloody scuffle with Airport Police

Bloodied and bruised Hannah Cohen was led from Memphis International Airport in handcuffs.

The 19-year old was headed home to Chattanooga after treatment for a brain tumor at St. Jude Hospital.

It’s a trip they’ve made for 17-years.

This time, an unarmed Hannah, set off the metal detector at a security checkpoint

“They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” said her mother Shirley Cohen.

Cohen told us she tried to tell TSA agents her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused, but said she was kept at a distance by police.

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“She’s trying to get away from them but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor. There was blood everywhere,” said Cohen.

Hannah was arrested, booked and on the night she should have been celebrating the end of her treatment, she was locked up in Jail East.

The next day, Hannah was released and charges against her were ultimately dropped. Now, her family is suing in an attempt to hold the TSA responsible for its traumatizing behavior.

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But the thing is, they shouldn’t have to sue at all, because this never should have happened.

The reason such absurd stories of TSA assaults like what happened to Hannah won’t stop happening is that our airport “security” is about theater, not safety. What is valued here is that flyers be forced to jump through all the right hoops so the government’s back is covered in the event of a tragedy.

What isn’t valued is basic decency and common sense.

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