Disabled woman beaten bloody thanks to TSA

Because TSA News was down for a while due to IT problems, I didn’t get to post this story here last month. By now, many people have heard about it. What they might not know is that it didn’t just happen recently — the abuse in this case took place a year ago, and the victim is now filing suit against the TSA. I wrote about it at my blog, Abombazine, and am re-posting here.

I’d like to say I’m shocked at this incident, because the crimes committed by the TSA were so egregious, but unfortunately, I’m not. (I also know most people don’t give a shit. “Just get me to my flight on time!”)

From Raw Story:

Disabled woman beaten bloody by TSA agents after becoming confused and afraid at security checkpoint

Oh, and our good friend Sai has already FOIA’d the video.

(Photo of Hannah Cohen courtesy of WREG)

  • iamslickson

    Sad news Naija News

  • 偶然来访,受益良多!

  • 认真拜读中……

  • Susan Richart
    • TSA stalling?? Why, I’m shocked, shocked, I say! And did you read the comments at that article? All the bleating sheep excoriating Vanderklock and defending the TSA. God, these people so deserve a comeuppance.

      • Susan Richart

        Honestly I didn’t see that. I did see commenters blasting Vanderklok but most did not support the TSA or the individual screener.

        • Did you see the comments by majorandre, Joey Mack, Only in Philly, Tatts, WOULDCHUCK, Managgia Keetamort, PJ, erik, TED from Boston, The Lizard King, jerryk2, 22Days, etc.? The reporter is running herself ragged responding to all these idiots.

    • P.S. For those who are interested in the original story, we covered it in February 2015:

      “Man abused by TSA, jailed by cops; TSA agent lies under oath”

  • 感觉很不错的样子!

  • 随便看看,随便转转!

  • 风吹过,我来过!

  • Joey Bach

    New article at The Free Thought Project:

    Sad story. I hope they make a lawsuit that has some teeth to the prayer for relief section.

    • Yes, this has gotten a bit of publicity. I just haven’t had the energy to write about it. And I don’t believe anything will come of it. More of the same, over and over and over again. Abuse on top of abuse.

  • Susan Richart

    Well, the video is out showing the take down of Hannah Cohen and, yes, she did assault the police officers.


    However, what I have not yet seen is the video of her TSA screening. Why didn’t the TSA release that also?

    • This is horrible. I don’t blame this girl. I blame the cops — and the TSA — for escalating this situation and provoking her. She’s mentally impaired for God’s sake. And the cop touched her first. Yes, I know one must never fight back against a cop. I know that, but she clearly didn’t. And her poor mother, standing there, helpless, obviously repeating over and over again why her daughter was confused and afraid.

      Let me put this in plain English — fuck the cops. I hope she wins her lawsuit and sues the living daylights out of them. They terrified, provoked, and hurt her. And for what? To display their stupid, pointless, petty power. Fuck them and every person in this country who defends the TSA.

  • From The Guardian:

    The lawsuit alleges that the TSA did not give Hannah adequate accommodation to screen her, and discriminated against her because of her disability. It names the TSA and the Memphis-Shelby County airport authority and seeks damages that include medical expenses and for personal injury, both physical and emotional. It calls for a “reasonable sum not exceeding $100,000 and costs”, and an undisclosed punitive amount.


    • Daisiemae

      “The TSA did not immediately return a request for comment. But a TSA spokeswoman, Sari Koshetz, said in a statement that “passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation”.

      So disabled passengers must call in advance in order to avoid being assaulted by TSA? Really?

    • Joey Bach

      I have previously read the text of the lawsuit but did not clue into the Prayer for Relief section and it’s deficiency or deficiencies. It is one thing to ask for money to punish the organization but the other thing is to seek change so this type of act never occurs again.

      Would the organization(s) that occupy the disabled space be able to separately approach the TSA to start the ball rolling for change?

      Should a special handling inspection checkpoint be setup to handle the needs of the travelling public that require a better level of customer service? This can vary from those with disabilities (deaf, blind) to those with special handling (medical devices — for example colostomy bag). I also think that anyone over the age of 75 and those accompanying the senior to use this checkpoint. Unfortunately, the lawsuit does not address this area of redress.

      • Oh, god. We shouldn’t need a frigging lawsuit or special “handling inspection checkpoints” to treat people decently.

        When will people get it through their heads that the TSA exists not for security but for show?? It’s not called security theater for nothing. And all this abuse, which was predictable, as I’ve been saying for frigging years, is to compel obedience. It’s power for the sake of exercising power. That’s it. And that’s not going to change; I don’t care how many lawsuits people bring or settlements they get.

        • Joey Bach

          1st paragraph — I hate to bring up the bubble of common sense that is so easily popped when it comes to those with power. The treating of people with decency starts by “special” inspection checkpoints. This would be a sneaky way to institute change. By going with a “kid gloves” mentality at a “special” checkpoint, it may be the perfect way to start all new employees. Those who can not handle “kid gloves” get to seek work elsewhere. Then you can move those “special” employees en masse to takeover the “normal” stations. This would be a way to develop a treat people decently approach.

          2nd paragraph — great rant — as I mentioned the key in lawsuits is the ability to seek change with penalties attached for violating the changes. Other than the simplest way is for people not to fly and to state to the airlines the reason(s) for the boycott — then the airlines will be the ones lobbying for changes.

          • And again, lawsuits have already been settled to “seek change with penalties attached for violating the changes,” yet the abuse continues. I’ve already told you about Steven Bierfeldt, Stacey Armato, Phil Mocek, Aaron Tobey, etc. None of their settlements have made a difference.

          • Joey Bach

            Steven Bierfeldt – incident on March 29, 2009. (dismissed after policy change by TSA — lawsuit just sought to have policy change)
            Stacey Armato – incident on Feb 1, 2010. (won and TSA did not learn lesson by repeating)
            Phil Mocek – incident on Nov 15, 2009. (lost at 10th Circuit – appeal from district court – big shame).
            Aaron Tobey – incident on Dec 30, 2010. (won – Mr. Tobey had fourth amendment written on his abdomen).

            Only 2 received settlements and they were not strong enough to set a huge financial penalty. None had penalties assigned for further violations.

            The case of Phil Mocek is interesting since the question of why were the police called when nothing was wrong has never been answered in court. The reliance on the TSA to “penalize” passengers by calling the police is the big issue. This is where most of the “injuries” occur. The only case that I found that was settled was the Ms. Shoshana Hebshi case. It’s settlement was very weak in my opinion ($40,000 does not amount to substantial pain for an organization).

          • As I’ve said before, your faith in the legal system is touching.

  • Sai

    FYI, the police records say that it’s the cops who caused this — the arresting officer executed a takedown, and she hit her head on something on the way down, causing the damage to her eye area. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that the TSA hit her, only that they touched her. https://s.ai/tsa/cohen has all my FOIA docs. (Video is pending.)

    • Yes, understood. I figured it was probably the cops, though the TSA initiated the whole thing. Will change wording of title.

    • Susan Richart

      “Touched her” as in to force her to do what they wanted or as in a patdown?

      The cops did not appear of their own accord. They came because TSA called them because TSA couldn’t de-escalate and lost control of the situation.

      TSA is ultimately responsible for this.

      • Sai

        I’ve not seen the video yet, so I can’t characterize what TSA did. You can read their statements that got into the police report at my link above, as well as the civil complaint, which alleges that TSA assaulted her (i.e. touched without consent).

        What *actually* happened? We’ll find out when I get the video. Personally, I don’t particularly trust the version of events that’s in the police report.

        More fundamentally though: yes, TSA couldn’t handle it and escalated, which is why the cops came and subsequently injured her during arrest. Morally, it’s their fault. (Legally, it’s a thorny question — but I don’t want to undermine her pending civil case, so I’ll not comment.)

        • Susan Richart

          Thanks, Sai. I’ll wait for the video with my fingers crossed that it actually shows what we believe it will show.