Getting through the line at the TSA can be a long and uncomfortable process. For one Chattanooga teen and her mother, the process turned into a scary nightmare.
Nineteen-year-old Hannah Cohen was returning home from St. Jude’s Hospital with her mother for treatment of her brain tumor (a trip they had made for 17 years), when Hannah somehow set off the metal detector at the security checkpoint.
TSA wanted to do a further scan on Hannah, but she was reluctant. Hannah’s mother, Shirley Cohen, tried to inform the agents that her daughter was disabled. She is partially deaf and blind in one eye, paralyzed, and becomes easily confused. “They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” Shirely said.
Despite her concerns, Shirley was kept away from her daughter by police. Hannah, obviously afraid, tried to get away from the grips of the TSA. “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 Shirley.
The teen was arrested, booked, and sent to jail. “Here we were with nowhere to go, not even a toothbrush, our bags had gone to Chattanooga,” said the distraught mother.
Authorities have thrown out the charges, but the Cohen family has filed a lawsuit against the TSA, Memphis Airport, and Memphis Airport Police. None of the accused parties would acknowledge wrongdoing, but TSA representative Sari Koshetz made a statement saying, “Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.”