Wheelchair-bound girl, 12, left in tears after TSA detains her for an hour ‘after detecting traces of explosives on her hands’

(DailyMail) -A 12-year-old girl who uses a wheelchair was left in tears after TSA agents detained her for nearly an hour at a Texas airport after saying they found traces of bomb residue on her hands, her mother claimed today.

Shelbi Walser was travelling to Florida with her mother, Tammy Daniels, for treatment for her brittle bone disorder when she was stopped at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas.

A TSA agent swabbed Shelbi’s hands and she tested positive for explosives. But the wheelchair, which is likely to have transferred any substance to her hands as she pushed it, was never tested, her mother said. 

Shelbi Walser
Shelbi Walser

Tears: Shelbi Walser, who suffers from a brittle bone condition, is filmed crying after TSA agents at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport detained her for an hour after detecting explosive residue on her hands, her mother said

A video of the December 8 incident shows Shelbi sobbing as officials detain her in front of hundreds of travellers at security, but refuse to allow her mother to get close enough to comfort her.

Daniels told Fox that they even called a bomb specialist to the scene, while other passengers reportedly spoke out in support of Shelbi and offered her tissues and candy.

 ’There were people saying, “Really? You’re going to do this to her? Y’all have to take her somewhere private where she’s not out in the public and everyone can see her”,’ Shelbi told Foxin Fort Worth.

‘It was frightening. I kinda got mad.’

Ordeal: Her mother said she was not allowed to get close to her crying daughter to comfort herOrdeal: Her mother said she was not allowed to get close to her crying daughter to comfort her
Bizarre: They had to wait for an hour in front of hundreds of travellers while the TSA called a bomb expertBizarre: They had to wait for an hour in front of hundreds of travellers while the TSA called a bomb expert 

After nearly an hour, Daniels said agents suddenly told them they were free to pass through the security checkpoint but offered no explanation for the incident.

‘It’s okay, you didn’t do anything wrong, we’re going to get you on your way,’ an agent can be heard telling Shelbi in the video as she cries into her hands.

The youngster and her mother made it just in time for their flight.

But Shelbi said that a check of wheelchair could have revealed the TSA’s mistake much earlier.

‘It could have come off fertilizer, because we have chickens,’ she told WFAA. ‘It could have just come off the ground, because I roll through everything.’

Enraged: Shelbi said they should have checked the wheelchair as she had probably rolled through somethingEnraged: Shelbi said they should have checked the wheelchair as she had probably rolled through something 
Annoyed: Her mother, Tammy Daniels, said the TSA needs to reconsider how it treats childrenAnnoyed: Her mother, Tammy Daniels, said the TSA needs to reconsider how it treats children 

Her mother added that she had been left outraged by the way her daughter was treated.

‘I am by no means undermining our safety in the air,’ she said. ‘After 9/11, by no means am I doing that. But when it comes to children, common sense is not in a textbook.’

But the TSA defended the incident in a statement.

‘We are sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA through a variety of channels,’ it said.

‘We work to balance those concerns with the very real threat that our adversaries will attempt to use explosives to carry out attacks on planes.’


Scene: The TSA said they work to balance screenings that are sensitive with the threats of air travelScene: The TSA said they try to balance considerate screenings with the threats of air travel 

The video is just the latest to bring the TSA’s responses into question.

Last month, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas claimed his 17-year-old niece had her dress pulled down after she was taken aside to be screened at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

The incident happened two years ago but came to light under the Freedom of Information Act after it was caught on surveillance camera. Hall has called for the agent to be fired.

And last year, two other wheelchair users, Jason and Jennifer Steitler from Florida, claim they were forced up from their wheelchairs and groped under their girls by agents at Greater Rochester International Airport in New York.

Mia’s thoughts- When I roll around everything i rollover ends upon my push gloves, when you spit you drop drinks you drop gum it ends up on my wheelchair wheels .All these TSA morons had to do was test the childs wheels. She was 12 and travelling and disabled they terrorised the child and then no apology? dispicable.

Dozens of TSA suspensions, firings at Newark Liberty Airport

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know I think the TSA is an over paid undertrained gang of thugs in blue who are a disgrace. well it seems finally someone in power thinks so

REPosted from a story on: Oct 19, 2012 12:15 PM EDT Updated: Oct 19, 2012 1:11 PM EDT


MYFOXNY.COM -The Transportation Security Administration is proposing to fire 25 employees at Newark Liberty International Airport and to suspend 19 others as a result of an investigation into improper screening of checked luggage.


The TSA says the alleged screening failures were uncovered last year after surveillance cameras were installed in a screening room to check for possible thefts.

Eight employees were immediately fired in June.

The latest action raises to 52 the number of TSA employees at Newark caught up in the investigation. It represents the biggest single disciplinary action taken by the TSA at a U.S. airport.

The TSA says the latest group cited includes both screeners and managers who are accused of failing to effectively supervise their employees.

Earlier this week, a former luggage screener at Newark Liberty Airport told FOX 5’s Good Day New York that the stealing of items from luggage was routine.

“I believe it is very wide spread.  I would screen the luggage through the X-ray, knew what I wanted, then I would take it… it was random. I took laptops, cameras, video games, watches…. Where we were behind the ticket counters there were no cameras,” Brown told Good Day New York.

Brown, who served 28 months in jail following his conviction in 2009, says the majority of screeners are good people. Low moral and low pay were some of the reasons why he says he stole from travelers.

“There was no good reason to do what I did… I made up a lot of excuses,” said Brown.

The Transportation Safety Administration issued this statement in response:

“TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards. TSA has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and takes immediate action when allegations are substantiated.”

Last week, the Newark Star-Ledger obtained copies of an internal report regarding the pat-down of passengers. The report found screeners were properly executing standard pat-downs of passengers only 17 percent of the time.

The report also stated that proper action was taken on prohibited items in only 25 percent of all cases.

The report — titled “Pace Airport Evaluation” and dated June 8 — also found that screener never informed passengers of their right to opt out of a full body scan in favor of a pat-down.

Not all of the findings in the report were negative. The report also found that in numerous categories, including removing prohibited items found during physical searches and exhibiting good listening skills, screeners performed their duties properly 100 percent of the time.

The Pace report was compiled by undercover teams of Transportation Security Administration employees from other airports who witnessed the Newark Liberty Airport screeners at work over period of several months.

airport wheelchair fakes are making life hard for disabled travellers

Wheelchair Fakers Skip Airport Security Lines
By JUJU KIM | @jujkim | October 8, 2012 |
A woman sits in a wheelchair.
When long airport security lines become too much to handle, request a wheelchair.
That’s the tactic some fully abled passengers are using to cut through the winding queues at airport security checkpoints, the New York Times reported. According to the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to accomodate disabled travelers — who need not show any proof of disability — free of charge.
Airport staffers recognize the deception occurs; they’ve learned to expect a large volume of wheelchair requests during periods when security lags.
“When [travelers] see that the line is so long, they just ask for a wheelchair,” Evelyn Danquah, an attendant for Delta Air Lines, told the Times. She said she has seen some wheelchair fakers stand and walk away as soon as they clear security. Wheelchair attendants — whose salaries range between $9 and $14 an hour, with tips, help to maintain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the line-hopping strategy in hopes of bolstering their paychecks, the Times reported.
The practice has even spawned a new term among flight attendants: “miracle flights,” in which passengers use wheelchairs to board but abandon them when their planes land. Kelly Skyles, the national safety and security coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told the Times she believes travelers shed their wheelchairs because passengers in wheelchairs are the last to leave the plane.
“Not only do we serve them beverages and ensure their safety — now we’re healing the sick,” said Skyles, who is also a flight attendant.
Peter Greenberg, author and travel editor for CBS News, said he has noticed miracle flights on the rise as security has increased in rigor. He told the Times the scammers will eventually face unpleasant consequences.
“I’m a big believer in karma,” he said. “You don’t put on a dress when the Titanic is going down so you can get in the first lifeboat.”
Karma wasn’t kind to one wheelchair faker in the past. The Telegraph reported in late August that Barry Brooks, who had pretended to be disabled in order to secure nearly $2.9 million in grants — which he then used to buy luxury cars, motorcycles and a penthouse in Spain — was sentenced to eight years in prison.
It’s unclear whether deceitful passengers will suffer any penalties in the future. Jean Medina, spokesperson for industry trade organization Airlines for America, wrote in an email to the Times that her organization hopes travelers would refrain from abusing the law.
“We respect our passengers, and we trust their integrity when they seek wheelchair assistance,” Medina said in the email

For Disabled Fliers, TSA Adds Insult To Injury

Posted: 07/16/2012 7:15 am
Reposted from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-elliott/for-disabled-fliers-tsa-adds-insult_b_1674523.html

If you thought the TSA’s reputation as America’s worst federal agency couldn’t get any worse — and after its recent PR disasters, I wouldn’t blame you — you might want to think again.

Last week brought fresh evidence that our airport screeners are working even harder to be reviled by the public they’re assigned to protect.

 Both incidents involve young passengers with disabilities. The first one happened to a young deaf passenger traveling to a conference in Louisville. He alleges agents belittled him (I can’t repeat the exact words they allegedly used), stole his candy and devoured it in front of him.

The second incident involves a cancer patient on his way to Disneyland, having his prosthetic leg screened by a TSA agent. A photo of the search provoked widespread outrage. My colleague Lisa Simeone covered the fallout on the watchdog site TSA News.

The TSA issued a statement on its blog, denying the deaf passenger was mistreated. It said it had the pictures to disprove it.

“After a review of the video, TSA found no footage that matches the information in the blog post, such as Officers removing food during any bag search and eating it, or anything to indicate that they were pointing at and ridiculing a passenger,” it said.

A blog post written by the deaf passenger has since been removed, and the author has asked other media outlets to unpublish the article.

 TSA hasn’t commented on the photo of the child being screened. It doesn’t really have to. No one seems to care what the agency has to say anymore.

Was that a doctored photo? Was the deaf passenger harassed by agents? What does it matter? They just wouldn’t put anything past the TSA.

Just in case you’re one of the three readers who are still concerned with the facts, here are a few to chew on. The TSA has a long history of targeting the disabled, as I documented in a post last year.

Since then, it’s kept the most defenseless air travelers in its crosshairs.

In May, radio host Laura Ingraham reported a legless Afghanistan war veteran being given a very thorough once-over by TSA agents at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Our vets, she added, “deserve better.” (She’s right.)

A few weeks before, it aggressively screened a seven-year-old female passenger with cerebral palsy, causing her family to miss their flight. The girl, Dina Frank, was waiting to board a flight departing from JFK Airport in New York to Florida, when agents insisted on conducting a thorough search of her and her crutches — this was at the gate, after the girl had already gone through security at the checkpoint.

Elderly passengers with mobility challenges are also a favorite target. Just a few days before they went after the disabled girl, a passenger flying out of Palm Beach International Airport claims agents refused to let her walk through a magnetometer and gave her an invasive pat-down.

Her crime? Using a cane.

“I was groped inappropriately in all strategic areas, hands placed down my pants in a manner I never imagined possible for a middle-aged woman with a cane,” she wrote on a consumer complaint site. “The point was very clear; to punish and retaliate against me because I opted out of the non-metal scanner.”

When it comes to the way TSA treats disabled travelers, is any horror story true until proven otherwise? I can’t fault the flying public for thinking so.

To the agency’s credit, it has changed the way it screens some passengers as a result of recent complaints. A few months ago, the TSA declared that passengers 75 and over could keep their shoes and light jackets on at the screening area. But to many critics, the agency just created yet another class of “special” passenger, which some disability advocates find offensive. Their goal is to be treated like everyone else — no better, no worse.

Pope John Paul II once said that society can be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. Last week, the TSA added insult to injury for its most vulnerable passengers. And it seems passengers have already judged them for it

 Mia’s thoughts-At the time of posting this I am half way through a conspircy theory fictional novel, based on my own real life horror experience at the hand of the TSA. The book is titled 14 DAYS

HERE IS AN EXCERPT-https://disabledaccessdenied.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/an-unedited-excerpt-from-chapter-one-of-14-days-a-new-novel-by-mia-g-vayner/

an unedited excerpt from Chapter one of “14 Days” a new novel by Mia G Vayner

  Here is a sneek preview of my latest novel that deals with survivng child abuse and dealing with TSA abuse and what I discovered when I sought out profesional help. Chapter One

The last 6 months had been the best of times and the worst of times, the good was 6 months on The sunshine coast of Queensland Australia.In Australia There’s a sense of humour the Aussies have, Shorty is really 6 feet tall, tiny weighs 400lbs and as we found out all too late sunshine was in hiding for most of summer 2011 on the sunshine coast!.

The distance between rural Australia and main street USA was never more apparent as we rolled off the Qantas flight from hell qf 108,actually  it came from Sydney. But when you’re on a flight for 14 hours and they forget to board any vegan food, and they give away your upgrade to 3 seats to yourself then They put you a wheelchair using disabled person not in your own aisle, but in  a group of 5 squeezed between a Hasidic couple with screaming toddlers and smelly businessman who Thought showering is a fad that will pass you quickly forget the harbour bridge and opera house. You start to think you flew over a ferryman on the river Styx with the faint lyrics to Chris de burghs “don’t pay the ferryman playing  in your ears.

We were met by a very apologetic agent from Qantas special services dept, who swore  the food was arranged and the seats were guaranteed .The short Mexican woman was cute and no more than a 100lbs  and had an annoying habit of texting and never making eye contact  but she managed to efficiently  get us through customs and get our luggage on the way to a routine (or so I thought) TSA  check point. I had survived 9/11 and my wife and sister in-law were right there, so I know what the worst bad security or no security can let happen is  but the TSA is a gangly half trained group that is as far as security goes as useful as sending a seventh grade quarter back out to face William the fridge Perry for all the good they do. Despite my misgivings  my audience before them was demanded, so I rolled into the cattle yard of a line up  and proceeded to put  my shoes laptop, and jewellery in the plastic boxes and waited to be pushed through into a special area where wheelchairs and their occupants were routinely checked.

  As I approached I noticed small aisles similar to a Pathmark checkout line, and immediately realised none were wide enough.”Excuse me officer. yes over here um the aisles which one?” SHUT UP AND WAIT TILL WE SPEAK TO YOU the Tom Sellicks wanna be barked. “But sir the aisles” I SAID SHUT UP AND WAIT The wannabe commando yelled, finally I blurted “the aisles are not wide enough for my chair”. He shouted over his shoulder “can we get this loudmouth through and out of my hair”? A short Hispanic man in blue pushed me around the office style dividers and back in the front end of the conveyor belts. all through this my special services agent was busy texting someone who made her smile. As I was imagining her conversation, a tall African American, or possible Jamaican women in her twenties said in a barely literate sentence “can y’all stand up”? To which I replied no I’m in a wheelchair. “Yeah but can ya stand?” ,again I said “as I said I’m in a wheelchair”.  She then knocked the wind out of my sails as she blurted loudly “I need ya’ll to git over in the corner and stand there for about 5 minutes while we all search ya chair” . I laughed and said “are you serious” she just mechanically repeated herself to which I replied I cannot .She then spoke onto her shoulder microphone and said “we have a suspicious passenger, I’m requesting a private room for a full search” as I heard her words my stomach jumped into my mouth, and I asked why? She informed me I had refused a reasonable request to stand up and walk over to the corner,  I said loudly “you cannot be serious do you not understand disability?” To which she replied “what I understand is none of your business I gave an order and ya’ll refused so you’re getting private and getting searched”. Just then the same short Hispanic gentleman walked over and enquired why a room was needed, and a short discussion ensued and I was pushed to the door of a occupied room and told to wait, when I asked what the room was for I was told this is where full body and cavity searches were carried out.

A sweat broke out I started to have shakes, I fought back the tears of fear remembering my brother a soldier used to say “if you cry you give the bastards the satisfaction “.

 I started to beg, Memories of child hood molestation filled my head and I pleaded loudly for a full 15 minutes and I thanked the universe that whoever was in the room was either guilty as hell and being held or taking their time dressing because it allowed me time to plead my case.  The man in blue came over, I bit my lip to keep my composure and explained the stupidity of her request and that the only way I could comply was after neurological surgery because walking was impossible. He seemed to ignore me, and I heard the ignorant guard responsible for my plight tell him “she didn’t know what disability meant and thought wheelchairs were what rich white folk rode in when they got rich and didn’t want to walk any more”! I was almost into full seizure at the impending search, and then out of the mist a woman who looked like sweet mrs C from Happy days came over. Evidently she had overheard the ludicrous statements regarding why people used wheelchairs.  She apologised  and proceeded to conduct a quick wanding and I was on my way to the plane.

As we flew back to NYC  the hours ticked over the mist and fog got heavier, outside it was blue skies but the inclement weather was in my head in my life  and no sign of it clearing anytime soon. By the time we landed at jfk, they may as well have  invaded  every orifice and felt my most personal places because the combination of the flash backs to childhood molestation combined with my wild flying thoughts of what they could have done had me almost catatonic. As soon as we arrived back on the upper east side in our apartment, using the guise of jet lag I retreated further and further into the darkness of my mind and stayed that way until dirt and odour would pry me from my sheets.

 I would arise  only long enough for a shower a bed change and the smallest required meal I could find.  At an age where I would never see fifty again I thought the horror of my childhood was long gone, but in those early weeks my poor Ella barely slept.  I woke up screaming so often curled in the foetal position, that the few hours she didn’t  spend at her magazine were spent wearily assuring me the monsters lived only in my head and my past.

Louisville TSA Agents Ridicule Deaf People

reposted from a story by July 10, 2012 By George Donnelly 


This young man claims the TSA ridiculed him for being deaf.

A deaf young man is reporting that TSA agents in Louisville ridiculed him and his friends for being deaf. You won’t be surprised that it’s the kind of fascist goon behavior we’ve come to expect from the TSA.

Is it the official policy of the TSA to berate people, steal their stuff, troll on blogs critical of the TSA, break seniors’ colostomy bags, dump human ashes and engage in all kinds of other unspeakable behavior?

No. But it is their unwritten policy to tolerate this kind of behavior. No, I don’t have a leaked memo. I can see it for myself as incident of abuse after incident of abuse come to light while nothing changes. In fact, it’s getting worse.

Can you imagine this pattern of abuse at McDonalds, Wal-Mart or United Airlines? No way. They can’t get away with it, not even United. So why does the TSA get a pass? It’s because they are a government agency. Plain and simple.

John, Janet and Barack: you’ve created your goon squad. They are carrying out their jobs with exemplary performance. Now what

Hey TSA This is a New Level of Stupid

Mia’s Thoughts- To the TSA agent who insisted that the machine gun carrying pistol strapped battle proven American soldier surrender a 2 inch long pair of soft metal nail clippers because they were a security threat — WHAT ROCK DO YOU  LIVE UNDER? HOW DARE YOU! These are the front line guys who laid their collective asses on the line to stop the Taliban and the Al Queda from getting on the plane with the box cutters and the exploding underwear and gun powder sneakers. Even if they were to be searched do you really think 330 of Americas finest returning from battle would need a pair of nail clippers to take out 3 hostesses and two pilots? There is a reason you stand safely on American soil wearing pretty dry cleaned blue shirts and they wear khaki and go to war YOU ARE A INSULT TO AMERICA.
To the Government- Here is a suggestion, instead of employing embarrassing excuses for illiterate poster children for why condoms should be mandatory who insult our war veterans, why not reward the veterans for making it home by giving them the airport security to run. If they can survive ten years at war by developing the ability to find the one face in a crowd about  to explode a bomb or throw a grenade or shoot at their vehicle surely they can pick the criminal at LAX. As a regular international traveler myself, I would feel safer. I would also feel like I was dealing with an actual official instead of how I feel now. All the TSA makes me feel is that the airport is running a “bring your in bred stupid cousin to work day,” fair.
We as a nation spend 1 million dollars on average training each soldier. We educate them on all aspects of search including facial recognition, crowd control, how to talk someone down and if it becomes necessary how to engage the enemy with minimum damage to those not involved. So why not keep that going and reward their service with airport jobs for life?
                                                                 The Story
As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following: When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all …of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That’s where the stupid started.
First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn’t refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area. No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.It’s probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons. Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren’t loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it re-inspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to re-inspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, re-inspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.

The conversation went something like this:
TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.
Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.
TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.
Soldier: Why?
TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.
Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.
TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.
Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?
TSA Guy: [awkward silence]
Me: Dude, just give him your F**K**G nail clippers so we can get the F**K out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.
Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for “explosive residue” detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for “Gun Powder Residue”. Who the Hell is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

Can someone please tell me What the hell happened to OUR country while we were gone?
Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy