TSA Disputes Claim Double-Amputee Marine 'Humiliated' at Airport

Friday, 22 Mar 2013 01:39 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Responding to allegations it had mistreated and "humiliated" a double-amputee Marine at an airport checkpoint earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration  disputed the claims, backed by a video of the incident.

The video, however, has not been made public.

The TSA said agents reviewed surveillance footage and found that proper procedure were followed while inspecting the wheel chair-bound Marine at a checkpoint. The agency said the Marine, who isn't being identified, was never asked to remove his prosthetic legs, as the Marine's escort alleged. The TSA also says the Marine stood up on his own without agents asking him to, Fox 5 San Diego reported.

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The agency would not release the footage to the media, citing the need to protect the Marine's identity, officials said.

The TSA added that two of the agents involved in the incident are veterans.

The Marine's volunteer escort reported the incident, which occurred on March 13 at Arizona’s Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The allegations prompted Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to issue a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole.

In the complaint, Hunter explained the allegations, in which the disabled Marine had to "stand and walk to an alternate area, despite the fact that he physically could not stand or walk on his own."

"While I recognize the necessity to appropriately screen passengers, I am concerned by the apparent lack of situational awareness and respect among TSA officers — specifically when it comes to the treatment of war wounded. I am hopeful you will give this situation the attention it deserves," Hunter wrote.

The agency's "Wounded Warrior Accommodations" program provides agents with specific guidelines on how they should treat severely injured military personnel at airport screening checkpoints to ensure that the inspection is "conducted with empathy and respect," according to TSA's website.

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