Woman forced to remove nipple piercings at airport
So is that where spies keep their microchips now? I used to work at the border...I must have missed that memo.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ring with pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology by federal security agents and a civil rights investigation.
"I wouldn't wish this experience upon anyone," Mandi Hamlin said at a news conference. "My experience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to be treated this way."
Hamlin, 37, said she was trying to board a flight from Lubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a Transportation Security Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detector without problems.
Hamlin said she could not remove them and asked whether she could instead display her pierced breasts in private to the female agent. But several other male officers told her she could not board her flight until the jewelry was out, she said.
She was taken behind a curtain and managed to remove one bar-shaped piercing but had trouble with the second, a ring.
"Still crying, she informed the TSA officer that she could not remove it without the help of pliers, and the officer gave a pair to her," said Hamlin's attorney, Gloria Allred, reading from a letter she sent Thursday to the director of the TSA's Office of Civil Rights and Liberties. Allred is a well-known Los Angeles lawyer who often represents high-profile claims.
TSA officials said they are investigating to see whether its policies were followed.
"Our security officers are well-trained to screen individuals with body piercings in sensitive areas with dignity and respect while ensuring a high level of security," the agency said in a statement.
"The conduct of TSA was cruel and unnecessary," Allred wrote. "The last time that I checked a nipple was not a dangerous weapon."