Second Woman Speaks Out Against TSA Screenings

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Last week, NewsWest 9 introduced you to one local woman who said the new TSA enhanced pat down screenings left her feeling violated. Her story, resonated with a local congressman who took action, and filed a complaint with Homeland Security. However, Ferguson isn't the only one speaking out against the screenings.

Priscilla Smith of Odessa says she also felt violated by the pat down. However, she was patted down four months before the new pat down screenings were due to begin. Smith was getting ready to board a plane at the Midland Airport back in June. During security, she was pulled out of line by a female TSA agent who asked her to spread her legs for a screening.

"Stand with my legs apart, in a skirt, and they took the wand and they went up my dress," Smith said.

Then, using the pat down method, the agent touched her chest and her bottom, in front of other passengers.

"I felt flush, I mean, there's not family members that touch you like that, and this is a stranger. You just feel very embarrassed," Smith said.

"We value the rights of the people we interact with, all the traveling public, but that must be balanced with the security and the safety of the traveling public itself," TSA Spokesman Luis Casanova, said.

Casanova says the TSA had been slowly phasing the enhanced pat down into normal screening procedures, which is why Smith was patted down four months before the official launch date. He says he hates that some passengers feel uncomfortable.

"But we also have a mandate to secure the safety of the traveling public, and that's what we try to meet, within the confines and parameters that the individuals have a right to," Casanova said.

Smith says it's not fair to be targeted.

"That doesn't seem fair, we shouldn't be subjected to that. You know, we have our rights, and for someone to touch you like that, we teach our children to 'come and tell your mother, tell your teacher, someone like that.' Well, we're adults and we have that right, too," Smith said.