The disabled girl was detained at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport for nearly an hour after TSA agents claimed to have found explosive residue on her hands.
The girl, Shelbi Walser, was on her way to Florida for medical treatment accompanied by her mother, Tammy Daniels, at the time the incident happened. The mother says that the TSA agents pulled Shelbi to one side when a test showed explosive residue on her hands. According to one report: TSA left the mortified girl in tears, but refused to let her mother get close enough to comfort her.Daniels says that common sense never seemed to enter the picture during the investigation: “Through all of this, no common sense ever kicked in. No one ever tested her wheelchair.” Daniels noted that wheelchairs are like the bottoms of shoes which pick up all sorts of things that they walk over. The wheelchair could very well have passed over the residues somewhere and then ended up on Shelbi's hands.
Daniels was able to record the entire incident on her cell phone. Shelbi was distraught during the incident and felt that the TSA might separate her from her mother. At one point the agents called in a supervisor to deal with Daniels, obviously angry at her treatment. However, Daniels said: “Never once did I lose my composure with them. I never screamed at them – nothing. And the lady had the audacity to call who she called and tell them I was being hostile, which I find funny.”
Finally, a bomb expert arrived, found nothing hazardous and the two were released. Fortunately, Daniels and Shelbi made their flight in spite of the delay. Daniels said: “I understand other people’s concerns that they are just providing a safety for everyone who flies – I understand that. But that was not the case here.”While TSA will not discuss the specific incident they released a statement:
“TSA’s mission is to safely, efficiently and respectfully screen nearly 2 million passengers each day at airports nationwide.
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. 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.
We take the professionalism of our workforce and the integrity of our security procedures very seriously and will address any alleged issues directly with the passenger and not through the news media.”