Jessica and her mother exercised their rights to refuse to go through a full-body-scan and opted for a full-body-pat down, instead. Jessica said she and her mother were told they would undergo "an extensive pat down which would involve going all the way up the leg."
The women then filmed the TSA agents conducting pat-downs during which, as the women claimed, the agents groped them, touching their breasts and vaginas.
The video showing Jessica being "groped" was recorded on May 23. It begins with a TSA agent explaining to Jessica what a full-body-pat-down entails.
She was emphatic that the female TSA agent must not touch her vagina and breasts.
When the agent appeared to place her hands on her breasts. she protested: "Sorry, you just touched my boob."
She made it clear to the agent that she was not comfortable with having her "boob" touched. The agent told her it wouldn't be possible to clear her for the flight if she could not continue with the "invasive" procedure.
Jessica agreed to proceed, but she recoiled when the agent ran her hand up her thigh, into the inner part of her upper thigh
She protested : "She just touched my vagina, seriously, that was not my upper thigh."
After recording the footage, she posted it to her Twitter
page with the caption: "Was violated pretty badly by TSA at San Diego International Airport yesterday. Video will be on my YouTube channel."
She told Infowars
: “Having the camera on empowered me to interrupt the pat down when I was being violated and tell them what was and wasn't acceptable."
NY Daily News
reports she said: "It is so important to always film when you opt out of a TSA procedure to protect your rights and hold the TSA responsible for how they respond."
When some Twitter users said the TSA agent acted within guidelines, she responded: "To all those people saying that I'm 'overreacting' - if you went up to someone on the street and touched them like that you'd probably be arrested. It's really sad that so many people have habituated to this type of treatment."
This is not the first time that Ashley has campaigned against TSA pat-down procedure. She led the anti-TSA Infowars Out & Film the TSA campaign
last year, in which she urged people "to film the TSA and to post the footage to YouTube in an effort to raise awareness and to stop the tyrannical practices of the TSA."
She urged people not to "submit themselves to naked body scanner" and to refuse "being groped." She posted a video (see above
) to YouTube in which she explained: "This TSA agent gives my mom the full grope-down at Norfolk VA airport and then complains that my brother is violating her rights by filming it. Oh the irony. He began filming after I refused to proceed with my pat-down because I was told by the TSA agent that she would be touching my behind over and over again until I didn't flinch. She also told me that I had to let her touch my other private areas with the backs of her hands or I would not be permitted to fly."
According to the Daily Mail
, she said that her campaign was inspired by her "bad experience " with the TSA.
She complained: "I was ordered around like a prisoner."
NY Daily News
reports that a TSA spokesperson has responded to the video, saying: "In review of the closed-circuit video, it is abundantly clear that the two TSA officers conducting the pat-down carried out their responsibilities in a professional and polite manner.”
The spokesperson explained that the primary objective of the TSA is to stop terrorists smuggling explosives into airplanes. According to the TSA official, terrorists have been known to “exploit any presumed vulnerability, especially in areas where social sensitivities prevail.” She referred to the case of the "underwear bomber"
who attempted to blow up a plan with explosives in his underwear.
Ashley is not the first to complain about the TSA's invasive body search procedure. A man once confronted the TSA at San Diego International Airport warning them not to touch his "junk."
UT San Diego
reports the man John Tyner, said in the video that went viral online: "If you touch my junk, I'm going to have you arrested."
reported that a man, John Brennan, from Portland, Oregeon was acquitted of charges of indecent exposure after he stripped naked at a airport security check in protest against TSA's "invasive procedure." TSA agents reportedly said they found nitrates in his clothes at Portland International Airport, the Daily Mail
According to Digital Journal
, the judge ruled that Brennan only acted in protest after he took offense at the accusation that he could be a terrorist.