On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump flagged a disturbing video of a TSA agent aggressively and excessively patting down a young boy with a disability at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
“Not a good situation!” wrote the president, reacting to the video posted by comedian Larry The Cable Guy, whose real name is Daniel Lawrence Whitley
Whitley posted the video with the caption: “Absolutely ridiculous! How many times do you have to feel a kid up to figure out he’s not a threat? This is infuriating and hard to watch.” The video the comedian posted came from an account called “@DeepStateExpose.”
The video first surfaced online in 2017. The boy’s mother, Jennifer Williamson, explained on public radio that her family was traveling from Texas to San Diego on a family vacation when her 13-year-old son Aaron, who suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), was pulled aside for the invasive search by TSA.
According to radio station WIBX 950, Williamson posted the disturbing video to Facebook, where it quickly went viral, garnering tens of thousands of messages from social media users upset over the “creepy” interaction.
“We were told in no uncertain terms that either we comply immediately without question or we be escorted from the airport,” Williamson explained during an appearance on “First News with Keeler in the Morning” in the wake of the ordeal.
The mother agreed with the host that her son was “groped” by the agent. “There was no question it was excessive and way beyond what needs to be necessary,” she said.
“There was no place for him to hide anything,” she noted. “If you watch the video, this man actually put both hands around my son’s bare arms, also. What was hiding under his skin?”
Aaron “already has experienced bullying for being a ballet dancer and advocates for that so he is really a unique and thoughtful kid,” said Williamson, according to WIBX 950. “I was appalled at how many times this man went over my son and how the back of his waistband was opened, his shirt was pulled up the back,” she added.
The mother revealed that her son might have been targeted by the agents because she spoke up to another agent prior to him being pulled aside.
“To be perfectly honest, in my opinion, the reason that they picked him is because I had already spoken up to this TSA officer who was being so disrespectful to us. There was quite a delay,” she said. Williamson said the female agent was “on her phone, texting,” when she told her “perhaps she should engage” to figure out “what the hold up was.”
Williamson said she posted the video to social media with the intention to “initiate change.”
WIBX 950 reports that TSA reached out to Williamson and asked for her guidance in dealing with children who suffer from disabilities like her son’s. “[TSA] have asked if I would be willing to join their Disabilities and Medical Condition Coalition. This will provide me with the opportunity to engage in regular dialogue to influence and inform the TSA on minor modifications that may help certain passengers,” she said.