In response to ongoing criticism for removing the back brace from an elderly woman who claims Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officers strip-searched her an airport, the TSA issued a "clarification" about their position on the incidents, claiming -- contrary to an earlier TSA statement -- that the woman's back brace was removed because the security personnel thought it was a "money belt."
"There was a bit of a miscommunication and our officers were told that the passenger was wearing a money belt," explains a TSA blogger. "Unlike medical braces and supports, money belts must be removed since they’re not providing any type of medical benefit." Last week, the TSA blog reported that the woman "told the officers that she was wearing a back brace or support belt which required private screening."
In today's update, the TSA acknowledges that the security agents did not return the brace to the woman immediately upon realizing that it was not, in fact, a money belt. "Since the item had already been removed, our officers had it X-rayed and returned it to the passenger who was then clear to travel," the TSA says.
The TSA denied that any strip-search ever took place, adding that they "truly regret that these passengers feel they had a bad screening experience."