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Two New Elderly Women Accuse TSA of Strip Search

Both allege that medical equipment led to improper search
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2011 11:04 AM CST

(Newser) – Lenore Zimmerman isn't the only octogenarian who says she was strip-searched by the TSA during Thanksgiving week at New York's JFK airport. Zimmerman, 84, came forward first, but now the Baltimore Sun reports that Ruth Sherman, 88, and Linda Kallish, 66, both of whom were also en route to Florida and were in the same terminal as Zimmerman, have made similar claims. All three women have health problems: Zimmerman uses a defibrillator, wheelchair, and back brace; Sherman uses a colostomy bag; and Kallish uses a glucose monitor and an insulin pump for her diabetes.

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Kallish, who was scheduled on the same flight as Zimmerman, says she was taken to a private room and ordered to remove her pants after setting off the metal detector. Sherman says TSA agents made her pull out her colostomy bag after noticing the bulge it made, which required her to "pull my underwear down." While the TSA says the cases of Kallish and Sherman are still being investigated, it insists proper protocols were followed. TSA's policy when it comes to special medical equipment is to check any devices that might set off alarms, but this can typically be done with a pat-down. TSA would not say whether any such instances would require clothing be removed. (Read more strip search stories.)

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