Home / Badge Abuse / Disabled Teen Beaten Bloody By TSA Agents After Intrusive Search Confused and Frightened Her

Disabled Teen Beaten Bloody By TSA Agents After Intrusive Search Confused and Frightened Her

MEMPHIS, TN – A special needs teenager returning home from a brain tumor treatment at St. Jude Hospital was left battered, bloodied and in jail  after an encounter with TSA agents at a security checkpoint.

It’s a trip they’ve made for 17-years, according to the teen’s mother Shirley Cohen, but this one was unlike any they had experienced before – and hopefully never have to experience again.

Upon arriving at the security checkpoint with her mother, Hannah Cohen, 19, set off a metal detector and was identified for further screening by TSA agents.

“They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” said her mother, Shirley Cohen.

Shirley Cohen, upon realizing her daughter’s confusion at the situation, attempted to tell the TSA agents that her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused. However, police restrained her from doing so, as she was kept away from the TSA agents, according to WREG 3.

The frightened and confused disabled teen – not understanding what was transpiring due to her disabilities – attempted to flee. She was violently taken to the ground, causing the young woman, who had just finished a brain tumor treatment, to hit her head on the ground.

“She’s trying to get away from them, but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor,” Shirley Cohen said. “There was blood everywhere.”

The young woman, who should have been celebrating the end of her treatment at St. Jude, was ultimately taken from Memphis International Airport in handcuffs. Terrified and bloodied, she was arrested and booked into jail for the night.

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“Here we were with nowhere to go, not even a toothbrush, our bags had gone to Chattanooga,” said Shirley Cohen.

While all charges against Hanna Cohen were subsequently dismissed, the family has filed a lawsuit against the Memphis International Airport, Transportation Security Administration and the Memphis Airport Police.

The organizations have refused to comment due to pending litigation, but Sari Koshetz of the TSA released a statement that said, “Passengers can call ahead of time to learn more about the screening process for their particular needs or medical situation.”

Shirley Cohen can’t believe that her daughter had to needlessly go through such a traumatic experience after having already been through so much in her 19-years.

“She’s 19 but she’ll always be my baby. We’ve been through so much.”

This type of reckless behavior is indicative of a system that emphasizes protocol over common sense. Had anyone simply taken the time to listen to the girl’s mother as she attempted to inform the TSA agents of her daughter’s disabilities all of this could have been avoided.

Therein lies the true problem with the ever-growing security state in the United States – if you only have a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

  • carpclone

    The TSA separated me from my 90 year old mother who had no balance and took away her walker and refused to let me assist her. We quit flying.

    • Zoso Bonzo

      If you quit flying then you are giving in to terrorism.

      • suse

        Giving in to terrorism? She’s giving up on minimum wage idiots.

        • Beauford T. Justice

          While they are idiots, I used to be a TSA Screener way back in 2003 at Dulles International and I made $17 an hour.

      • liars

        Your screen name says it all.

      • Mr. Wrestling III

        That’s not giving in to terrorism. That’s keeping your mother safe from the US police state. Our government is the biggest terrorist organization on the planet. We should probably revolt.

      • Michael Mahoney

        You are way off BOZO

  • Robert States

    somebody needs to find out where they live…..

    • Dennis Turk

      You’ll find most living in the projects…

  • maggie

    TSA is the problem at airports. Now over reaching into the roadway to your vehicles, at airports near you.

  • john smith

    she said we will miss her very much?

  • stupid cops.

  • *!Karusai!*

    I’ll only fly in my own craft. You can get 2nd Gen flying cars now, that actually work, make a gyrocopter, etc. (None of which would be suited for bad weather or over seas travel but cheaper than a luxy sedan, hell of a lot cooler and way more fun. Especially if you’re intercepted by confused airforce personnel.)

    • Timothy Herman

      ballsy m8. real ballsy. I like your style.

  • I’d like to be a TSA agent one day, but I’ve never robbed, threatened, or molested anyone before. I most certainly have never assaulted a physically handicapped little girl. Oh, I’ll learn all that in training? Well then, sign me up!

    • Ed

      The little girl was 19 years old and the TSA feared for their lives.

      • Liz O’neill

        please tell me you didn’t try to justify the beating of a disabled teenager. if you did then you are just as bad as the frightened cowards who beat her in the first pace.

        • liars

          Yeah, that teenage girl was 6′ tall, with a big bushy black beard, black beady eyes, a bad ass attitude, a towel wrapped around her head, wearing a gown, and carrying an RPG launcher and AK-47. The TSA had to beat her bloody and ‘search’ her private parts.

      • Your Emanance

        I see your sarcasm

        • Ed

          Thank you!

  • Fred Harbas

    Free advice from Australia. In ancient times here we had a revolt called the Eureka Stockade. Take some free advice Yank public…..start executing scum like this.

    • Greg Geitner

      BOY HOWDY!!!

    • Timothy Herman

      this is why I LOVE Australia. you guys don’t fuck around.

      • oatwillie

        …but, you let them grab your guns.

        • Beauford T. Justice

          Exactly what I was going to say.

    • Chris Smith

      As much as I agree with you Fred, the thing is most Americans are pussies that don’t actually want to do anything.

  • Brett deBrain

    Might I recommend a Billion dollar lawsuit?
    That and don’t hire sociopaths to run these things.

    • Timothy Herman

      our courts are compromised. wouldn’t do any good. in America cops execute poor, often dark skinned, teens, and the police department inherits a million dollars in crowd sourced bail money.

      • Zoso Bonzo

        The pigs usually sue the victims family.

      • liars

        A jury can do what it wants.

  • tamajam10

    “[I]f you only have a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.”
    And, there you go. Government = hammer. The People = nails.

  • Debra O’Bryant Haworth

    This is f’ing outrageous!! The TSA IS INSANITY!!

  • uscgvet

    TSA is a terrorist organization. If enough people stop flying, the airlines will force them out.

    • gininitaly

      … as well as homeland security, immigration, the sadistic police and now even the IRS wants to be armed…. with the government sanctioning all of them.

      • George VanderHaar

        As my grandpa always said, once the tax man is armed and not outsourced to the police (as it should be), you’re screwed.

    • sasser


    • Ed

      Then we can back to worrying if there is an Idiot on board planning to use the plane as a weapon. It was much easier flying 30 years ago.

      • liars

        You only have to worry about that when superrich warmongers are looking for an excuse to implode some skyscrapers and invade a country for profit. Or when there is a “FEMA” drill going on in your neighborhood.

        • david winkle

          Box cutters lol really we cant fight terrorists with box cutters Ak47 i understand different situation but box cutters i would be on that towel head in seconds if i was on that plane if i had a choice of hitting a building or getting a few cuts on the arm id choose the cuts i think anybody would the main terrorist on the plane rang his father on the 12th must have great phone reception in hell and the nose of the plane being plastic poking out the other side of the building classic bullshit

    • Curious about Satanism

      My fiance lives in another country. People have jobs that rely on planes. It’s like saying if people give up cars, we can enjoy a slower paced life and be happier. Reality is a good thing.

    • mickey2942

      TSA profile for perfect TSA security is Barney Fife.

    • david winkle

      Just what i said mate they are terrorists

  • Mark Filby

    Arseholes with power! Track them home and beat the living shitter out of them TSA scum.

  • Laurie Cederstrom Matson

    Mom is asking for only 100,000? That’s hardly anything!!!

    • Zoso Bonzo

      Exactly, no less than 1 Million. I don’t get it.

      • Beauford T. Justice

        I’m surprised her lawyer even agreed to such a small amount. After her lawyer gets his cut, she won’t have but $70,000 if she’s lucky.

  • Flashcat

    Safety is good, but the elitist attitudes behind some TSA staff is unbelievable!! They are supposed to SERVE the public.. Instead, they order people around, mock them, threaten to make things difficult for them.. (on a good day) and this behavior is allowed!!!!
    It seems people believe we must live in a heartless military-state to be safe.. what a world…

  • nick98514

    The USA (I mean the state, not the people) is now beyond a shadow of doubt “The” most hated, despised dictatorial country in the world. Judging by this story (of which there are literally numerous!) even the majority of the population are at last waking up to the situation and to the depths toward total fascistic dictatorship their country has fallen!…. I hope for the peoples sake and the worlds sake, it is not too late for them to do something about it?…after saying that, just look at the ‘spectacle’ and the farce of the electoral presidential race taking place at the moment!….I think perhaps it may be to late?.

    • Gordon Klock

      Totally agree, but I can only up-vote this once…
      ( looks like this country is already “deep fried”)….

      • nick98514

        Thank you Gordon, we can only watch and hope their are “a lot” more people out there who have the common sense to think as we do?.

  • George Reichel

    Hey but look at all the terrists they catch!DHS is another of many govt agencies that need to go.

  • Cale Brehio

    ” TSA, or the Transportation Security Administration, is a government organization that works to protect the nation’s transportation systems. Formed immediately following the September 11th attacks, TSA is a part of the Department of Homeland Security”.
    That being said (an official description of the TSA and it’s parent organization, the so-called “Department of Homeland Security” ) I think the DHS was/is a waste of money and personnel; chasing their tails in general; dangerously close stylistically to Hitler’s Gestapo,(The German name for them is Geheime Staatspolizei ) backed by the SS (Security Service). All they and the TSA have really accomplished is to make travel via air unnecessarily difficult, and needlessly stressful; ineffective, invasive, incompetent, and inexcusably costly.

    • liars

      Correction: Formed immediately following the September 11th implosions.

  • Ibcamn

    start the lawsuite at 20 million….and every time someone from the TSA’s union lawyers team tries telling you what is going to happen or deny all of this,go up 5 million,every single time they open their mouths with a stupid or hurtfull or blameful comment,go up another 10 million….i bet you reach 100 million before they shut and settle on what you need for your childs health, recovery and bills in the future…..TSA is worthless and they know it,and all those cops are criminals..

  • 676aldhelmstown710

    A couple of years ago I remember a report in British newspapers where a British person, transiting the USA failed the body scanners, he was then subjected to a hard pat down which split his colostomy bag open wide , his spare clothes were in the baggage hold and he had to make the follow on trans Atlantic flight back to Britain in his soiled clothes and leaking bag.

  • ArizonaMomma

    I hope they get more then that. The TSA sucks. How many terrorists have they apprehended. No they would rather grope old ladies and the disabled. Most of these agents don’t have but a high school education. Give someone a badge and they think they are Jesus Christ. This was a ridiculous situation and if the TSA would’ve listened to her mother this could have all been avoided. Stupid TSA needs to be dissolved for good. They are worthless. Maybe they should be profiling those mIdlle Easterners that come into our country and then leave and then return. This crap just pisses me off.

    • liars

      Maybe they ought to be down at the southern border stopping Islamic commandos from entering the country in the first place. Oh I forgot, we have a Sunni Muslim president.

  • Devi Bea

    Land of the Free . . . what a joke! People are about as free as a caged bird in this country

  • Abz B Zbas

    so nice of the TSA spokesperson to passive-aggressively place blame on the parent by saying you can call ahead.

  • Daryl Baez

    The TSA are Homeland Terrorists

  • Kelleigh Nelson

    Simply unconscionable. I hope to heaven they win a huge settlement. If we ALL quit flying and told them why, then perhaps this unreasonable search and seizure would stop…

  • dave miller

    Those rat bastards beat an innocent sick girl.i hope they sue the crap out of them and they loose thier homes and pensions.let the ones who did it pay not the tax payer

  • Hugh Culliton

    Oh wow. This story reads like the punch-line of a bad joke. Indeed, for a while there I’d even had the temerity to think that as last, finally, I’d seen the bottom – that law enforcement could do nothing worse than they’d already done and could surprise me no more.

    Well fuck. Here we go. Beating to the point of hospitalization and then imprisoning a cognitively-impaired blind, deaf, crippled girl for the crime of panicking at a security checkpoint and “attempting to flee”. I’m curious: what does a cognitively-impaired blind, deaf, crippled girl look like when they “attempt to flee”? Do they suddenly gain the superpowers of Wolverine and cause TSA screws to fear for their lives?

    Personally, I think that the cause of such evil is something far worse. It’s the result of hiring brain-dead goons, training them that the only option they have if someone “tries to escape” is to hospitalize and arrest them. And thus we’ve just uncovered the answer to the old question of how genocides come into being and are executed.True evil doesn’t belong to warped masterminds who appreciate and enjoy the horrid nuances of their crimes – sadly that would be too easy. No, just as Hanna Ardent realized so long ago, true evil is merely the byproduct of bureaucracies that employ unimaginative people with simple, amoral, and mediocre minds. Evil is banal, and so are we if we merely bitch about it on-line as I am doing now. If we let such horrors as this happen without standing up against them, we’re as bad as the TSA simpletons who committed this crime.

    • liars

      It’s the greatest example of why the citizenry of this nation should NEVER allow their guns to be taken away.

  • liars

    This stupid ass ineffective government agency needs to be shut down. I’ve quit flying, too. So you damned stupid airlines ought to speak up. You ought to be suing these ‘officers’ and their supervisors along with that girl. Or maybe you like your passengers getting beaten bloody and invasively violated? And this girl sure looked like an Islamic terrorist, didn’t she?

  • mickey2942

    We have stopped flying because of the TSA thugs. Amtrak now is our travel go to.

    Those TSA agents need training on people with disabilities, and also why don’t they PROFILE? Since when was the last time a white, teen, female, was a terrorist?

  • Muriel Burrows

    Quote: “This type of reckless behavior is indicative of a system that emphasizes protocol over common sense. Had anyone simply taken the time to listen to the girl’s mother as she attempted to inform the TSA agents of her daughter’s disabilities all of this could have been avoided…”

    This says it all. I hope this family gets the best lawyers and take the TSA, the airport and everyone else involved for every damn thing they can get…

  • Dennis Turk

    !00,000 is a drop in the bucket… Hit them where it really hurts and bump it up to 1 mill….

  • Shannon Cook

    you know i would rather live in a free country with the threat being a real bad guy here and there, than live in a police state where we live under fear all the time. my government is not by me or for me, if i have to live in fear of it. by the people and for the people. remember. the only thing to fear is fear itself. why because it is an excuse for things like police state. fearing your poilice instead of having faith in them. i happen to believe in our people, our children, our communities. and know that we will become what we fear or what we have faith in. no mater which we choose. so we had someone blow up a tower. it was like a fly on a ocean. it was no big deal compaired to what has come after by our own fear ridden people. man cannot controle man, we can only do our best to work together. the reason police are going balistic on us is because they are under the belief that they are supposed to be able to stop all threats. well they can’t . no one can. we have got to choose to have more faith in our selves. each other. it is the only way we are going to be who we really are. instead of reactionary idiots running around screaming the skiy is falling every day. sure it happened. yes it was sad. yes we are mad. but our loved ones who died, would not want us to loose our freedom because of what happened to them. i love you guys. and im so glad im an american. thanks for being my family.

  • Stephen D Hawkins

    USCGVET said if enough people stop flying the airlines will force them out. The TSA is not part of the airlines, they are a federal agency, however terroristic they are. The only thing that will effect the TSA is Congressional intervention & that will never happen unless everyone who has a problem with the TSA brings up a huge lawsuit against them. I hope that lady & her daughter get millions from the airport & TSA. The TSA is nothing better than the Nazi gestapo.

  • Monique Wood

    i wonder what became of their lawsuit?

  • david winkle

    the TSA are terrorists they cause suffering and terror to many people steal off many people going threw the airports absolutely disgusting there is no need to treat people like that in my Country Australia our border security are very pleasant and don’t let known terrorists threw because Obama or bush gave them a legit passport

  • ddanimald

    Meanwhile illegal aliens from the world walk right across the border and get benefit checks without even having to take off their belt and shoes.