My first time travelling abroad after 20 years of community service.
As an African American Female, I was subjected to a search because I was wearing all black including a black hair piece. I was then questioned on how much money I had. I had 2.00. The male TSA officer then opened my bag and had a firm grip on my adult clothes and stated I wear a lot of Black. He seen the other adult figures in my bag and then asked if I was alone and who was coming to get me, how was I getting home with 2.00? He total the cost for a metro card and stated I wasn’t getting home with 2.00. I told him I was disabled and I pay half fare. He then asked who paid for my ticket and I told him God paid for it. He said God did not pay for the ticket. I would not change my answer. The male TSA officer then told me to wait on a female officer and to follow her when she come. I was told to pack my things. I asked what was going on and I was told by another male TSA officer jokingly that I had to be patted down to ensure TSA that I wasn’t carrying extra money on my persons. When the white TSA female arrived she started yelling in front of the general public with her hand in the air and stated tonight is not your night, you not gonna have your way tonight. She was not interested in helping with my 44lbs bag so I had to swing it a certain way to shift the weight. I did this in light of my chronic pain from muscle, skeletal and joint disease, lack of nutrition based on my recent two surgeries for gastro bypass sleeve and infectious skin irritations due from previous surgeries. I also suffer from PTSD. No one offered medical attention before or after the pat downs. 2 women, 6 TIMES, stuck three fingers in my vagina, through my pants, between my labia. She stayed there fondling me on my clitoris and repeated this process even though no threat was found. I went through PSTD and had Flashbacks to match, I started praying and crying telling them I am disabled. Both female officers invited the 4 male TSA officers as they smiling watching, They invited them because they said I made a false move. One thing I learned from being repeatedly raped and molested to prevent a false move be still and let the person or persons take what they want and it will end quick. Just because I was praying and crying doesn’t say I made a false move and the process did not end quick. The 8-10 officers standing outside look like they wanted to hurt me physically so I allowed her to finish the unwanted touching while the guys was standing there. She then repeated the same aggressions on my breast which them to are tender from past assaults. She repeated this 3 times. Although my hair was already checked the woman charged at me stating we got to check your hair. I felt further humiliated so I knew what she was hinting at because I am Black that of course my hair was not real so I pulled it off and handed it to her. She then got scared and called her supervisor in the room. The touching of the body had stopped and a whole new line of battery began.
Now there are at least 4-6 officers crowed in the room as if I was their only source of entertainment with others gawking at the door requesting to join. TSA officers knew they was overwhelming me with their brutality and they was enjoying the effects of my outbursts. The white male TSA officer whispered crocodile tears and then stared me in the face until he knew for himself he caused me pain. I then felt I needed God more than ever to speak for me because I was getting abused and bullied for being Black, alone, disabled and believe in God providing for me. He has helped me through all my past rapes, molestations, series of incest, etc. He did come and protect me because I could answer the slew of shocking questions and endure the mental and emotional torture several TSA simultaneously placed upon me that had nothing to do with National Security. What’s my phone number, which villa did I stay in, what’s my boyfriend’s first, name and then what’s my boyfriend’s last name, where he from, then I pointed to my bag and told him that I carry all papers around just in case you cannot understand how I articulate my words or freedoms of religious expressions. He then started another search of the bag and found my itinerary for flight, who paid for what, how long I stayed, map inquiries, host’s addresses and numbers, land transportation booking information and prepayments thereof. He then left the room and repeated coming in and out of the room with new line of questionings pertaining to my relationship with my presumed boyfriend. He repeated the questions he first asked and I had this time given him the first name of the alleged boyfriend because the TSA officer would not conclude the pat down search if I did not answer. I eventually asked is the adult toy that belonged to me necessary for you to make fun and humiliate me when I been cleared already? He then through it back in my bag like trash after he had his conversation with the female TSA worker for about 2 mins with his backed turned to me. He then asked aggressively again who is he and what did you do with your boyfriend in Jamaica. TSA officer stated that I wasn’t leaving until I told him what I did with him intimately on my vacation. I crossed my legs because the supervisor confirmed with the TSA officer suggestions on further detaining me. I told him that my friend broke my heart and I began to cry out loud because the line of questioning was deliberate to cause this known reaction from me. He knew I wanted to go home and grieve over the boyfriend issue but that answer was not enough he kept going with the mental and phycological assaults along with his buddies. He then started asking me about my work. I told him that I donate items to people in need. He yelled at me and said I could had done it here (USA). He made me feel like my religious jobs was nothing. Made me feel limited as to who I give my things and time to. Then the supervisor offended me and told me how vicious Jamaicans was and that they only use women like me. He offered to go find him and hurt him (asked me twice) that made me cry more. Then the other white officer then asked one of his final question to excite pain what was I gonna do, how long he stayed with you, I said the whole ten days. He asked why I did that and I cried out loud I do not know.
The supervisor then stated that I had 28.00 instead of 2.00 and laid the law down why I had to sign for it. He then asked is there anything else he could do for me and I stated I wanted names. He then try to bribe me with a gold pen which I have in my custody currently so I would not collect names. Then the other white officer popped his head in the room jokily to remind me that I am not leaving till I answer his questions. Who paid for your ticket and I said God with the clearest voice I had in years and told him God paid for the ticket. He then badgers me and said God don’t write no checks and repeated the question and looked at his peers like he was going to call the ambulance on me. I then explained the line of work I do and to answer his question I went to Jamaica for Love and Religious purposes. He then left and came back in the room giving an illusion that the meeting was over to only prolong it. He then made fun of my God and requested a trip to Tahiti. The Supervisor forced me to change my answer in order to go home and I did because they would not leave me alone. They asked about my income and I told them my church family pays my way. The supervisor searched my purse and found licenses from Real Estate Sales, CDL, 3 credit cards, NY State ID, Cosmetology School Card, USA Passport Card, USA Passbook Card, 3 disability passes, 2 local gym cards and a health insurance card. I was well documented and was still harassed about my identity, address and phone number. I told them I did not know my number unless I reach in my contact book on my cell phone. He yelled at me before he finished I said I have 3 business lines and cannot remember. He then told me if I did not recite my address I could not go home. I answered grungily. The supervisor also went through my medications and could not find them on his drug list. He had the prescription bottle in his hand and still refused to confirm my meds belonged to me. I explained all my meds. You could see they still wanted to hold me for nothing. The supervisor then asked me again why I was in Jamaica and I repeated love and religious purposes, how do I know who to help, what dates I purchased the tickets, why I just get up and get a flight so quick, why I gotten an expedited passport? I told him I been doing this for years and I repeated my steps of how I find people to help. I then pointed to my baggage handle as proof that I had to check in my bag for excess, showed him the paid check in bag, told him why I had to change my dates due to the airline threaten to take all my money if I did not have a passbook instead of the passbook card. The reasons I do not carry cash is because I stay in a dangerous place such as Brownville notorious for robbing innocent neighbors and lonely travelers. My paperwork was in his hand he could no longer hold me, that’s when he offered a bottle water and bribe me with the gold pen so I will not talk about what transpired in the room. I was free to go after that.
This violated my right to be searched in front of females only. No Passenger Support Specialists was offered or even heard of until I filed my first complaint. I was in full pain and was not offered to be seated or offered water for the excessive trauma they was putting me through before I was released. My rights was not written on a wall or pamphlet, TSA material online does not explain my rights as a victim in recovery TSA notification card.
As a rape and incest survivor, a person suffering from vaginal infections since a child due to objects inserted in my vaginal for years, TSA restarted the vaginal infections by inserting their fingers in my vagina roughly. I only had a half day of relief before I came back to the states. I had just found a plant in Jamaica that heals this symptom I am chronically going through because of my history of assault.
I was not offered a witness to join me, I had to relive and suffer alone in the late night hours of how much healing I really have to do. They made me miss my ride for persons with disabilities and I had to find my way home alone. I didn’t make it home till 2 in the morning. I was afraid for my life and safety. I was not offered a reasonable accommodation in concert with a civil pat down.
I was unfairly discriminated against me because I am Black, with a White Woman’s Hair Piece wearing all black that Loves God and believes He provides as a disabled woman traveling alone to and from Jamaica around Thanks giving and Christmas looking for love, peace, health and religious happiness.
I had to change my statement about God so I could start my journey of recovery, nourish my body since I did not eat for 2 days or more due to medical issues on top of what happened with TSA and find my way home from my first visit at JFK and flying for the first time internationally. TSA hurt me in the worst ways possible by taking what I believe in and used it against me. I suffer everyday since this happened. I cry and can not move until the shock is over. This lasts for several mins a day.
The trip was supposed to represent new freedom from assaults, and welcome my womanhood free to make fashion, career and love choices without the presence of societies’ norms and abuses that I have encountered over a lifetime. I just wanted to be myself, talk/travel with God and heal for the holidays.
Now I sign this complaint on Christmas Day hoping that I receive an answer that these violations are wrong in sight of humanity, African American Women, Low Incomed, Victims of Rape, Disabled People not only against me.
By: Angel Golds