Shirley Cohen

Disabled cancer survivor bashed by airport security

PHOTOS of disabled nineteen-year-old Hannah Cohen show the cuts and bruises she sustained after reportedly being bashed by Transport Security Administration (TSA) agents.

Hannah was travelling with her mother back to their home in Chattanooga after a final round of radiation to combat cancer in the teen's brain, reports the NZ Herald

Agents were alerted when Hannah set off a metal detector at a security checkpoint.

Hannah was then told she would need to be taken to a 'sterile' area to be searched.

The lawsuit lodged in the wake of the incident states Hannah then became disorientated and scared.

"They wanted to do further scanning. She was reluctant - she didn't understand what they were about to do," mum Shirley said.

Hannah's mother tried to explain her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralysed and easily confused after 17 years of cancer treatments in her brain.

She said she was then pushed aside.

"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. There was blood everywhere," Shirley told WREG-TV.

The lawsuit then states personnel assaulted Hannah at the checkpoint, "causing her physical and emotional injury as well as emotional injury" to her mother.

The disabled teen was arrested and spent 24 hours in Shelby County jail.

Upon release, Hannah cried in her mother's arms, saying "I'm sorry, Mama."

Two days later, Hannah appeared before a local judge.

Shirley Cohen

Shirley said the judge asked her daughter to explain herself. When Hannah looked up, revealing her cuts and bruises, "the judge's eyes got big and round", Shirley told The Guardian.

The charges were dropped and the court refunded the $US250 in costs.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell and Jerry Brandon, chief of public safety of the Memphis International Airport Police Department, said they could not comment.

"Anybody can file anything, and we don't comment on active litigation," Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority president and CEO Scott Brockman told The Commercial Appeal newspaper.

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