Disabled Cancer Patient Sues Airport and TSA after Bloody Checkpoint Scuffle

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Bloodied and bruised, Hannah Cohen was led from Memphis International Airport in handcuffs last year. The 19-year old was headed home to Chattanooga on June 30th, 2015 after treatment for a brain tumor at St. Jude Hospital.

It's a trip her family has made for 17 years.

This time, an unarmed Hannah set off the metal detector at a security checkpoint

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

Cohen told us she tried to tell TSA agents her daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused, but said she was kept at a distance by police.

“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,” said Cohen.

Hannah was arrested and booked, and on the night she should have been celebrating the end of her treatment, she was locked up.

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

Authorities later threw out the charges, but the family filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Airport, Airport Police, and the Transportation Security Administration.

None of them would comment citing the suit, but Sari Koshetz of 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.”

Cohen said after all the help here, she can't believe it ended like this.

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


  • the duke of all shiny metal objects

    In today s worl d we need a special military squad guarding airports.

  • Fred

    Like i said, before WNEP deleted it, if she was wearing a burqa this would not have happened. Nice ban on freedom of speech,WNEP. This is America isn’t it? Does that offend you too, WNEP?

  • Lou anderson

    If I was a passenger on the same flight… I thank the airport for their vigilance in – if the alarm was set off and she was resisting ( no matter the reason) she needed to be restrained… Mom it was your responsibility to notify in advance her medical problems and any assistance you required to the air carrier, they are very capable of handling all kinds of medical conditions. I’m sorry for her treatment but you bear the brunt of responsibility for that. Don’t be so sue happy.

  • nina

    If there was EVER a time to sue this is it!!! Oh yeah make them pay! There is no excuse in the world for that kind of behavior! They all will be paid back someday for there actions! God bless you Hannah.

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