Alaska Lawmaker Chooses Four-Day Detour Over TSA Pat-Down

fromNWNews

Listen

0:13
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/134072059/134072369" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

An Alaska lawmaker who refused what she calls an intrusive search at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport says she'll continue her battle against the Transportation Security Administration.

No Alternative Text

Alaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna - Photo courtesy Alaska House Democratic Caucus hide caption

itoggle caption

Listen

0:11
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/134072059/134072378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

State Representative Sharon Cissna spent four days driving, flying via small plane and riding a ferry back to Alaska's capital. She took that route after being denied access to a two-and-a-half hour jet flight.

She returned to Juneau on Thursday.

The Anchorage Democrat submitted to a full body scan at the airport the previous Sunday (February 20th). But the breast cancer survivor balked at a pat-down search TSA said was required after the scan showed she had had a mastectomy. She had been through that once before.

Sharon Cissna: "People who've been violated in some way, this is trauma. And in many ways I felt it was like torture. Having someone feel you in a very, very personal way.""

Cissna's colleagues in the state House passed a resolution supporting her the day before her return. And she says she'll work with her fellow lawmakers to find other ways to oppose unnecessary TSA searches.

Sharon Cissna: "When people scream loud enough things happen. We've seen it in this legislature. We can see it in what the federal government does. I'm quite sure we can make a difference."

Cissna's legislative office is filled with flowers sent by people across the country supporting her refusal to be searched.

TSA officials have not commented on the incident.

On the Web:

Rep. Sharon Cissna:

http://akdemocrats.org/rep_cissna/

TSA pat-down information:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/pat_downs.shtm

Copyright 2011 KTOO

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.