Alaska Lawmaker Chooses Four-Day Detour Over TSA Pat-Down 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.
NPR logo Alaska Lawmaker Chooses Four-Day Detour Over TSA Pat-Down

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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