CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., July 3 — Memphis International Airport is feeling a backlash after their TSA agents Violently detain a disabled teenage cancer patient with a brain tumor.
Hannah Cohen, the then 18 year-old who was left partially blind, deaf and paralyzed by a brain tumor, was said to have been thrown to the ground, resulting in her hitting her head, then arrested by the TSA and airport police after setting off the metal detector in the airport last year.
Hannah and her mother, Shirley, were returning home to Chattanooga after she was treated for the tumor at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital on June 30, 2015, when Hannah set off the metal detector.
“They wanted to do further scanning, she was reluctant, she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” said Shirley Cohen, who tried to explain to TSA agents about her daughter but was kept away. She said her daughter started to panic.
“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 Shirley Cohen.
Hannah Cohen was subsequently arrested and jailed with the charges were later being thrown out. However, the family has since filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Airport, airport police and the Transportation Security Administration.
The lawsuit alleges TSA failed to give Hannah adequate screening accommodations and discriminated against her because she’s disabled. The lawsuit is seeking damages from the TSA and the Memphis-Shelby County airport authority for medical expenses and for physical and emotional injury. It calls for a “reasonable sum not exceeding $100,000 and costs” and an undisclosed punitive amount.
“They think they can do anything they want,” Shirley Cohen said. “Well, in this country we have the Americans with Disabilities Act. And if they will do this to a disabled girl, does that mean they’ll do it to an 80-year-old grandmother? It’s time for justice.”