Public pat-down over 82-year-old woman’s prosthetic spurs new airport security criticism
By Marc Weisblott | Canada - Daily Brew – News of an 82-year-old cancer survivor forced to reveal her gelprosthetic breast during a public pat-down in Calgary on Jan. 4, after a pin in her leg was picked up by a metal detector, has raised new alarms over airport security procedures in Canada.
Security officials asked Elizabeth Strecker if she had any liquids or gel on her. When she said no, she was accused of lying while being requested to raise her arms over her head in order to be monitored by a full-body scanner, something she can no longer do.
The system didn't seem so invasive last November, around the time a protest was called in the U.S. to refuse full-body scans after the viral popularity of a YouTube video of a California man telling a security official not to touch his "junk" after opting for a pat-down.
While there were fears of unprecedented airport chaos leading up to the busy Thanksgiving weekend, no conflicts were widely reported.
The scanners were used in secondary procedures for those singled out for extra screening, explainedthe Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, and no person under 18 would be subject to a pat-down.
But there is much empathy for the humiliation felt by Strecker, who admitted the pat-down made her "cry like a baby," and has pledged to never fly again after returning home to B.C. from visiting family in Calgary over Christmas.