St. Rep. Cissna objects to airport search demand

An Alaskan state lawmaker is returning home by sea after refusing a pat-down search at a Seattle airport, a spokeswoman said..

Rep. Sharon Cissna underwent a body scan as she was preparing to leave Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Sunday and was then required to undergo the pat-down by Transportation Safety Administration officials, said Michelle Scannell, her chief of staff.

Scannell said that TSA called for the pat-down because the scan showed Cissna had had a mastectomy. But it wasn’t immediately clear from statements by the lawmaker’s office and TSA why that would necessitate the further search.

Scannell described the pat-down search as “intrusive,” but did not elaborate on the Anchorage Democrat’s decision.

TSA spokesman Kwika Riley was asked to respond to Cissna’s comments when contacted by The Associated Press. But a general statement issued later did not mention her or her claims, saying the agency is “sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA.”

Both full body scanners and pat-down searches have come under increasing criticism as the TSA has stepped up its airport security measures.

Cissna, who had undergone medical treatment in Seattle, is traveling by ferry from Seattle to Juneau, Scannell said.

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