Heidi had a stroke about 10 years ago, and since then, she’s been wheelchair-bound and mute. She was due to fly to Phoenix from Los Angeles to be taken care of by family there.
But the TSA stopped her, because her driver’s license was expired. The TSA agent wanted Heidi to state her name, but she hadn’t been able to speak for a decade. Heidi’s sister Sherry Wright was there and tried to explain to the agent that Heidi is not able to say anything. From the New York Post:
Wright claims the TSA agent was rude and insensitive, insisting Heidi talk.
“I showed her ID, her (Social Security card) and her DMV papers,” Wright said, to no avail.
“He just wanted me to make my sister talk, and I couldn’t believe it.
“I was just standing there, tears were coming out and I was like, ‘Are you serious? We can’t get her to talk.’”
Because Heidi was “uncooperative” and was more than likely a part of some anti-government terrorist organization that uses the 4th Amendment as a crutch to carry out their attacks, the TSA barred her from flying. But she still had to get to Phoenix somehow, so she had to take an 8-hour bus ride there.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez offered a halfhearted apology:
“I think it could have been handled differently by the TSA and it probably could have been handled differently by the family, and hopefully moving forward the family won’t have this problem again, because they know about the programs that we have in place.”
Handled differently by the family? Really? Sherry had apparently checked in with the TSA beforehand to find out what all they needed to get her sister through security. That’s why they had her papers in order. She had an expired license, because she’s a wheelchair-bound stroke victim and will probably not ever be driving for the rest of her life. She has no need for a driver’s license anymore.
But in the TSA’s mind (do they even have those?), anyone like Heidi who can’t speak is probably a terrorist trying to get through security. The agent probably thought (are they even capable of that?), “Ha, nice try, lady terrorist. You’re not getting past me! Hm, I think I just thwarted a terrorist attack.”