Nipple Detectors

28Mar08

aipr.jpgRemoving belts and shoes at the airport (thanks Richard Reid!) is a pain in the ass; but unfortunately it’s a way of life now.

Texas resident Mandi Hamlin got more than a typical dose of security-clearance inconvenience back in February when she was forced to remove her nipple rings with pliers before boarding a flight. Hamlin called for a civil-rights investigation and an apology from the Transportation Security Administration for the “nightmare” she endured.

A hand-held metal detector beeped while passing Hamlin’s chest. She told agents she had nipple rings and could not remove them. They claimed she could not board the flight until she removed the rings. She was then taken to a private area, where she had difficulty removing the second ring. Hamlin, crying, requested a pair of pliers to do the trick. The agents were chuckling, she claims.

This was no doubt a humiliating ordeal. But Dwayne Baird, spokesman for the TSA, said if the detector goes off, “we’re not going to let them go through the checkpoint, no matter what they’re wearing or where they’re wearing it.”



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