A CNN reporter has filmed the moment she was given what she calls an invasive “vaginal pat-down” by airport security.
Angela Rye was randomly selected for additional screening by Transport Security Administration (TAS) officers at Detroit’s Metro Airport on Friday.
The political commentator said she was originally sent back through the backscatter machine but told she would then need to be given a “backhanded pat down around the upper thigh” by a female security officer.
But in an opinion piece published for CNN, Rye said the pat-down went much further than that.
“The pat-down began and was uneventful until she went down my leg, up my dress, and her hand sideways hits me right in the crack of my labia,” Rye wrote.
“Startled, I jump and feel a lump in my throat trying to hold back tears. What happened to the back handed pat-down?
— Angela Rye! (@angela_rye) December 16, 2016
“She comes around to the front; I grow nervous and pull back a bit, afraid of the same thing happening ― and her sideways hand hits in the middle of my genitals again. I can no longer hold back the tears.”
Rye had been told that if she refused the pat-down, she would be escorted from the airport and would miss her flight to New York.
A police officer was called, and Rye said she asked the officer to film the pat-down. The video, which Rye uploaded to Twitter, showed her breaking into tears after the search.
Rye said she was worried about the effect the security checks could have on sexual assault victims.
She said she had already filed an official complaint over the incident.
“Of course, we want America to be safe and protected,” Rye in her piece for CNN.
“But we should not violate the emotional and physical safety of our nation’s citizens at the same time.”