TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — They've been called molesters, threatened with physical violence and ordered not to touch "my junk."
But the Transportation Security Administration workers performing increasingly invasive searches say they want Thanksgiving travelers to know they're just doing their jobs — and trying to save lives.
Most passengers are docile at the nation's airports, though TSA agents say they have dealt with more pushback in recent works. One woman headbutted an officer who was searching her laptop. Other screeners report being punched, kicked and shoved during pat-downs.
Ricky D. McCoy, a lead transportation officer and president of Local 777 Illinois and Wisconsin, says part of the problem is that the federal agency hasn't done enough to educate passengers since the new pat-downs started a month ago.