TSA Blog Issues Non-Response to Their Officer Spilling Human Remains

By | July 2, 2012

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

On Friday, June 29th, the TSA issued another of their blog posts, entitled Travelling with Crematory Remains. It seemed like an innocuous, yet random blog post. But it was yet another example of the TSA sidestepping controversy and not addressing their critics unless there is an opportunity to belittle those critics.

On June 19th, John Gross, was departing Orlando with the ashes of his grandfather, in a container marked human remains. The TSA opened his bag, and then, according to Gross, did something their policy states they would do under no circumstances…

A Transportation Security Officer opened it, sifted through it with her finger, and then accidentally spilled it. And, according to Gross, the female TSO laughed as he frantically tried to pick up the spilled remains of his grandfather.

The TSA claims that it believes Gross’s narrative is incorrect. “Our initial review concluded that the circumstances as described in some reports are inconsistent with what we believe transpired.” However, they insist there is no surveillance video of the incident, as the cameras in question are ‘being upgraded’.

Gross did receive what he felt was a sincere apology from a TSA Administrator, however, we join him in being bothered by the agency’s response, and lack of apology from the TSO responsible. It seems as if the TSA’s only basis publicly for denying the accuracy of the event is the fact that they have a policy forbidding it. Because we all know that creating a policy means no one will ever break it.

If we were speaking for the TSA, this is what we would want them to say, or something like it…assuming they legitimately have no video. “We are horrified at the idea that one of our officers would have acted in the manner described by Mr. Gross. We have taken Mr. Gross’s statement, and that of the agents on duty at the time of the incident. However, we have no video of this incident, and no evidence to support or refute Mr. Gross’s claim. We have, as a precaution, issued a reminder to all of our officers of our policy regarding human remains.”

Maybe that isn’t perfect, but why can’t the TSA ever respond by anything other than lashing out at its critics and those who have experiences such as this? What do you think?