TSA Agents at Louisville Airport Steal Deaf Man's Candy, Call Him "Fucking Deafie"



A group of students leaving the annual conference of the National Association of the Deaf in Louisville had a rather awful experience courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration in that city's airport. One of the travelers wrote about it on his blog

It was a very public week-long event downtown, make no bones about it. As such, the shirt very clearly identified me as deaf.

While I was going through the TSA, some of them started laughing in my direction. I thought it might've been someone behind me, but I found out otherwise.

They went through my bag (for no reason), and found a couple bags of candy I brought. I was told I wasn't allowed to fly with that (wtf? I've flown with food before — these were even sealed still because I brought them right in the airport). I was then asked if I would like to donate the candy "To the USO". Since I know the airport there has an Air National Guard base, and I figured it would go to the soldiers, I (annoyed) said sure, why not? 

The guards, as I was getting scanned, started eating the candy they just told me was for the soldiers. In front of me, still laughing at me (very clearly now). One of them asked why they were laughing, and one of them came up to me, pointed at my shirt, laughed at me and said, "Fucking deafie". The Louisville TSA called me a "fucking deafie" and laughed at me because I was deaf, and they expected wouldn't say anything back (or wouldn't hear them). Make no bones about it — she was facing me and I read her lips. There was no mistake. I would later find out that they had called at least 4 other individuals the same thing. 

H/T BoingBoing

UPDATE: Teaandtheatre (the Tumblr account of the above complainant) is down. A commenter at Boing Boing says that the author "is concerned for negative consequences for himself and other people with disabilities. He was venting primarily to other people with disabilities.  This post has gone way past what he wants." 

So if you click through, and the Tumblr page is down, that's why. We'll update as soon as TSA responds. 

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  1. Maybe a gang of deafies mugged her mother. That happened to my neighbor. Or maybe that was a gang of Latinos, I forget.

    1. Deaf Latinos?

      1. Come to think of it, they might have not have mugged her so much as landscaped her yard for pay.

        Anyway, do people really generally rag on deaf people? The guy makes it seem like it’s a common occurance.

        1. Come to think of it, they might have not have mugged her so much as landscaped her yard for pay.

          Those bastards!

        2. Well, assholes do. And certainly fascists have no love for the disabled. I would imagine the TSA roster covers both bases pretty well.

        3. Anyway, do people really generally rag on deaf people?

          ‘You know, Homer, I support just about any kind of prejudice you can imagine, but your abauditionphobia sickens me.’

      2. Que?

  2. OK, normally I would be against the TSA, but in this case, they’re entirely justified.

    Deafies are an abomination that need to be purged from the planet.

    1. Seriously, Whiterun Guard? I hope this is suppose to be a bit of sarcasm. If not, this is disgusting.

      1. Lurk moar

        1. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

          1. Oh, hey! We have another troll!

            Welcome aboard, Marsha. Hopefully, you’ll soon run along back to Daily Kos where you belong.

            1. Excuse me, Mr. FIFY. A troll, I think not. I can’t stand the TSA, don’t read Daily Kos, and I have a profoundly deaf brother so to hear that “deafies are an abomination” is disgusting. That’s why I said I hope this comment was a bad attempt at sarcasm and the poster doesn’t literally mean all deaf people need to be wiped from the face of the earth. That type of attitude, which, sadly enough does exist, needs to go the way of the KKK.

              Btw, given most of the comments I’ve read here, I’m probably more solidly libertarian than most posters.

              1. So, why the leftist take on Whiterun Guard, then?

                1. Nothing leftist about my response – I simply questioned if he was being sarcastic. In fact, I’m not the only person who questioned if what Whiterun Guard said was sarcasm or not. If it was sarcasm, it was not in good taste.

                  1. Since you’re new, I’ll cut you some slack.

                    Most who comment here are regulars. No one here is truly racist/intolerant as it completely runs contrary to our philosophy. Yet, the media,out of complete ignorance, portrays libertarians as some sort of rabid, right wing racist cult. Since we all understand that’s absurd, it’s a running inside joke. So of course it was sarcasm (just not very good sarcasm).

                    The suggestion to “lurk moar (more)” was to imply that if you hung out and observed before jumping in, you would have known it was sarcasm. If you are going to comment with this crowd, you need to have some thick skin. We aren’t at all PC, in fact, WE ARE RUTHLESS ASSHOLES. No one gets slack here.


              2. Interesting that you think the KKK should be wiped from the face of the earth, while at the same time being disgusted that someone else thinks the same of deaf people. Are you a democrat?

      2. Seriously? The sarcasm wasn’t obvious to you?

    2. Your sarcasm does not translate. That better be sarcasm.

      1. I think he’s trying to be funny but just being wrong. The Howard Stern of H+R, without the hair or the flatulence.

    3. Somehow, I don’t think you are joking one bit. I seriously hope you burn in you know where for that comment.

  3. The TSA is the biggest assault on liberty, decency and common sense since the Spanish Inquisition.

    1. No one expects the TSA!

      1. Okay, now I’m inspired to do a t-shirt with Michael Palin in crimson Vatican robes and a word bubble with that quote.

          1. Finally.

            1. OH YOU GOT TO BE SHITTNG ME! The single word “finally” makes it through but “nobody” doesn’t? Who’s in charge of the censorship at Reason? I want them on the phone…NOW!

    2. Nah, just the most publicized one in the USA. There are even more egregious agencies in the Federal Government. The NSA, for example, violates the fourth amendment billions of times every fucking day.


    3. The TSA is a bunch of terra-cotta toothed imbeciles, but let’s not inflate their importance. Compared to the 18th Amendment they barely rate at all.

  4. I read her lips.

    Serious question: Does this have any legal standing different than “She looked at me funny”?

    Yet another nasty story, in any event.

    1. Does this have any legal standing different than “She looked at me funny”?

      We’re about to find out if it does in England anyway. The John Terry racism trial has been using lip-readers to determine if he committed the [gasp] crime of calling another soccer player a “black cunt” during the heated moments of a soccer match, which is apparently a felony in the UK.

      1. It’s only a metric felony.

        An imperial felony would have lead to hard time.

    2. If you have the defendant show in court that he can read lips, I don’t see why it wouldn’t hold the same weight as someone saying they heard it (which admittedly won’t be much when the person in uniform says the opposite thing).

  5. This stuff fails to infuriate me. Wow, I gigantic organization has pockets of assholes working within it? Who’d a thunk it?

    When TSA employee’s idiotic actions derive from top level policy decisions, I want to know about it. When bunch of ignorant wankers abuse their position of authority…it’s just par for the course.

    1. The problem is that, with the TSA, the “assholes” are the vast majority, and it’s only occasionally that you find pockets of civility and sanity.

      1. Substitute TSA with “cops” and nothing changes in that statement.

    2. It’s not just a giant organization with pockets of assholes. It is a giant organization of assholes. And plenty of directives come from the top to deny people the right to travel*, including efforts to irradiate travelers to enrich defense contractors, as well as molestation and other crimes.

      *If the Voter ID opponents in the other thread are correct that requiring an action in order to vote is effectively a “tax,” then the TSA, which serves no compelling interest (it doesn’t enhance security), is nothing but a “tax” denying citizens their right to travel.

      1. It is a giant organization of assholes.

        There’s simply no evidence of that. Just anecdotal extrapolation.

        1. They work at an organization with the job of groping people and looking through their underwear.

        2. If they were few y far between, what would be the odds of an entire crew of them at an airport being in charge like this?

        3. What evidence would you consider sufficient to say that it is full of assholes, MP?

        4. IOW, you’re okay with the TSA being peppered with authoritarian thugs *unless* their behavior comes from orders from the top?

          You’re a piece of work, MP.

        5. They’re Just Following Orders and stopped 65 million terror attacks last year alone.

        6. I like how you completely avoided my example of idiotic actions ordered from the top.

          1. How about it’s a giant organization that gives enormous power to the unknown number of assholes that may or may not work within it.

        7. I’d say that the fact that every single person in their employ willingly violates the 4th Amendment essentially every single moment of their working days , makes them all assholes.

    3. Isolated incident, just a few bad apples, policy will be reviewed.

      1. As they’re fond of sarcastically puppeting back to various companies on The Consumerist:

        “They take this sort of thing very seriously, and are looking into it.”

        1. We’ve got top men looking into it. Top Men.

    4. When TSA employee’s idiotic actions derive from top level policy decisions, I want to know about it. When bunch of ignorant wankers abuse their position of authority…it’s just par for the course.

      You’re right – when the agency in question makes a concerted effort to staff itself with the dregs of society, stuff like this is going to be par for the course. Stories like this infuriate me a little less than they used to, but that’s because I’ve become somewhat desensitized to it. But anything that helps discredit the TSA, that heaps scorn and ridicule on it, its leadership, and every individual “agent” is doing the Lord’s work, so I say keep these stories coming.

    5. Sorry, but when the government vests the individuals in an organization with the power to make my life miserable at the point of a gun, they are responsible for every single individual’s actions down to what they mutter under their breath.

      Let’s be clear: I would give a lot less of a fuck if this were a Walmart greeter, because Walmart greeters at most have the power to tell you to turn around and leave their store.

    6. Wow, I gigantic organization has pockets of assholes working within it? Who’d a thunk it?

      I can’t imagine something like this happening at, say, Walmart or McDonalds. And if it did, everybody involved would be shit-canned and the person they were stealing from/mocking would get ton of free stuff.

      1. This^1000. It’s all that needs to be said. Walmart, McDonalds, Target, etc. all put together must employ far more than the TSA. Yet stories like these are comparatively rare from those places. Oh yeah, just anecdotes.

      2. That’s the thing. It NEVER happens at Walmart or Mcdonalds. Because if it does, people are immediately fired for it. The employees there, even if they are giant assholes, have to restrain themselves because they are accountable for their behavior. The sociopaths in government, and seemingly the TSA in particular, are not. The organization is not fit to exist, and if the theft, intimidation and humiliation described here doesn’t piss you off, maybe you should start on your TSA application.

  6. Utterly disgusting.

    If these actions were committed by employees of a private security firm, would they still have their jobs? I suppose these worthless parasties will get paid administrative leave, followed by some taxpayer funded sensitivity training.

    1. As pointed out by a commenter whose name I now forget, this may actually be a punishment to said parasites (of course, it is also a punishment to taxpayers) in that they, for some time, do not get to intimidate people. That is all their lives are worth- the ability to frighten others.

      Of course, it would be 20000x better if they were also (rightfully) deprived of pay and blacklisted from any government job.

  7. [gives middle finger to TSA in solidarity with the “deafies”]

    1. International sign language.

    2. [drags fingers from under chin near adams apple forward and out from the chin, with palm facing toward self]

      1. You’re telling them you’re Vito Corleone?

  8. How am I supposed to fly now after having read this? Their going to haul me away for punching a fucking TSA agent.

    1. Im thinking of driving over to SDF just to do that.

      Probably a bad idea.

    2. agree. And there are also some slices of the population that don’t take well to their relatives being verbally abused. Ya never know…

  9. We getting any morning links today?



      1. When’s pipe night?

  11. To apologize for his empolyees turning a deaf ear to their complaints, TSA Administrator promised to listen to their spokesman.

  12. It’s amazing how many morons think deaf = mentally retarded.

  13. Send this agent to Greece, New York, chain her up in the front of a school bus and tell the students she’s the new bus monitor.

    1. the front seat of a school bus

      1. either way is ok

  14. Also, Riggs: I can’t hear your alt-text.

  15. It’s nearly impossible to communicate in sign language when you’re feeling up someone’s junk.

  16. I’m sorry that you had a bad experience. Those TSA people were real jerks; I wonder what they make fun of other people for… clearly they lead sad, pathetic lives… I applaud you for sharing your story. Have you filed a formal complaint with the TSA? Those screeners should be reprimanded or terminated.

    1. Have you asked the coyotes to look into those reports of wolfs stealing chickens from the henhouse?

      C’mon. The TSA “investigative process” is a cover-up factory. It *always* has been. They violate the law, and civil liberties, and their own policies, thousands of times a day, and then make a token “mea culpa” once a year for some minor issue that nobody really cares about just so that they have something to point to.

  17. I’m sure the incident will be investigated and the responsible parties punished appropriately. See, the system works!

  18. Only deaf people say “deafie”. I assume his T-shirt must have said “deafie” somewhere on it. Doesn’t really change the story, but the first time I read through it I assumed the guy was either making that part up or misread lips.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I’ve never heard of the term deafie before this article. I believe that they stole his candy, and he was justifiably pissed off about that, but the rest of the story seems embellished.

  19. The TSA desecrates remains by spilling them on the floor then laughing about it. They scream at little girls with cerebral palsy on crutches, they force girls with medical pumps and doctors note through a scanner when she tells them the scanner will break her pump – which it does. Now this.

    I think every TSA agent should have TSA tattooed to their forehead therefore every business owner can plainly see who these people are and have the right to refuse them service. Refuse to serve them food, sell them clothes, buy guy and groceries. Business owners have the right to refuse service to anyone. Why not refuse to sell necessities to these people who lack decency, common sense, much less a soul.

    TSA agent are acting with impunity to do what ever they want. Even cops who act badly are held to a higher standard and there are channels in which bad cops can be censured. These TSA get away with it and the only recourse it to file a report and get a standard statement about TSA agents doing their ob to protect us and what they did was within “guidelines” and no apology nor any punishment of the offending agent. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and these agents know they hold more power than their tiny minimum wage mentality minds know they should.

  20. Let’s purge all hearing people off the planet. They have been nothing but problems. 1) Nuclear 2) Pollution 3) Eugenics 4) Nazism 5) Islamism 6) Fascism 7)… and so on. NONE of them were the byproduct of or caused by DEAF people.


    1. What? Sorry. You’re gonna have to speak up.

  21. Proper procedures were followed.

  22. the National Association of the Deaf

    I’ve run into this organization and its operatives on the lobbying circuit. They are some pipe-hittin’, uh, deafies. No remorse, no fear, no pity.

    I hope they get a major hard-on for the TSA, because they can dish some pain.

    1. It would be sweet if they called in some hard, pipe hittin’ deafies with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch to get all medieval on their asses.

  23. You’re waiting for a response from the Pedosmurfs?

    Hah. Good luck with that.

  24. Americans are pretty tolerant about disabled people but the TSA hires weirdos who hassle amputees (“amputee mommy”), people in wheelchairs, and the deaf.

    1. Right, for MP’s sake, I say we figure out the %age of adult Americans extremely intolerant of the disabled- to the point of actually mocking and bullying them. Then, using that, figure out the probability that this TSA loser-crew would be assembled by chance. I would assume the probability is infinitesimal, implying that the higher-ups have a selection bias for the grandest assholes of the land.

  25. This is one of the few things about riding trains in the US that’s really awesome. It’s so amazingly awesome to just walk straight to my train that I am willing to deal with potentially slower travel* and somewhat overpriced tickets.

    * I usually travel NYCBoston so it’s actually not much slower than air travel.

  26. Wow thats messed up man, how much more of this nonsesne will we sit back and take?


  27. As long as these f***tards are allowed to continue to terrorize innocent travelers, the airlines will never get another red cent from me.

    1. You can use the word ‘fuck’ here, Brained — we’re libertarian.

      Just don’t dis the Prophet Mohommed (PBampersandJ).

  28. This sounds like a classic case of people being dicks. Not sure what makes it news.

  29. People people….this organization sucks. Sure there are some who are bigger assholes than others, but the entire organization should not exist.
    The TSA has started to check cars on the road to the airports. That is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. (which is to say nothing of the 4th Amendment violations they all go through every minute of their jobs)
    The entire organization needs to be scuttled.

  30. Not like this is anything new for TSA. There are two or three stories like this every week and usually a video showing them harassing some innocent passenger. Last week it was spilling cremation ashes and laughing at the victim, now mocking and robbing a deaf man.

    They seem to have a penchant for harassing the elderly and handicapped.

    This what we get when they hire high school dropouts with rap sheet, give them a mall cop badge and allow them to harass innocent people with impunity.

    This is the same agency that CNN revealed kept a jeopardy style score board in Orlando where screeners earned points for searching handicapped passengers, gays, blacks and other groups.

    Yet TSA still allows pedophile TSA Supervisor Thomas Harkins to stay on the job at Philadelphia Airport even after his past was exposed by CBS last month.

    This agency is completely indifferent to the public and arrogantly defies Congress’ demands for reform.

    It’s time to end these assaults on travelers and replace TSA.

    1. Replace, hell. Institute a hunting season and a federal bounty on pelts!

  31. I applied for a TSA job once upon a time (was in dire straights) and they rejected me. I guess it was because I had a degree.

  32. TSA response–video footage of SDF (my local airport) checkpoint disproves any incident: http://blog.tsa.gov/2012/07/al…..r-who.html

  33. No one dislikes TSA more than me. And if this story is demonstrably true (unbiased witnesses, video…), it illustrates my hatred for them.

    That said, the story doesn’t have the ring of truth about it. It has the odor of Perpetually Outraged Activists.

  34. It is a sad day in America when the people who are supposed to be protecting the nation, in this case TSA, are bullying disabled people. The fact that they found joy in doing this is disgusting.

  35. I cannot believe this horrible story. TSA is out of control. They have the attitude they can do anything and get away with it. Obviously, they are correct. This gentleman needs to contact his Senator and Representatives and demand action like firing these individuals. These people have to be stopped from humiliating passengers, breaking the law, and their perverted ways under the guise of protecting us. I feel so bad they treated this guy so rude. There must be something Americans to do to protect ourselves.

  36. Good afternoon. We posted about this on the TSA Blog yesterday. If you’d like to take a look, please go here:


    Bob Burns
    TSA Blog Team

    1. But why didn’t you release the video? We’re just supposed to take your word for it? Really?

  37. The lying scumbag “deafie” put up a new blog and defends himself (poorly) here


    “Furthermore, the whole me being a liar thing makes zero sense. If I were to be lying, the obvious purpose would be to slur the TSA, correct? If I were slurring the TSA, why the fuck would I try to be covering it up?”

    Because it got bigger than you wanted and you realized you were going to get caught lying, you fucking asshole.

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