Video Shows Hannah Cohen Being Thrown to the Ground — But…

“A ssuming that I know all of the facts behind this incident — and I do not purport to know them, as I suspect that there is more to the story — the agents of the Transportation Security Administration who were involved in this incident should have used better judgment.”

That was what I wrote in the original article pertaining to Hannah Cohen — who is 19 years old and is considered a disabled person, as she is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed, and easily confused and disoriented — when she was thrown down to the ground after setting off the metal detector while passing through the security checkpoint at Memphis International Airport on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

Agents of the Transportation Security Administration wanted to perform further scanning on her — but according to her mother, she tried “to get away from them but in the next instant, one of them had her down on the ground and hit her head on the floor.”

As I suspected, there is more to this story.

Video Shows Hannah Cohen Being Thrown to the Ground — But…

Watching the video from the official security surveillance footage of the security checkpoint in question at Memphis International Airport — as provided by The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, along with this article written by Maria Ines Zamudio — Hannah Cohen was eventually thrown down to the floor by a law enforcement officer.

At 2:39 in the video — after what appears to be a lengthy discussion — the law enforcement officer moves in on Hannah Cohen and initiates contact with her. She responds by attempting to push the police officer away, hitting him in the process and escalating the incident. A second law enforcement officer then intervenes, causing Hannah Cohen to flail her arms and attempt to push both of them back as her mother attempts to restrain her, trying to either calm her down or vainly explaining to the police officers why she is resisting them.

Hannah Cohen video

Source: Memphis International Airport.

The hands of Hannah Cohen and one of the law enforcement officers are gripped — until her right hand breaks away and strikes the police officer in the back. He responds by throwing her down to the ground on her back. The other police officer initially attempts to restrain her on the ground; but then pushes the mother away while the first law enforcement officer turns Hannah Cohen onto her stomach so that he can get her hands behind her back to handcuff them as she kicks and squirms violently on the floor. hr hands break free, causing the police officer to once again force her hands behind her back while she resists. The other police officer assists him in subduing her; and the video is unclear as to whether the leg and foot of that second officer comes into contact with her face.

Once Hannah Cohen calms down as the officers finish handcuffing her hands behind her back, an agent of the Transportation Security Administration motions to the mother — who was helplessly watching the entire incident seated several feet away — to come back to the scene, where she sits on a bench. Hannah Cohen is eventually helped up by the two law enforcement officers and quickly escorted away from the airport security checkpoint.

Excluding the lengthy discussion, the entire incident on the video footage occurred in exactly two minutes.

Summary

Were the police officers justified to exert force in response to her resisting them? Perhaps — if only for their own protection, as Hannah Cohen showed amazing strength in resisting them — but then I also wonder if they unnecessarily escalated the situation to the point where it veered temporarily out of control and they used excessive force to reign the incident back under control. Could remaining calm on the parts of all who were involved have prevented the outcome from occurring?

I have no idea what the mother said or whether or not they listened to the mother; nor do I have any idea what anyone said in the video, which had no sound. In my opinion, the key to the incident is what was said — and whether or not anyone listened carefully, as what happened may have been little more than an unfortunate series of misunderstandings.

One can also argue that special dispensation for people who are considered disabled can only go so far if they are on the offensive — and we have no idea if the law enforcement officers already gave Hannah Cohen special treatment in this situation — but the video seems to reveal that Hannah Cohen and her mother were not entirely innocent in this incident, which may explain why they are not attempting to initiate a multimillion dollar lawsuit. Instead, they are seeking damages in a reasonable sum not exceeding $100,000.00 plus costs in a lawsuit was filed by the Cohen family in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee against Memphis and Shelby County Airport Authority; Memphis International Airport Police Department; and the Transportation Security Administration.

We may never know the entire story of what actually happened or who was ultimately to blame — but one thing is certain, in my opinion: agents of the Transportation Security Administration were not involved in the violent altercation as originally alleged; and what was done to Hannah Cohen at Memphis International Airport was inexcusable and did little to promote the tenet of safety, as other methods should have been considered where she could have been safely and effectively detained without inflicting injuries upon her severe enough to cause her to bleed.

Source: Memphis International Airport.

5 thoughts on “Video Shows Hannah Cohen Being Thrown to the Ground — But…”

  1. Leftpinky says:

    Amazing strength? Come on dude, quit being an apologist for an attack on a disabled person.

    1. JR Schanzenbacher says:

      didn’t read his conclusion: “and what was done to Hannah Cohen at Memphis International Airport was inexcusable and did little to promote the tenet of safety, as other methods should have been considered where she could have been safely and effectively detained without inflicting injuries upon her severe enough to cause her to bleed.”
      No evidence of being an apologist. Just him being observant.

  2. Mak says:

    I certainly hope that her family’s lawsuit is successful. These cowardly men should be ashamed of themselves. They had no business grabbing her violently in the first instance, and the fact that this disabled — blind, deaf, physically and mentally disabled, and obviously so — person reacted the way that she did, stems from that wrong. That these cowards then went on to beat up a disabled young girl is a pathetic manifestation of their own weaknesses as human beings. There should be an investigation into how such incompetent, violent, and immoral people could be hired by the TSA.

    1. JR Schanzenbacher says:

      and another didn’t read the article fully. “…agents of the Transportation Security Administration were not involved in the violent altercation as originally allege”.
      How can any of you be taken seriously when you don’t even comprehend what you are reading?

  3. Mak says:

    I certainly hope that her family’s lawsuit is successful. These cowardly men should be ashamed of themselves. They had no business grabbing her violently in the first instance, and the fact that this disabled — blind, deaf, physically and mentally disabled, and obviously so — person reacted the way that she did, stems from that wrong. That these cowards then went on to beat up a disabled young girl is a pathetic manifestation of their own weaknesses as human beings. There should be an investigation into how such incompetent, violent, and immoral people could be hired by the TSA.

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