National

Photo of baby's pat-down fuels security debate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Rev. Jacob Jester wasn't trying to start anything.

But when he saw security screeners at Kansas City International Airport patting down a baby — a baby — he took a picture. And then he shared that picture on Twitter.

It went viral, and voila: Jester's snapshot is the flashpoint of the day in the debate over who should be considered a threat to the flying public.

Not what he intended, Jester said Tuesday, after the image had been picked up by the Drudge Report and the Daily Mail in London, among others, and viewed nearly 300,000 times.

"I thought it was a curious situation," said Jester, a pastor at a youth ministry in Independence, Mo.

Jester had just cleared security Saturday afternoon on his way to Albuquerque, N.M., when he saw that a woman and baby were about to be searched. The baby's stroller had "alarmed" during explosives screening.

Jester tweeted his picture with the message: "Just saw tsa agents patting down a little baby at KCIAirport Pretty sure that's extreme."

His wife retweeted it. Another local pastor did, too.

The picture spread across Twitter.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying the officers followed proper procedure.

The TSA said it has been reviewing its policies "to streamline and improve the screening experience for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers."

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