Complaints against Boston's Logan International Airport saw an increase, alleging racial profiling towards Latinos, blacks, and other minorities. (Photo : Reuters)
Boston's Logan International Airport is under investigation as claims of racial profiling rises. More than 30 federal officials have reported that the program aimed to spot gestures of potential terrorists has led to discrimination of Latinos, blacks, and other minorities.
According to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) "behavior detection" program at Logan, passengers that fit a stereotype such as Latinos or blacks wearing baseball caps in the backwards position are more likely to be stopped, searched, and questioned.
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One white officer spoke to the New York Times said, "They just pull aside anyone who they don't like the way they look - if they are black and have expensive clothes or jewelry, or if they are Hispanic."
According to a TSA meeting last month, Logan officials compiled racial profiling complaints aimed at 32 officers. Some of the officers have claimed the reason for "racial profiling" is due to managers' high demand of searches which led to workers targeting minorities due to the stereotype they are more likely to carry drugs, have an arrest warrant, or are facing immigrations problems.
"The behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but it is a racial profiling program," stated one of the complaints obtained by the New York Times.
The TSA announced last Friday they will look into the claims.
"If any of these claims prove accurate, we will take immediate and decisive action to ensure there are consequences to such activity," said a statement from the TSA.
The Times note a case from a black psychologist named Kenneth Boatner who was traveling to Atlanta last month, but was detained for nearly thirty minutes while officers checked his belongings, checkbook, patients' clinical notes, and his cellphone.
According to Boatner, the officers never explained why an extra round of security checks was done on him. He does add he was wearing sweat pants, a white T-shirt, and high-top sneakers, suspecting he was singled out due to his race and what he was wearing.