Boston Globe: TSA officers allege racial profiling at Logan

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Boston Globe: TSA officers allege racial profiling at Logan

    More than 30 federal officers in an airport program intended to spot telltale mannerisms of potential terrorists say the operation has become a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

    In interviews and internal complaints, officers from the Transportation Security Administration’s ‘‘behavior detection’’ program at Logan International Airport in Boston asserted that passengers who fit certain profiles — Hispanics traveling to Miami, for instance, or blacks wearing baseball caps backward — are much more likely to be stopped, searched and questioned for ‘‘suspicious’’ behavior.

    ‘’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,’’ said one white officer, who along with four others, spoke with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity.

    ...

    At a meeting last month with TSA officials, officers at Logan provided written complaints about profiling from 32 officers, some of whom wrote anonymously. Officers said managers’ demands for high numbers of stops, searches and criminal referrals had led co-workers to target minorities in the belief that those stops were more likely to yield drugs, outstanding arrest warrants or immigration problems.

    The practice has become so prevalent, some officers said, that Massachusetts State Police officials have asked why minority members appear to make up an overwhelming number of the cases that the airport refers to them.

    ‘’The behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but it is a racial profiling program,’’ one officer wrote in an anonymous complaint obtained by The Times.
     
  2. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    So... who is still delusional enough or stupid enough to believe that the TSA is all about air safety/security?
     
  3. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Officers said managers’ demands for high numbers of stops, searches and criminal referrals had led co-workers to target minorities in the belief that those stops were more likely to yield drugs, outstanding arrest warrants or immigration problems.

    None of this has anything to do with finding terrorists, of course, but looks a lot like racial-profiling.

    Behavior detection ‘‘is clearly an effective means of identifying people engaged in activity that may threaten the security of the passengers and the airports and has become a very effective intelligence tool, enabling law enforcement to bust larger operations and track any trends in nefarious activity,’’ the agency said in its statement.

    Blah, blah, blah, blah.
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    This is a blatantly illegal search.
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Trying to pretend once again that they are "law enforcement". :rolleyes:
     
  6. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I'd certainly argue that it falls well outside the administrative search doctrine.
     
  7. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    Exactly. And I'd love to see them get smacked down for it.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    This story appears to be picking up steam quickly ...

    New York Times: Racial Profiling Rife at Airport, U.S. Officers Say

    More than 30 federal officers in an airport program intended to spot telltale mannerisms of potential terrorists say the operation has become a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

    In interviews and internal complaints, officers from the Transportation Security Administration’s “behavior detection” program at Logan International Airport in Boston asserted that passengers who fit certain profiles — Hispanics traveling to Miami, for instance, or blacks wearing baseball caps backward — are much more likely to be stopped, searched and questioned for “suspicious” behavior.

    “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,” said one white officer, who along with four others spoke with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity.

    The New York Times article provides more detail on what happened to the psychologist, who is black:

    The program in place in Boston uses specially trained behavioral “assessors” not only to scan the lines of passengers for unusual activity, but also to speak individually with each passenger and gauge their reactions while asking about their trip or for other information.

    The assessors look for inconsistencies in the answers and other signs of unusual behavior, like avoiding eye contact, sweating or fidgeting, officials said. A passenger considered to be acting suspiciously can be pulled from the line and subjected to more intensive questioning.

    That is what happened last month at Logan airport to Kenneth Boatner, 68, a psychologist and educational consultant in Boston who was traveling to Atlanta for a business trip.

    In a formal complaint he filed with the agency afterward, he said he was pulled out of line and detained for 29 minutes as agents thumbed through his checkbook and examined his clients’ clinical notes, his cellphone and other belongings.

    The officers gave no explanation, but Dr. Boatner, who is black, said he suspected the reason he was stopped was his race and appearance. He was wearing sweat pants, a white T-shirt and high-top sneakers.

    He said he felt humiliated. “I had never been subjected to anything like that,” he said in an interview.
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The NYT article is the original & has already been picked up by media outlets across the county, e.g. Washington Post, Las Vegas Sun, Minneapolis Star Tribune, should be another banner weekend for TSA's dirtbags.

    I still remember the BDO that tried to picked a fight with me at STL and just kept doing his best to get right in my face. Even today I almost regret not just beating the :trash: out of the annoying little (expletive deleted). In the end he flagged me for "extra" screening. The lead screener basically did a half-assed job on the "extra" part, then gave me her card and apologetically indicated indicated that the little runt wasn't under her purview.
     
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Google News is now showing this on 136 sites.

    In comparison:

    TSA heroes: 'There were people to save and I just jumped in' (rescured Ft. Lewis man & pax from burning car): all 6 news articles

    Americans to TSA: Love You! (Gallup poll, etc.): all 36 news articles
     
  11. CelticWhisper

    CelticWhisper Founding Member

    Was that the time when they told you not to move but you were already in the elevator and the doors closed? Or am I thinking of someone else's story?
     
  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    You must be thinking of someone else's story.

    I ("F" seat & NW Plat) was mildly annoyed that the first-class line in Concourse A wasn't open, forcing me to wait & rub shoulders with all the little people. :D Mr. Hot-Shot BDO couldn't handle my obvious superiority. :p

    He kept asking me what my problem was & couldn't deal with my consistent response that the he was only problem I had at the moment. Beating the :trash: out of him would have been such a pleasure; I sincerely hope that someone else has since availed himself of the opportunity.

    Actually the lines were so short that if the little runt had just stayed out of my face & left me alone, everything would have been just fine.
     
  13. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Thats why I would relish baiting one into laying a finger on me as after that point ...its game on and shortly there after game over for the assaulting smurf and anyone that wants to pile on.

    Gotta love the reaction on bullies faces when they find out the person they picked on lights them up like a christmas tree.
     
  14. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    This is a really damning article. Hallelujah!

    :D

    A "model" no longer.
     
  15. RB

    RB Founding Member

    There is no science behind TSA's BDO program, other than what the TSA paid someone to provide, so any results will be forced proof that the TSA BDO program is effective. To achieve desired goals TSA's so-called managers demand results and TSA BDO workers give results. The problem, since the TSA BDO program is fatally flawed from concept and onward, is that TSA BDO clerks have to find other means of providing demanded results. What is left? Profiling or just random chance. Seems Logan TSA BDO clerks have decided to use profiling to meet the mandates of their TSA superiors.

    This story is solid evidence that the TSA BDO program is ineffective, discriminatory, and a total waste of tax dollars.

    edit to add: story was on page three of the Dallas Morning News,.
     
  16. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Makes one wonder what kinds of quotas the screeners at checkpoints are given to fulfill, doesn't it?
     
  17. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Isn't this the third time that screeners have exposed this nonsense? We've also read stories where screeners accused TSA management of being hostile and abusive if the screeners don't grope granny and the kids enough.

    Apparently there may be a precious few normal people left on the front lines that realize that all the crotch groping and harassment isn't necessary but they are the one's bearing the brunt of public and passenger criticism.

    The management must be full of sickos and will eventually fill the ranks with other perverted bullies.

    We really need a few decent screeners to start recording and documenting this BS so that an expose' of this abuse can be made public. These folks know better than anyone else the real nature of this beast and their cooperation could be invaluable to fixing this mess.
     
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Google News now has this at 226+ sites. It's attracting worldwide attention.
     
  19. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    TSA's lame response ...

    NECN: TSA responds to racial profiling charges

    For its part, the FAA issued the following statement: "If any of these claims prove accurate, we will take immediate and decisive action to ensure there are consequences to such activity."

    Remind me not to hold my breath. Despite 10 years of your "immediate and decisive action", TSA is still a sad, sorry cesspool.

    In the same article, someone from the FAA chimes in ...

    Brian Sullivan, a risk management specialist who worked for the FAA, says the allegations don't surprise him, given the scant nine hours of training that TSA officers receive before being put into service at the nation's airports.

    "If you're not doing refresher training, it's a slippery slope," Sullivan said, "and you can fall from doing risked-based profiling to racial profiling."
     
  20. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    Remember that the "Action" could be simple retraining, pat on the head, promotion and denial.
     

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