The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) put two officers on administrative leave after a racist display was found in a TSA workstation at the Miami International Airport.
What We Know:
- Two stuffed gorillas tied together and hanging from a noose were found tied to a pole inside a TSA workstation on July 21. Three TSA agents found the display and told their manager, who “tried to downplay the noose and gorilla display, saying it wasn’t racist, it was just a joke.” After continued complaints to TSA headquarters, the agency launched an internal investigation of the event.
- TSA released a statement July 30 about the “unacceptable behavior,” explaining the display was immediately removed and an investigation was launched. Since the launch of the investigation, two officers were placed on leave while the investigation occurs, but employees still feel frustrated that not enough has been done. The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security sent a letter to TSA Tuesday asking the agency to “promptly and thoroughly” investigate the event and ensure those involved are “held accountable for their actions.”
- While the agency has remained relatively quiet about the details of the incident, TSA agents have circulated detailed information in a Facebook group. It was on this Facebook page that the photos were first released of the gorilla and noose display and the agents allegedly involved. These Facebook conversations also criticize TSA for taking so long to respond to the event once they were made aware.
Though an investigation is a start, TSA employees urge the agency to move drastically to ensure those responsible are properly punished.