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TSA Officers on Leave After Racist Display Discovered

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Three TSA officers found a racist display in a communal workspace at the Miami International Airport earlier this month.

A report on CNN noted that a TSA employee with knowledge of the situation said that two stuffed gorillas had been tied together and were hanging with a noose from a pole in the center of a workstation.

The officers who discovered the display told their manager, but the manager said that the display was not racist, just a joke.

This prompted an investigation and has led to two officers being placed on leave from the agency.

The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said that the situation should be “promptly and thoroughly investigated.”

Mississippi Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson said the situation was “unacceptable and leaves TSOs to work in an environment where they believe they are not supported or protected.”

Many black and Hispanic TSA officers at the Miami International Airport are distraught, said one employee.

“The mood now at the airport is people are upset this hasn’t been properly taken care of yet. We want everybody held accountable for what they have done,” the officer said to CNN.

A statement from the TSA said noted that the display was removed immediately and that the behavior was unacceptable.

“TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” Jenny Burke, a TSA spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Two TSA officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.”

After reports of the display surfaced, TSA also took steps to communicate with its staff regarding the incident. An email from executive assistant administrator for security operations Darby Lajoye said: “We’ve been made aware of an extremely troubling event in Miami this week involving a racially charged, disturbing display that cuts at the very core of who we are and what we stand for as an agency.”

It also said: “TSA has zero tolerance for acts like this. We have already ordered an independent investigation and all individuals potentially involved have been placed on Administrative leave while the investigation is underway.”

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