TSA employees receiving racial profiling retraining

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Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who is African-American, has called for TSA to suspend the behavior detection program.

"TSA must regard this most recent report — the third such report in one year — as a clarion call to take immediate and comprehensive action,"  Thompson wrote earlier this month in a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole.

"It is my understanding that over 30 employees have come forward to express concerns about racial profiling at Logan Airport," he said. "Surely, this kind of outpouring should constitute 'sufficient evidence to substantiate allegation of racial profiling.' "

TSA said in a statement in response to Thompson's letter that its behavior detection program was designed to "comply with DHS and [Department of Justice] civil rights policies for law enforcement and security activities and have been developed with the approval of subject matter experts, including renowned behavioral psychologists and experts in the field of behavioral analysis. 

"Profiling is not only discriminatory, but it is also an ineffective way to identify someone intent on doing harm," the agency said. "Officers are trained and audited to ensure referrals for additional screening that are based only on observable behaviors and not race or ethnicity.”

The TSA retraining was first reported by the Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark.