Report: Some Newark Liberty Airport Screeners Engage In Racial Profiling

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal officials took steps to retrain a special unit of screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport after allegations arose that some were frequently engaging in racial profiling, according to a published report.

Citing internal federal and Transportation Security Administration documents, the Star-Ledger of Newark reports some behavior detection officers — allegedly at the direction of their managers — routinely targeted Mexican or Dominican passengers.

The newspaper says the practice was widespread, lasting from early 2008 to late 2009, when investigators began probing the issue. A TSA spokeswoman said the agency opposes racial profiling and that the situation in Newark had been addressed.

Behavior detection officers are only supposed to focus on nervous, erratic or evasive gestures or speech by passengers. Managers cited in the reports denied racial profiling occurred.

Did you notice any instances of racial profiling at Newark Liberty? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • JohnPA2006

    The headline for this article makes me laugh.
    Did they just figure this out just now.
    Hey news reporters welcome to the real world.
    They been doing this for a long time now.

    If you didnt they were already doing this then you must not get out much.

  • J.Rock

    Please…Just STFU and get screened if you are selected….it is for everyone’s safety, not to humiliate one race or individual.

  • batleby

    I prefer to refer to TSA’s “Behavior Detection Officers” by their other title: High School Dropouts.

  • hackergo

    did you ever wish that the south really managed to secede and be a separate nation…

  • Bored

    First, few terrorists are either female or non-Muslim at this point in history. Second, yes, most screeners are African-American. Why are they targeting non-Muslim Mexicans and Dominicans? To be a nuisance, or because patting down young women is fun for bored screeners.

    This has NOTHING to do with safety! The TSA knows that. It’s routine intimidation in hope that an intimidated terrorist will go away. All the hoo-ha hasn’t stopped one terrorist from attempting to bomb a plane; fortunately, most terrorists are even stupider than TSA.

    • DCLaw-1

      How, exactly, do you know that TSA procedures have not stopped an attempt to hijack and/or bring an explosive aboard and aircraft? That is a retty bold statement, which you make with authority.

    • DCLaw-1

      Also, where do you get your conclusions regarding TSA practices? It is doubtful TSA procedure and policy are discussed, in a scientific sense, during your sociology or philosophy class at City College. TSA , developed in accordance with recommendations from the bi-partisan 9/11 Commisssion to fill glaring holes in security, acts on real time data. Screening practices are not random, and are based on information and standard algorithms. This, not boredom or the appearance of pretty women, determine security practices. The screening process is but a small part of TSA procedure, and many well qualified individuals, much better suited to the task of ensuring safety in the travel infrascructure, than yourself make these determinations. Any problems in the system are addressed, and rectified as needed. TSA does not have the resources to conduct a cmapign of harrassment for pure harrassment sake. If you have a better system in mind, and feel capable of ensuring safety, we would all be happy to hear your ideas.

  • Mike

    Whatever it takes to keep the skies safe…if you don’t have a couple of extra minutes to go through an additional security screening if you’re chosen either randomly or not, then stay off the airlines. I don’t care what color you are.

  • Loulou

    If your not profiling you might as well not screen at all.

  • joe

    Funny thing, I travel through newark alot..

    flying to asia…. and every time… I alway get single out…

    I have even seen, they single out a mother with 6 years kids, both of them have to go with new micro meter scanner…

    and NO THEY ARE NOT WHITE… they are latino… and as we know.. latino hates asian….

    • HRC

      Joe, thats a very general statement you just made…not all latinos hate asians for your information…

  • David

    Im all for profiling This is America, love it or leave it!

    • Adam

      Well thats very unAmerican of you…

  • shawn

    it takes a hill Billy cracker like bill burns to saythey should be targeting coloreds, if it wasn’t for u pastey faces 9/11 probably wouldn’t have happened!!!

    • Irish

      If you are going to be bigoted, please learn how to spell and punctuate.

      And then note that “Shawn” is the phonetic spelling for the Gaelic name “Sean.” That translates as “John”; when Mr. Coombs’ mother named him “Sean John,” she (probably intentionally) named him “John John,” like the nickname of JFK Jr.

      So if you are masquerading as Irish, note we are “pasty faces,” though not Arabs.



  • bill burns

    They should be profiling coloreds too.

  • lenny

    What the F

    What the F

    what the f–k over, you want to be safe or you don’t want to offend, make up your minds.

    • Huh?

      Yeah lenny,save me from all those Dominican terrorists out there trying to blow us up…jeez…

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