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August 14, 2012

Thompson Seeks Further Inquiry on TSA Racial Profiling Allegations

(WASHINGTON) – Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent two letters regarding news reports of alleged racial profiling conducted by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Behavior Detection Officers (BDOs) at Boston Logan International Airport. Ranking Member Thompson wrote John S. Pistole, Administrator of TSA, urging him to take action and to suspend the Screening of Passenger by Observational Technique (SPOT) program until there is a careful examination of the validity and integrity of the program.

Ranking Member Thompson also wrote Rep. Peter King, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, urging him to hold a Congressional hearing on the issue. In 2010 and 2011, Ranking Member Thompson inquired on the SPOT program and previous racial profiling allegations at Newark Liberty International Airport and Honolulu International Airport (see below). The SPOT program originated at Boston Logan International Airport and is currently in use at 161 airports nationwide.

Link to Letter to Administrator Pistole

Link to Letter to Chairman King

Link to Previous Letters on Program and Allegations

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978