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DHS OIG Completes Review of Allegations of Discrimination at Orlando Airport

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Public Affairs (202) 981-6000

For Immediate Release

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A review by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) did not identify evidence to corroborate allegations that a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supervisor at the Orlando airport directed TSA air marshals or other TSA personnel to use behavior detection techniques to racially discriminate against travelers between 2005-2010. This review was requested by members of Congress based on allegations made in the news media by former members of TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS).

In the attached letter to Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Val Butler Demings, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman and Rep. Darren Soto, the OIG reported that apart from the testimony of the three complainants, it did not identify any additional evidence that substantiated the allegations. During the course of the review, OIG found no previous record of similar complaints against the TSA supervisor. Although some witnesses relayed other prior instances of alleged racial profiling in the behavior detection program, none of the approximately 30 current and former personnel OIG interviewed confirmed the complainants’ specific allegations. TSA has since eliminated the behavior detection officer position, and has largely stopped referring travelers for additional screening using behavior detection techniques.

DHS Agency