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2 TSA Officers In Miami Placed On Leave Over "Noose" Incident

By By Paul Scicchitano, Patch Staff, For PATCH News, On 30 July 2019, Read Original
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By Paul Scicchitano, Patch Staff

Jul 30, 2019 2:07 pm ET 

MIAMI, FL — The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling for disciplinary action against two Transportation Security Administration officers who were placed on administrative leave after officials reportedly discovered a noose display inside the baggage screening area of Miami International Airport.

"Too frequently, we hear of inappropriate and prejudicial behavior by TSA agents when they are engaged with racial, ethnic and religious minorities," said CAIR Florida spokesperson Wilfredo Amr Ruiz. "This behavior contributes to the xenophobic sentiment stoked by President Trump's prejudiced rhetoric and discriminatory policies."

CNN first reported on the display Tuesday, quoting a TSA employee with knowledge of the situation who said that the display was hanging from a "pole right in the center of the TSA workstation located underneath the airport where passengers' checked luggage is screened before being placed on aircraft."

In a statement, TSA confirmed that an "offensive display" was discovered in a baggage screening area located in the non-public side of Miami International Airport but declined to describe it further. CNN said the display included two stuffed gorillas tied together and hung with a noose. The display was discovered on July 21.

"TSA officers immediately reported it to TSA management," according to the official agency statement. "The display was immediately removed and an investigation was launched into who was responsible for the unacceptable behavior."

TSA said that the agency does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions.

Patch also reached out to the Miami-Dade county branch of the NAACP and was awaiting a comment.

Florida's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization called for TSA to conclude its internal investigation of the incident as quickly as possible and take "appropriate disciplinary action" based on the results of the investigation.

CAIR said that the organization has observed an "unprecedented spike in bigoted behavior" targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of President Trump.