Shortly after a racist photo was posted to social media, two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the blatant act of misconduct.
On July 21, three TSA officers reportedly discovered a racist display hanging inside a TSA workstation at Miami International Airport. According to a photo recently posted to social media, the TSA officers found two stuffed gorillas tied together and hanging with a noose.
The officers immediately notified their manager, who reportedly downplayed the incident as a joke instead of a flagrant act of racism. The TSA manager’s reaction further upset the three officers, according to CNN.
On Tuesday, the TSA issued the following statement regarding the incident: “An offensive display was discovered in a TSA baggage screening area located in the non-public side of Miami International Airport. TSA Officers immediately reported it to TSA Management. The display was immediately removed and an investigation was launched into who was responsible for the unacceptable behavior. TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions. Two TSA Officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.”
TSA officials have refused to publicly identify the two officers who have been placed on administrative leave and are currently under investigation.
In an internal email sent to TSA employees following the incident, executive assistant administrator for security operations Darby Lajoye wrote, “We’ve been made aware of an extremely troubling event in Miami this week involving a racially charged, disturbing display that cuts at the very core of who we are and what we stand for as an agency.”