Massport responds to report on racial profiling at Logan

TSA agents screen passengers at Logan Airport.

The operator of Logan Airport responded this morning to a report that a security program at Boston’s airport is “a magnet for racial profiling.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that dozens of Transportation Security Administration agents at Logan have complained about the agency’s behavior detection program and how some officers were more likely to stop Hispanics traveling to Miami or blacks wearing baseball caps backwards.

The behavior detection program is meant to train officers to spot signs of potential terrorists.

“The safety and security of passengers and airport workers are the top priorities of Massport. There is no place for racial profiling in any security program. It is illegal and it is not effective. As the airport operator we take these allegations very seriously. We are eager to review the findings of a federal investigation into the matter. Massport promotes effective, legal federal security programs that protect the flying public,” said David S. Mackey, executive director of Massport.

While reports of racial profiling have surfaced at other airports – including Newark and Hawaii, those numbers are much smaller than what’s occurring in Boston, according to the report.

About 160 airports have implemented the behavior detection program, but Boston’s model has more advanced tactics.

The TSA said on Friday that it has opened an investigation into the allegations, according to the report.


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