Report: Newark Airport screeners targeted Mexicans

(AP) - Federal officials took steps to retrain aspecial unit of screeners at Newark Liberty International Airportafter allegations arose that some were frequently engaging inracial profiling, according to a published report.

Citing internal federal and Transportation SecurityAdministration documents, the Star-Ledger of Newark reports somebehavior detection officers - allegedly at the direction of theirmanagers - routinely targeted Mexican or Dominican passengers.

The newspaper says the practice was widespread, lasting fromearly 2008 to late 2009, when investigators began probing theissue. A TSA spokeswoman said the agency opposes racial profilingand that the situation in Newark had been addressed.

Behavior detection officers are only supposed to focus onnervous, erratic or evasive gestures or speech by passengers.Managers cited in the reports denied racial profiling occurred.

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