MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two Transportation Security Administration officers have been placed on administrative leave after a noose was found in a non-public baggage screening area at Miami International Airport.
The Instagram page “Black People of the Gram” posted a picture of the noose which was hanging from the ceiling with two monkeys attached to it.
A female TSA agent found it a little over a week ago and reported it to management which had it immediately removed.
TSA released a statement, saying in part, “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.”
Passengers at MIA were surprised to hear about the discovery.
“You wouldn’t expect people to still express that type of anger or anything like that, like grow up,” said Montize Prince who was traveling to Nashville.
“That’s pretty racist,” said Samir Madan, “It’s racist, there’s no other way to say it.”
Alexis, who did not want to give her last name said, “It’s very offensive,” and asked, “why would you do that? Why would you need to have it up there for?”
Former State Senator Dwight Bullard is with the South Dade Branch of the NAACP.
He said he’s seeing more instances of racism with the current climate in the US.
“You’re starting to see people feel emboldened and empowered to use symbols of hate,” said Bullard.
He also notes the hate filled symbolism of the noose.
“What a lot of people don’t appreciate is Florida was the state in the south where you could most likely be lynched during the era of Jim Crow in this country,” Bullard said.
The Anti-Defamation league weighing in too, pleased to see the TSA is taking swift action.
“The display of a noose in the work place, whether it’s a public or private is absolutely repugnant,” said David Barkey with the ADL.
In a statement, the TSA said that it does not tolerate “racist or offensive behavior” and an investigation is underway to find those responsible.
“I am pleased that the TSA took quick action to identify the agency’s employees responsible and have placed them on administrative leave, as the investigation into the incident is underway,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a statement. “Although the TSA workers are not employees of Miami-Dade County, our County has zero tolerance for racism and harassment.”
Miami International Airport officials also released a statement saying they do not condone offensive material or behavior.