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TSA will probe 'chat-down' complaints

Aug. 14, 2012 at 8:59 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it will investigate complaints about its "chat-down" program made by employees at Boston's Logan Airport.

Thirty-two Logan TSA officers are said to have complained the program designed to focus on the riskiest airline passengers has ended up targeting minorities, USA Today reported Tuesday.

The year-old program underway at Logan and Detroit airports has TSA officers posing casual questions to all passengers to look for deception or hostility that could lead to further interrogation.

If a passenger refuses to answer the questions, TSA will search their carry-on bags.

The complaining officers said their co-workers were targeting Middle Easterners, Hispanics and blacks thinking that it might lead to discovery of drugs, outstanding arrest warrants or immigration problems.

The TSA said if any of these claims prove accurate, the agency would take "immediate and decisive action."

The TSA's inspector general has been asked to examine the complaints, the agency said.

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