Report: Newark Airport Screeners Targeted Mexicans

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    Federal officials took steps to retrain a special unit of screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport after allegations arose that some were frequently engaging in racial profiling, according to a published report.

    Citing internal federal and Transportation Security Administration documents, the Star-Ledger of Newark reports some behavior detection officers — allegedly at the direction of their managers — routinely targeted Mexican or Dominican passengers.

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

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