NAACP calls for Congressional investigation after FOX 46 air marshal investigation


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — The NAACP is calling for a Congressional investigation citing a FOX 46 investigation into accusations of racism and racial profiling at the Federal Air Marshal Service.

“The targeting of the African American flyers is sickening and utterly unacceptable,” said NAACP president Derrick Johnson. “We are moving forcefully with our partners to issue requests to the Chairman and ranking members of the House Committee on Homeland Security for a complete investigation into these allegations.”

On Tuesday, three former air marshals told FOX 46 they were directed to racially profile African Americans by a a supervisor at Orlando International Airport in the late aughts. That supervisor has since been promoted to Transportation Security Manager at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport in Sanford, Fla. 

“He told us to stop and talk to the black people because they’re the ones who have warrants,” said former air marshal Steve Theodoropoulos told FOX 46 Tuesday. “But he didn’t use ‘black people’ he used the n-word.”

The NAACP now joins the local Charlotte chapter along with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations in calling for an investigation in response to the FOX 46 investigation.

“We can’t tolerate this and we as Americans should not tolerate it,” said Minister Corine Mack, the president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP chapter on Wednesday. 

The TSA said it does not tolerate discrimination.

“The Transportation Security Administration and Federal Air Marshal Service do not tolerate discrimination of any kind, period,” said spokesman Thomas Kelly. “Federal Air Marshals are from all walks of life and come to work every day for one reason – to protect the traveling public. They provide a valuable layer of security and are committed [to] their mission.”

The TSA would not say whether or not it plans to investigate the allegations of racism or profiling. The three former air marshals say they are willing to file another formal complaint.

FOX 46 also asked about our investigation from Thursday night where a current air marshal spoke out calling the secret surveillance program known as “Quiet Skies” a “complete waste of our time and resources.”

The TSA would not comment on that. 

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