Two Transportation Security Administration officials are suspended after allegedly hanging a noose in a baggage screening area at Miami International Airport, the agency announced Tuesday.
In a statement, officials said the “offensive display” was discovered in an area not accessible to the public. A picture posted to Instagram shows the noose hanging from a pole with two stuffed monkeys attached.
TSA officials said the incident is under investigation.
“The display was immediately removed, and an investigation was launched into who was responsible for the unacceptable behavior,” the agency said in a statement. “The TSA doesn’t tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions.”
The agents, who remain unnamed, were placed on leave pending an investigation.
According to CNN, the display was hung on a “pole right in the center of the TSA workstation located underneath the airport where passengers’ checked luggage is screened before being placed on aircraft.” An employee told the outlet that a manager, who was informed of incident, tried to downplay the racist display as “just a joke.”
The incident drew a response from Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez, who lauded TSA for its swift action against the agents involved.
“I’m aware of the offensive item found in TSA baggage area at MIA and am pleased TSA took quick action to identify those responsible & place them on leave, as investigation gets underway,” he tweeted. “Although TSA workers aren’t employees of Miami-Dade, OurCounty has zero tolerance for racism.”
The display is the latest in a string of instances where workers say they’ve found racist displays at their place of work. In March, several Black workers at a UPS distribution center in Ohio filed a discrimination suit after finding a pair a nooses hung over an employee’s desks, along with a stuffed gorilla dressed in a UPS uniform.
Curtis Anthony, who worked as a quality inspector at a Boeing plant in North Charleston, South Carolina, sued the company last month after he claims his white colleagues fashioned a noose above his desk, and then urinated on his work space.
“It was demeaning, I really didn’t want to work,” Anthony told WCSC at the time. “So they had to move my desk, and they had to move my chair. I really couldn’t perform the duties I’m paid to do.”
In a similar incident, two New York teachers were fired and a third placed on suspension earlier this year after images of a noose were featured in a photo collage displayed inside a middle school classroom.