CNN reports, three other officers found two stuffed gorillas tied together and hanging by a noose on July 21. An employee told CNN that the display was hanging from 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.”
The three TSA officers notified their manager, however, that manager “tried to downplay the noose and gorilla display, saying it wasn’t racist, it was just a joke.”
CNN reports that an internal investigation has been launched resulting in the two officers being placed on leave.
Another unidentified Miami TSA officer says he’s upset over the incident, especially since the airport has many Black and Hispanic employees. “The mood now at the airport is people are upset this hasn’t been properly taken care of yet,” the officer said. “We want everybody held accountable for what they have done.”
Since the racist display made headlines, TSA issued a statement claiming the display was immediately removed. “TSA does not tolerate racist or offensive behavior and those found responsible will be held accountable for their actions,” Jenny Burke, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement.
The two employees placed on administrative leave have not been publicly identified.