Lawmakers Want Investigation of Air Marshal Service After Allegations of Racial Profiling

Some lawmakers want an investigation of the TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service after a report alleging racial profiling by a supervisor.

Three Congressmen sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General asking for an investigation of the Federal Air Marshals Service after a story was published last week citing three former air marshals who said they were told by a supervisor to target “the black people.”

The article with the details of the allegations was published by Fox 46 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“He [the supervisor] told us stop and talk to the black people because they’re the ones who have warrants,” according to former air marshal turned whistleblower, Steve Theodoropoulos, who was quoted in the article. “But he didn’t use ‘black people’; he used the n-word.”

The Fox 46 story did not name the supervisor. The incident allegedly took place at the Orlando International Airport.

Congressmen Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Val Butler Demings (D-FL), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) called the allegations “extremely troubling” in their letter to the TSA IG and asked for an immediate investigation.

“We request that you expeditiously investigate allegations that FAMs [federal air marshals] in Orlando were directed to discriminate unlawfully against travelers based upon race or other factors, including whether such directions were acted upon and whether such discrimination continues today.”

Congressmen Letter Re: FAM Racial Profiling

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.