Black women’s hair off-lim­its

Los Angeles Times - - MONDAY BUSINESS -

The Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union said it has reached an agree­ment with the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion to en­sure that black women are not sin­gled out for pat-down searches of their hair.

The agree­ment came in re­sponse to a com­plaint by neu­ro­sci­en­tist Malaika Sin­gle­ton, a black woman who says TSA agents squeezed her “Sis­ter­locks” styled hair at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port and again at Min­neapo­lis-St. Paul In­ter­na­tional Air­port dur­ing a 2013 trip to Lon­don to at­tend a Group of Eight sum­mit.

In an email to the ACLU, a TSA at­tor­ney said the agency will re­train se­cu­rity of­fi­cers at LAX and Min­neapo­lis to em­pha­size “race neu­tral­ity” and will track TSA com­plaints by black women to see whether ex­ces­sive hair searches are prob­lems at other air­ports.

“I hope that this agree­ment and the pro­posed train­ings will lead to more eq­ui­table treat­ment for all trav­el­ers,” Sin­gle­ton said.

In a state­ment, the TSA said racial pro­fil­ing is not tol­er­ated at se­cu­rity check­points and “is also an in­ef­fec­tive se­cu­rity tac­tic.”

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