Reports of widespread racial profiling at Logan International Airport — and news of a federal investigation into the practice — have provoked concern and calls for change, but little surprise.

“I’m a little depressed,” said Jack McDevitt, director of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University, which documented widespread racial inequities in a 2004 study of traffic stops by Massachusetts police. “I had hoped that using behavioral cues could be race neutral. . . . It shows how hard it is to disentangle race.”