Cousins! A mother from California has taken legal action against South West Airlines following claims of racial discrimination, as she declares she was allegedly accused of human trafficking while traveling with her bi-racial daughter!
According to the recently filed lawsuit, the incident is said to have taken place in October 2021 as Marry MacCarthy and her ten-year-old daughter at the time traveled from California to Denver for her brother’s funeral.
“Unbeknownst to Ms. MacCarthy, while they were in the air, a Southwest employee called the Denver Police Department to report Ms. MacCarthy for suspected child trafficking for no reason other than the different color of her daughter’s skin from her own,” reads the suit.
CNN reports that Mary and her daughter were making their way down the bridge of the jet when they were stopped by Denver police.
“The officers began questioning Ms. MacCarthy and made it clear that they were given the racially charged information that Ms. MacCarthy’s daughter was possibly being trafficked by her simply because Ms. MacCarthy is White and her daughter is Black,” the lawsuit adds.
“After significant questioning, during which Ms. MacCarthy’s daughter began to break down in tears, Ms. MacCarthy was eventually allowed to leave by the officers, but not before this display of blatant racism by Southwest Airlines caused Ms. MacCarthy and her daughter extreme emotional distress.”
Mary expressed that she thought the officers had stopped her to inform her about another death in her family, but insteas she was told that a Southwest employee alerted officials of a possible human trafficker.
In a 2022 interview with CNN Mary shared an email she sent to the airline seeking an apology, reimbursement for the full price of her tickets along with, “additional compensation to account for the trauma imposed on an innocent family, and especially on a grieving 10-year-old Black girl.”
Southwest Airlines issued a statement in response to Mary noting that an investigation was underway.
“We are conducting a review of the situation internally, and we will be reaching out to the customer to address her concerns and offer our apologies for her experience traveling with us,” saisnSouthwest Airlines spokesperson Dan Landson in a statement to CNN back in November 2021. “Our employees undergo robust training on Human Trafficking. Above all, Southwest Airlines prides itself on providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for the millions of customers who travel with us each year.”
Sources state that Mary is asking for an unspecified award for damages, as well as emotional distress, mental anguish, suffering and inconvenience.