The Dallas Morning News reports the case against the Dallas-based carrier was filed in the federal District Court of Colorado.
Lawsuit Stems from 2021 Incident with Denver Police
According to the lawsuit, Mary MacCarthy was traveling with her daughter from San José Mineta International Airport (SJC) to Denver International Airport (DEN). While MacCarthy is white, her biological daughter is black.
During their 2021 flight to attend a funeral, the flyer claims they were stopped by police in Denver, who began questioning her about the relationship with her daughter. She says the child was frightened as she started crying during the situation. Once the police said they were investigating “suspicious behavior,” MacCarthy claims she and her daughter were being racially profiled for alleged human trafficking.
An attorney representing MacCarthy says he has received several e-mails from others who have allegedly faced the same situation and is reaching out to see if their claims are comparable. MacCarthy is seeking a jury trial and damages from the airline.
The lawsuit alleges there is evidence of long-standing racial profiling with the airline. Attorneys point to another 2021 incident where a white man and his black daughter were escorted off an aircraft and questioned under similar circumstances. The carrier also reportedly began a new training to help front-line staff better understand and identify human trafficking.
A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines declined comment because the litigation is ongoing. The lawsuit has not gone to a jury yet and no decision has been made.
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Source: frugal travel guy