Métis family arrested after Southwest Airlines employee suspected human trafficking – Daily Bulletin
A woman and her 10-year-old daughter were arrested by police at Denver International Airport last month after a flight attendant flagged the duo as a suspect, a claim the woman is racist.
Mary MacCarthy, who is white, and her 10-year-old daughter, who is black, flew from San Jose, Calif. To Denver on October 22 to join their family after MacCarthy’s older brother died suddenly overnight former. Upon arrival in Denver, they were greeted on the bridge by a Southwest Airlines employee and two Denver police officers.
At first, MacCarthy thought the police were there to tell him about another death in his family. The two agents began talking to MacCarthy and his daughter, Moira, separately. Police wanted to question MacCarthy and his daughter because a Southwest Airlines employee reported them as suspects and MacCarthy as a potential human trafficker, according to a Denver police report and MacCarthy’s account.
“The officer said, ‘We are speaking to you because you have been reported to the pilot for suspicious behavior,” “MacCarthy said. “And it immediately occurred to me what was going on. This is the type of situation that Métis families and families of color face all the time when traveling. “
MacCarthy explained why they were traveling and that the girl, who sobbed during the incident, was indeed his daughter. Officers and the employee let her go after MacCarthy explained why she was traveling.
MacCarthy said she was not angry with the way officers and the Southwest employee treated her on the jet bridge, but the Southwest employee on the plane who reported her without any conversation or contact.
The flight attendant who reported MacCarthy told police she was suspicious because the two were the last to board the plane and because MacCarthy asked the other passengers to move so that her girl could sit next to her, according to a copy of a police report obtained by The Denver. Publish via a registration request. The attendant also reported that the couple did not speak during the flight.
MacCarthy said they boarded the plane last because they were assigned the last boarding group and the plane’s passengers had no problem rearranging their seats. MacCarthy said she and her daughter didn’t talk much during the flight because she was trying to make up for lost sleep and her daughter was listening to an audiobook.
“It’s all based on what I think is a racist assumption about a mixed race family,” MacCarthy said.
Métis families have filed numerous public complaints for being questioned as human trafficking suspects while stealing in the United States.
A white Phoenix man returning from vacation with his family, including his Chinese adopted daughter, has been arrested by police after a southwest flight attendant reported him as a suspect. A black woman from Aurora flying with her adopted white sister has been arrested by police in Dallas after a passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight reported her to airline staff as a potential trafficker.
Cindy McCain, widow of Senator John McCain, apologized in 2019 after falsely claiming she had ended a crime of human trafficking when she reported a woman traveling with a toddler of a of different ethnicity at the Phoenix airport, claiming the couple “looked odd” and that “something didn’t click with me. Phoenix police later confirmed that McCain had reported a woman, but said he investigated and there was no evidence of a crime.
MacCarthy wants an apology from Southwest for her employee’s racist assumption about her and her daughter.
The police report on the incident also angered MacCarthy because the police wrote that MacCarthy “did not want to give any information.” But MacCarthy explained why she was traveling and gave her IDs to officers, she said. A video she recorded of part of the interaction shows her explaining her journey.
The Southwest media team declined to answer specific questions about the incident, including who reported MacCarthy and her daughter, the basis of that person’s suspicion, and what signs Southwest employees are being trained to look for evidence of trafficking. .
“Southwest regrets that this family is reporting anything less than a positive experience traveling with us,” the company said in an emailed statement. “The client’s report has been shared with the Southwest Client Relations team, and they will follow up with the client directly.”
Southwest Airlines announced in 2019 that it will offer online training to all of its employees on how to identify human trafficking and what to do if it is suspected. Employees in contact with the public, such as pilots and flight attendants, receive additional training.
The whole incident at the airport made an already difficult day even more difficult for Moira, MacCarthy said.
“She kinda calms down when we talk about it,” MacCarthy said.