Mom and her biracial child were stopped by police at Denver airport because a Southwestern employee suspected human trafficking.

Mary MacCarthy (right) and her daughter, Moira. Mary MacCarthy

  • White’s mother and her 10-year-old beer daughter were stopped by police for suspected human trafficking at a Denver airport.

  • The couple was reported to police as “suspicious” by a flight attendant from Southwest Airlines.

  • The mother, Mary MacCarthy, told Insider that she considers the Oct. 22 incident to be “racist harassment.”

White California mom and her biracial 10-year-old daughter were stopped by police for suspected human trafficking after a Southwest Airlines flight attendant reported the couple as “suspicious” – an incident the mother called “racist harassment”.

Mary MacCarthy, 42, told Insider that she and her daughter, Moira, boarded a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Denver with a connecting flight in San Jose on Oct. 22 to be with her family after the sudden death of her brother.

When the unmarried mother and her child got out of the plane at Denver International Airport, they were immediately met by two Denver police officers and a Southwestern representative on the jet bridge at about 2:30 p.m., according to police records and partial cell phone video footage. of the incident seen by Insider.

MacCarthy, a former journalist who works in the technology industry, said she was told she was “reported to the pilot for suspicious behavior.”

“As a mother of a biracial child, it immediately clicked in my brain,” she told Insider. “I assumed we were reported for smuggling.”

In a video taken by MacCarthy in which her daughter can be heard crying, Southwest employee tells the mother that the couple was stopped because employees were “just worried about the behavior when you boarded the plane.”

According to a police report from the Denver Police Department, officers were sent to the airport for a “report on possible Human Smuggling reported by Southwest Flight Attendant.”

The police report states that a Southwest inspector during the connecting flight told authorities that “the mother and daughter did not speak during the flight and she felt it was strange and also the mother did not allow the child to speak to a flight crew.”

MacCarthy denied that claim as a “direct lie” in a later email to investigators, saying her daughter spent much of the flight listening to an audiobook and that they spoke during the trip.

After talking with police officers, both MacCarthy and her daughter were finally “cleared” to go, according to the police report.

MacCarthy said she believes they were racially profiled.

“I have a 10-year-old biracial daughter who went through the worst day of her life since the death of her beloved uncle, and then she has to deal with an armed police officer,” MacCarthy told Insider. “I consider that racist bullying.”

MacCarthy said she only later learned from a follow-up call with a detective ten days later on Nov. 1 that there was an official “suspicion of human trafficking.”

“As far as I’m concerned everything was immediately explained that day [on October 22], “she said.” And if you’re really going after potential human traffickers, take it seriously, don’t just make a random phone call ten days later. “

Southwest said in a statement to Insider on Thursday that the company was “discouraged” by MacCarthy’s report on events.

“We are conducting a review of the situation internally, and we will contact the client to address her concerns and offer our apologies for her experience traveling with us,” the statement read.

“Our employees are undergoing robust training on human trafficking,” the airline added. “Above all, Southwest Airlines is proud to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for the millions of customers who travel with us each year.”

MacCarthy wrote in an email to Southwest after the incident that officers told her she was “reported for” suspicious behavior before boarding in San Jose “and that we were” suspiciously late on board. “

MacCarthy, who hired a lawyer, demanded an apology from Southwest Airlines and a refund from her and her daughters’ airline tickets.

“I have yet to be contacted by Southwest with anything more than an automated response. And at this point, I want Southwest Airlines to be held accountable for racially profiling my family into what was objectively already the worst day of my daughter’s life, ”MacCarthy said.

Read the original article on Insider

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