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soccer score mobile:Mother who was accused by Southwest of trafficking her biracial daughter files federal discrimination suit

Mary MacCarthy alleges that she and her child were confronted "based on a racist assumption about a mixed‐race family," according to the lawsuit.

football live app for ios A white mother who was suspected of trafficking her biracial daughter in October 2021 by Southwest Airlines employees has filed a racial discrimination suit against the company.

Mary MacCarthy was traveling to Denver from Los Angeles with her 10-year-old daughter to attend her brother's funeral, she told NBC News nearly two years ago. Upon landing in Denver, MacCarthy and her daughter were confronted by police officers because a flight attendant suspected her of potential human trafficking.

Mary MacCarthy and her daughter Moira.
Mary MacCarthy and Moira, her daughter.Courtesy Mary MacCarthy

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday in the District Court of Colorado accused Southwest Airlines of racial discrimination. MacCarthy accused the airline staff of flagging her as suspicious "based on a racist assumption about a mixed‐race family."

"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 said.

David Lane, the attorney representing MacCarthy, said that the suit is designed to bring accountability and to have the airline re-examine its own training. He said that the use of racial profiling in this case has attempted to address a serious crime with a "stereotypical, easy formula."

"Just as the police are constitutionally not permitted to stop-and-frisk young men of color based upon their race, corporate America is similarly not permitted to resort to such profiling in using law enforcement to stop and question racially diverse families simply based upon their divergent races, which is what Southwest did," Lane said in a statement.

MacCarthy said that her daughter broke down in tears during the questioning and remains traumatized by the incident almost two years later. In an interview in 2021, MacCarthy said her daughter was "sobbing" throughout the encounter.

“She unfortunately already has had charged encounters with police. Any kid’s going to be scared in a situation like this,” MacCarthy said.

According to a police report, the flight attendant said she flagged the family as suspicious because they were the last to board the plane and asked other passengers to change seats so they could sit together. The flight attendant didn’t see the mother and daughter speak on the plane and claimed MacCarthy told her daughter not to talk to the flight crew, the report said.

MacCarthy denied the claims that she and her daughter didn’t talk on the flight or that she prohibited her daughter from speaking to the flight crew. She also said she was called 10 days after the incident by a human trafficking unit investigator from the Denver Police Department.

The incident was closed as “unfounded” with no further action necessary, according to the police report.

Southwest Airlines declined to comment on the litigation Sunday. The company said in 2021 that it was conducting a review of the incident, but the airline did not answer questions as to the results of its review on Sunday.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial, attorney costs and fees, as well as damages that will be established during trial.