21-year-old Lakeyjanay Bailey was traveling from Denver, Colo. to Fort Worth, Texas with her 4-year-old sister. As far Bailey could tell, everything on the Frontier flight seemed to be going well until the plane landed at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the two travelers were stopped by police officers at the gate.
I should mention here that Lakeyjanay is Black and her adoptive sister, Olivia, is white.
From ABC 7, in Denver:
“There were two police officers, and they came up to me and said, ‘Is it okay if we talk to you?’” Bailey said.
One officer asked Olivia, “if she knows me and what am I to her, and he asked what my mom was to her.” A series of other questions would follow.
According to a DFW Department of Public Safety incident report, the officers responded to a request from Frontier Airlines for law enforcement to meet them at the gate.
According to Bailey, officers spoke with her mom and a social worker to confirm certain pieces of information. Then, they followed the pair to baggage claim before speaking with the person who picked them up.
“The whole time they were talking with us, people kept staring at us, whispering and stuff,” Bailey said.
The incident report said Frontier Airlines requested police to investigate the matter after a passenger on the plane was concerned about a possible human trafficking incident involving a female born in 2001 who was traveling with a female born in 2017.
Bailey believed the event was based on racial profiling.
“If the roles were changed and it was a white person walking off the plane with a Black person, like a Black child, I feel like things would be different,” she said.
In response, Frontier provided the following statement:
“A concern was raised during the flight by another passenger who was sitting near the woman and child and suspected human trafficking,” the correspondence read. “That passenger approached the flight crew with those concerns and subsequently completed a written report during the flight to document her observations.
The captain was notified and felt an obligation to report the matter. Air travel is one of the most common means for human trafficking. Race played no part in the actions of the flight crew who were following established protocols.”
Bailey and her family are considering a lawsuit against Frontier Airlines for targeting her on the basis of race.
Does she have a case? Perhaps. If the 21-year-old and 4-year-old were both Black (or both white, for that matter), I doubt if anyone would have questioned it. If Bailey was white and Olivia was Black, would it have been an issue? Maybe, maybe not.
I guess, if they decide to go through with the lawsuit, the courts will decide on the ending of the incident.
Feature Photo: pxfuel
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary