A mum is asking for an apology after she was pulled up by an airline accused of human trafficking while travelling with her biracial daughter.
Mary MacCarthy, 42, was travelling with her 10-year-old daughter Moira from California to Denver on October 22 following the death of her brother, The Denver Post reports.
But when they arrived in Denver, Ms MacCarthy said they were met by two police officers and a staff member from Southwest Airlines.
She said she was told she had been reported to the pilot for “suspicious behaviour”.
Moira cried during the incident she said.
“It immediately occurred to me what was going on. This is the type of situation that mixed-race families and families of color face all the time while traveling,” she told the paper.
“The whole thing is based on what I believe to be a racist assumption about a mixed-race family.”
Ms MacCarthy explained to them Moira is her daughter and they let her go.
She was reported to police because she was the last to board and because she asked other passengers to move so Moira could sit next to her, according to a police report.
Ms MacCarthy explained she was simply in the last boarding group.
After taking a statement from a flight attendant, a released police report said: "The mom and daughter did not talk during the flight and she felt that it was odd and also the mother did not allow the child to talk to flight crew".
Ms MacCarthy slammed the statement as an "outright lie", and told Denver 7 nothing unusual occurred on the flight either: she slept and her daughter listened to an audiobook.
While she isn’t angry, she told Denver 7 she wants all airlines to train crew, who might be keeping an eye out for human trafficking, not to racially profile people.
The airline told Denver 7 it was reviewing what occurred and was “disheartened”.
Southwest Airlines added it will reach out to Ms MacCarthy to address her concerns.
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