LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - After a sudden death in the family, a Los Angeles mother and her 10-year-old daughter caught a last minute flight, and when they landed in Denver, they were met by police because Southwest Airline employees had flagged them as human trafficking suspects.
In a three minute video, Mary MacCarthy recorded her interactions with Denver Police Officers and a Southwest employee two weeks ago.
"The flight attendants were just concerned about the behavior when you boarded the aircraft. That's all we're following up on. We're not suspecting anything," an officer can be heard saying.
MacCarthy and her daughter flew to Denver from LA to attend her brother's funeral.
"It's okay, sweetheart. We booked the flight late last night," MacCarthy can be heard saying.
"She does not need to be scared because you are not in any trouble whatsoever," an officer is heard saying.
McCarthy said flight attendants called police for suspicious behavior after she had asked other passengers to switch seats so that she could sit with her daughter, who is biracial.
"Everything clicked in my brain then. I suspected we had been racially profiled," MacCarthy told CBSLA.
MacCarthy received a copy of the police report 10 days later, which said "Officers were dispatched...on report of possible Human Trafficking."
On the video, you can hear MacCarthy explain to the officers and Southwest that she's a single mom and the reason for the pair's travel.
"That's all we need to know. You guys are good. I do apologize," the Southwest employee can be heard saying.
"It's not," MacCarthy responded, "because I have a daughter who already has unfortunately has been traumatized by police in her life."
"Well, I'm not trying to do that by any stretch," an officer said.
"This isn't okay," MacCarthy is heard saying.
In a statement, the Denver Police Department said in part, "Officers responded...based upon the report from airline staff," and the department "Closed out this report as 'unfounded' with no further action necessary."
For its part, Southwest said it "offered our apologies" and was "disheartened to learn of this mother's account" and it is "conducting a review of the situation internally."
"Why didn't you ask for proof that we're mother, daughter. I travel with my daughter's birth certificate," MacCarthy told CBSLA.
MacCarthy has retained legal counsel who said that the officers did their job politely and the Denver Police Department did nothing wrong. In the meantime, MacCarthy said that she's hoping for accountability from Southwest Airlines.
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