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A Black woman flying on Frontier airlines with her younger sister alleges she was racially profiled — and falsely accused of trafficking the child.

Lakeyjanay Bailey and her White adoptive sister were traveling through Texas when Ms. Bailey was stopped by law enforcement after exiting the plane. A Frontier airlines employee had been alerted by another passenger on the plane that a Black woman was traveling with a young White child.

The law enforcement officers who met the two at the gate then questioned both Ms. Bailey and her sister about the situation. “There were two police officers, and they came up to me and said, ‘Is it okay if we talk to you?’” stated Ms. Bailey afterwards. 

Airline calls police on Black woman with White sister

Ms. Bailey confirmed that her sister, who is only four years old, was also questioned about the nature of the relationship between the two. Ms. Bailey stated the young girl was asked “if she knows me and what am I to her, and he asked what my mom was to her,” among other intrusive questions asked of a small child. 

The Dallas Fort Worth Police Department confirmed that they were called to the airport to respond to a situation regarding possible human trafficking. According to law enforcement agents, the passenger on the plane who reported the alleged human trafficking actually wrote a report with their observations.

Meanwhile, Ms. Bailey noted the situation reflected racism and prejudice against an innocent Black woman simply traveling with her sister. “If it was a white person walking off a plane with a Black person, like a Black child, I feel like things would have been different.” 

Woman considers taking legal action

The law enforcement officers did not stop after questioning the pair. They asked to speak to Ms. Bailey’s mother, along with a social worker, and the person who picked the two up from the airport.

Now the Bailey family is considering taking legal action against Frontier Airlines. Ms. Bailey believes that she was a victim of Frontier Airlines’ racial profiling and targeting, as a Black woman. 

Not only was Ms. Bailey targeted, she also faced embarrassment over the situation. “The whole time they were talking with us, people kept staring at us, whispering and stuff,” said Ms. Bailey after the incident.

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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