A Los Angeles mother is suing Southwest Airlines for racial discrimination, saying she was accused of human trafficking when traveling with her biracial child.
Mary MacCarthy, who is white, says she and her then 10-year-old daughter were flying from San Jose to Denver in October 2021 to attend her brother's funeral, according to the lawsuit.
When they landed at Denver International Airport, they were met by police.
"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.
"After significant questioning, during which Ms. MacCarthy's daughter began to break down in tears, Ms. MacCarthy was eventually allowed to leave by the officers, but not before this display of blatant racism by Southwest Airlines caused Ms. MacCarthy and her daughter extreme emotional distress," the lawsuit adds.
MacCarthy says officers told her they were responding to a report from a Southwest flight attendant about a possible case of human trafficking.
At the time, Southwest said it was reviewing the situation, and that its employees undergo robust training on human trafficking.
MacCarthy is asking for an unspecified award for damages, including emotional distress, mental anguish, suffering and inconvenience.
Southwest Airlines has declined to comment on the pending litigation.
The lawsuit was filed last Thursday.
CNN Wire contributed to this report.