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American Airlines Loses Racial Profiling Lawsuit

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Considering the rampant racism and fear mongering that has been going on since 9/11, it shouldn't be any surprise that alleged victims of racial profiling are fighting back in court. According to a local NBC news affiliate in Fort Lauderdale, a jury in Boston has ordered American Airlines to pay $400,000 to a man named John Cerqueira, who was removed from an airplane based on baseless hunches, questioned by police, cleared of any wrong doing, and subsequently denied service by the airline.

Cerqueira, a computer consultant, said he flies all over the world for his business. "To be honest, I wasn't able to get back to work for a while after the incident because I was very concerned about my freedom," Cerqueira said. "My job requires traveling so I was very concerned... afraid of traveling."

It's hardly worth mentioning that American believes the finding was not supported by the law, but so does virtually everyone who loses in court. They are considering their options for appeal, but I find it unlikely that they'll find reprieve anywhere in the appellate system. The Boston Herald reports on another facet of the controversy from the American pilots union.

"I know people have civil rights and I'm not trying to take them away, but somebody's got to make these decisions," Gay said. "I'd rather they err in that direction and have the plane land safely."

The incident in question never saw the plane leave the ground with Mr. Crequeira on-board, and the pilots objections never addressed the fact that after being cleared by airport security and the state police, Crequeira was still denied service by the Airline. This is likely what caused the Jury to rule in his favor, though that is anything but certain, and represents speculation on my part. This is only the first case of this nature to reach a decision, and will not be the last.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.