DETROIT (WWJ) – An Ohio woman, pulled from a flight at Detroit’s Metro Airport on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, detained and strip searched, can proceed with her lawsuit against the Wayne County Airport Authority and the federal government.
Shoshana Hebshi was traveling alone from Denver to Detroit on September 11, 2011, seated next to two men of Asian descent, who she did not know, when passengers on board became concerned with the trio, in part, due to heightened concerns surrounding the 9/11 anniversary.
When the flight landed, armed agents boarded the flight and took her and the two men off the plane at gunpoint.
“She was put in handcuffs and then they throw her in a jail cell and then they send somebody in to strip search her, to take all of her clothes off,” said Michael Steinberg legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
Steinberg and the ACLU are representing Hebshi in her case.
District Judge Terrence Berg on Monday refused to dismiss the case brought by Hebshi.
“We filed a lawsuit claiming that her rights to equal protection were violated and her rights against illegal searches and seizures were violated,” said Steinberg.
“This opinion sends a strong message to law enforcement that race and ethnicity are not synonymous with suspicious activity. And even on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the police can not take an innocent American off a plane at gunpoint – throw her in a jail cell and subject her to a humiliating strip search.”.
Hebshi did not wish to speak to WWJ but does BLOG on the subject.