UPDATE: Racial Profiling Lawsuit Filed Over Search On 9/11 Anniversary
ROMULUS (WWJ) – An Ohio woman who claims she was illegally arrested, detained and strip-searched at Detroit Metro Airport on the tenth anniversary of September 11 is ready to file a lawsuit.
WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan will be announcing Tuesday that a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Shoshana Hebshi, a woman of Arab and Jewish decent.
Hebshi, a 36-year-old freelance journalist and mother of two, says she and two Indian-American men were handcuffed and removed from a plane at the end of a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit on Sept. 11, 2011.
Investigators say one of the men felt ill and went into the bathroom while the other man headed there at around the same time. Police said the three were sitting in the same row, but weren’t in the bathroom at the same time. Their lengthy absence from their seats attracted the attention of the flight crew. Two F-16 fighter jets escorted the plane after its crew reported the suspicious activity.
Hebshi wrote in a blog post after the ordeal that she was left in a jail cell, striped searched and questioned for four hours before being released. Hebshi says she was targeted “simply because” of her appearance. The FBI says it questioned Hebshi and released her after finding no reason to suspect her of illegal activities.
Representatives from Frontier Airlines have said their employees did nothing wrong and that “there was no profiling of any kind associated with this incident other than that of unusual and suspicious behavior.”
More details are expected to be released later Tuesday.