DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a half-Arab and half-Jewish woman strip-searched at Detroit Metro Airport
The American Civil Liberties Union says Tuesday that Shoshana Hebshi, of Sylvania, Ohio, will receive $40,000 from the federal government as compensation for being humiliated.READ MORE: Alyssa Milano on Britney Spears
Frontier Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration and the Wayne County Airport Authority were named in the federal lawsuit.
The ACLU said Frontier also agreed to amend its employee handbook to more clearly state its zero-tolerance policy on discrimination.
Hebshi, a freelance journalist and mother of two, was traveling alone from Denver to Detroit on September 11, 2011. She was seated next to two Indian-American men, whom 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 ACLU Michigan legal director Michael Steinberg.READ MORE: Drew Reminisces With Alyssa Milano About Hanging Out During Their Teenage Years
Hebshi said she was then question for about four hours before she was released without explanation.
Hebshi believes she was ethnically profiled based on her dark complexion.
In a release issued Tuesday, the Wayne County Airport Authority stated that its insurer agreed to the settlement to avoid “further time-consuming and costly litigation.”
The authority further stated that “no wrongdoing was found or admitted by any party,” in this case, and that the resolution of this case will help airport officials to continue to focus on operating safe, secure, and efficient air transportation facilities.
“On September 11, 2011, our internationally accredited police department, working with our federal law enforcement partners, acted quickly and responsibly, and followed appropriate protocols in responding to a request for help from one of our airline partners,” said CEO Thomas Naughton. “I strongly support their actions. We remain committed to vigilantly protecting the safety of the travelling public – our number one priority.”
Frontier Airlines declined to comment.MORE NEWS: Michigan Legislature OKs School Accounts Destined For Veto
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