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Airline Suspends Employees After Incident Involving Removal of Black Passengers


American Airlines has placed several employees on leave after an incident where Black passengers were removed from a flight due to a complaint about body odor. In May, three passengers filed a racial discrimination lawsuit regarding the January 5 incident. CEO Robert Isom acknowledged the company's failure and stated that those involved are being held accountable. 


"We are holding those involved accountable, including removing team members from service," the airline said in a statement.


The airline is implementing initiatives, including an advisory group to improve the experience of Black passengers. The lawsuit detailed that eight passengers were removed from the Phoenix to New York City flight, all of whom were black. The three men involved—Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph, and Xavier Veal—were eventually allowed to retake their seats. Isom expressed disappointment in a June 18 letter to employees, emphasizing a commitment to work with civil rights organizations like the NAACP to rebuild trust. 


"American Airlines singled us out for being Black, embarrassed us, and humiliated us," the men said in a statement.


This isn't the first discrimination allegation against American Airlines; in 2017, the NAACP issued a warning to Black travelers about the airline, citing a pattern of disrespect and possible racial bias. The advisory was lifted in 2018 after operational changes were made. However, on June 4, the NAACP warned that it might reinstate the warning unless the airline responded decisively to the recent incident.


Link: BBCNews

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