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We can’t even do our damn jobs in peace without someone thinking we’re committing a heinous crime.

A report in the Mercury News details how a longtime Black social worker, Shannon Murphy, was detained and accused of kidnapping a white, blonde-haired, blue-eyed child who she was accompanying to Arkansas to visit his father. Apparently, some nosy-a$$ passenger pulled a flight attendant to the side and told them “that Ms. Murphy was holding a kidnap victim,” according to the now-filed lawsuit that she’s hit the airline with. A f***ing kidnap victim. Ms. Murphy has worked with the Department of Public Social Services’ Children’s Services Division since 1999. That’s 21 years if your math isn’t too good. The child was snatched away from Ms. Murphy and she was threatened with force if she tried to resist.

To make matters worse, Ms. Murphy had an ID, the child’s birth certificate, AND an order from the court mandating that she take the child to his parent.

“Had American Airline(s) (researched the matter) first prior to hauling Plaintiff, Ms. Murphy off the plane and detaining her and the one-year-old Caucasian male dependent Ms. Murphy would not have suffered the mental, physical and psychological harm flight personnel inflicted upon her,” the lawsuit alleged.

Murphy is now seeing a therapist in order to help her cope with the embarrassment and trauma she sustained at the hands of the airline’s negligence. During an interview with Business Insider, she recounted how she was feeling during the ordeal:

“During this time, the baby was reaching for me and crying,” Murphy said. “One of the flight attendants had grabbed the bottle out of my bag to give the baby, but I said not to. It was my last bottle.”

She added: “Everything just started upsetting me then because we get these kids, and we take them where they’re supposed to be. We’re supposed to provide safety for these children because they’re ours when we have them. I just didn’t know what to do. I was scared.”

She went on to say:

“I just wanted to get that baby back. I’ve been with the company for 21 years, and I’ve never experienced anything like that before in my life,” she said. “I’ve been transporting kids from state to state for years. I work overtime. I do all kinds of things for these families because I love my job.”

For their part, American released this toothless statement:

“We are reviewing the lawsuit and the details of the flight. We take the safety and comfort of our customers very seriously and we’re committed to providing a positive experience for everyone who travels with us,” the statement said.

There’s zero chance that this happens to a white woman carrying a Black child. The lawsuits seeks unspecified damages for violations of her civil rights, false imprisonment, and negligence. We hope Shannon Murphy takes every red cent they have.


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