On July 20, a Black woman traveling from Denver to Texas with her 4-year-old adoptive White sister was taken aback when they were confronted by police at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport and asked about how they were related.
Lakeyjanay Bailey – a 21-year-old Black woman from Colorado – and her adoptive White sister, Olivia, were questioned because a fellow passenger on their Frontier Airlines flight had raised concerns about a possible human trafficking.
When the flight landed at DFW, authorities were waiting for the pair inside the gate.
"There were two police officers, and they came up to me and said, 'Is it okay if we talk to you?'"
You can watch the ABC 7 news report, here:
Black Aurora woman questioned for trafficking white sister at Dallas airport youtu.be
An officer allegedly turned to Olivia and asked her how she was related to Bailey and then asked how Bailey's mother was related to the child.
Officers also spoke to Bailey's mother, along with a social services worker, to gather more pieces of information to validate the siblings' relationship.
The officers even followed Bailey and her young sister to baggage claim to speak with the individual who was picking them up at the airport.
According to a DFW Department of Public Safety incident report, the officers apparently had responded to a request from Frontier Airlines asking for law enforcement to meet Bailey and her sister at the gate due to a passenger being concerned about a possible "human trafficking incident involving a female born in 2001 who was traveling with a female born in 2017."
Bailey believed she was a victim of racial profiling.
"If the roles were changed and it was a White person walking off the plane with a Black person, like a Black child, I feel like things would be different," she said.
Frontier Airlines issued the following statement to ABC 7, which read in part.
"A concern was raised during the flight by another passenger who was sitting near the woman and child and suspected human trafficking."
"That passenger approached the flight crew with those concerns and subsequently completed a written report during the flight to document her observations."
According to the statement, the flight's captain stated racism had nothing to do with the crew's handling of the situation.
"The captain was notified and felt an obligation to report the matter. Air travel is one of the most common means for human trafficking."
"Race played no part in the actions of the flight crew who were following established protocols."
ABC 7 said that Bailey and her family are considering filing a lawsuit against Frontier Airlines.