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American Airlines Calls Police On Black Political Commentator Over Luggage: I’m In Tears’

Symone Samuels regularly speaks out about injustices faced by the Black community. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Symone D. Sanders shared her racist experience while attempting to check her luggage on an American Airlines flight over the weekend, demonstrating the newest case of flying while Black.

Sanders, a CNN political commentator who’s a frequent flier with American, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to check her bag a little more than 45 minutes before take off Saturday, May 13. When she raised her voice at customer service personnel out of frustration, police were called.

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Sanders refused to pay full price for her flight, which then escalated into the police arriving on the scene.

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In the midst of Sanders tweeting her story, American Airlines reached out to her requesting she private message the details. When she arrived in Washington D.C., that afternoon, a corporate employee met her to talk.

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Sanders experience isn’t exactly new. Last year, activist Imani Cezanne tweeted about being booted off an American Airlines flight by armed officers after she was deemed a threat. Another Black passenger was removed from an EasyJet flight by armed officers a month after Cezanne’s story and, in December, a Black doctor was unable to provide treatment to an ill passenger after a Delta Airlines flight attendant didn’t believe she was a real doctor.

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