The Metropolitan Airports Commission has released a statement confirming that an officer “misidentified” a Black woman as the disruptive party after a white woman aggressively approached other travelers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last month.
“The Metropolitan Airports Commission regrets the confusion that caused the wrong individual to be initially identified as the suspect,” the MAC said in a statement.
The man who filmed the Feb. 15 incident said he began recording after a white woman began harassing multiple passengers at Terminal 1 baggage claim. In the chaos, a police officer rushed over and briefly detained a Black woman until bystanders indicated that she was the “wrong person.”
In footage of the incident, obtained by KARE 11, a white woman is seen yelling and cursing loudly at travelers in the airport.
“You guys are stupid, take off your mask!” the woman shouted.
KARE 11 said the woman’s face is blurred in the video because she has not been charged with a crime.
The belligerent woman then approached a Black woman and her husband, and reached for the woman’s mask. When the Black woman raised her arm, seemingly to keep the white woman at bay, a police officer promptly rushed in and grabbed the Black woman.
The officer pulled the Black woman by the arm as the crowd corrected him, saying, “Wrong person, wrong person!”
The officer let go of the Black woman then detained the white woman.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission said in a statement that the 59-year-old aggressor “became verbally aggressive toward other passengers, shouting profanities at them,” before she “eventually focused on two passengers whom she confronted while others in the area gathered to watch and film the disturbance.”
In the statement, the MAC said the responding officer acted based on information he had at the time.
“Airport police were called to the scene and the first officer to arrive moved to quell the disturbance. In the confusion of the moment and based on his understanding of information provided to him by a passenger present, the officer misidentified who had initiated the disturbance and engaged one of the two individuals whom (the woman) had confronted. Bystanders corrected the officer who quickly turned his attention on (the woman), who was arrested for possession of drugs (5th Degree), obstruction of legal process, and disorderly conduct.”
Family of the wrongfully detained woman say she feels as though was was racially profiled and has an attorney.