American Airlines Suspends Crew Members After Multiple Unrelated Black Passengers Were Removed From One Flight

American Airlines has suspended multiple employees following a lawsuit against the airline alleging racial discrimination.

The lawsuit was filed in May by three passengers who were among the eight black men removed from the flight in January. All the men were strangers and did not sit close to each other, they say.

“We are holding those involved accountable, including removing team members from service,” the airline said in a statement to the BBC and AP News.

CEO Robert Isom condemned the January incident in a letter to employees on Tuesday, June 18, adding that he would take steps to prevent discrimination.

“I am incredibly disappointed by what happened on that flight and the breakdown of our procedures,” Isom wrote. “In this incident we failed our obligations and failed our customers.”

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Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Xavier Veal.

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The CEO announced that the company will have an “advisory group” that will focus on improving the experience of black passengers and encourage reporting incidents of discrimination.

American Airlines will provide employee training, create a long-term diversity plan and review operations manuals.

“Please be assured that we are steadfast in our commitment to work with the NAACP and other civil rights organizations to learn from this incident, listen and rebuild trust with you, our team members and our black customers, and provide the best possible experience with American “, says the letter.

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On Jan. 5, eight black men were ordered off an American Airlines plane “due to a body odor complaint,” the lawsuit says.

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In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, three of the men — plaintiffs Alvin Jackson, Emmanuel Jean Joseph and Xavier Veal — alleged that American Airlines “engaged in blatant and unspeakable racial discrimination.”

“Actually, it seemed to the prosecutors that the American gave the order all black male passengers on Flight 832 outside the aircraft,” the complaint states.

“We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and want our customers to have a positive experience when they choose to fly with us,” American Airlines told PEOPLE at the time. “Our teams are currently investigating the case as the allegations do not reflect our core values ​​or our purpose of caring for people.”

The lawsuit also accuses the airline of having a “documented history of frequently subjecting black passengers (and other passengers of color) to disparate treatment and bigotry,” citing a 2017 NAACP travel advisory against the airline, which was rescinded in 2018.

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Source: HIS Education

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