A Frontier Airline passenger, Shoshana Hebshi, was strip searched and detained for hours after she claims she was profiled for being of Jewish and Arab descent. Hebshi was detained in a Detroit-area airport on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequently strip searched. As a result of the unnecessary strip search and humiliation of Hebshi, the federal government has agreed to a settle the discrimination lawsuit and will pay Shoshana $40,000 in compensation.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Shoshana Hebshi was flying on Frontier Airlines on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks of the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The mother, who is of mixed Jewish and Arab descent, was on her way home from visiting her sister in California. Once on the plane, Hebshi says she was seated next to two Indian-American men. During the flight, the Frontier crew found the actions of the two men seated next to Shoshana suspect as the men had used the restroom too frequently. Upon landing in the Detroit-area, the two Indian-American men and Hebshi were detained by airport officials for hours.
According to ABC News, once Hebshi was detained, she was forced to undress as they performed a strip search. After the search, she was detained for hours before being released. It was noted in the lawsuit that both Indian-American men were also released after being detained for hours.
Hebshi feels the detainment and humiliating strip search were performed after she was profiled by Frontier Airline staff due to her dark complexion. Hebshi says that she filed the lawsuit because she doesn’t want anyone else to be forced into unnecessary trauma, such as a strip search, at the hand of airport security due to their skin color.
“I filed this lawsuit because I didn’t want others to experience the kind of unnecessary trauma that I did, and it has given me faith that the justice system can work to protect constitutional rights. This settlement gives me some peace of mind. Now, I feel like I can finally put the incident behind me.”
The ACLU notes that people still have constitutional rights, even when they step onto an airplane.
“People do not forfeit their constitutional rights when they step onto an airplane. This settlement sends that critical message, and will help protect future passengers from having to endure what Shoshana went through.”
What do you think about the $40,000 settlement in the Shoshana Hebshi strip search case? Do you think Frontier Airlines profiled the woman due to her dark complexion?
[Image Credit: Facebook/ Shoshana Hebshi]