Activist wearing ‘F— 12’ mask removed from American Airlines flight
A Florida woman is claiming that she was kicked off an American Airlines flight “because I’m black” after flight crew directed her to depart the airplane following a warning not to wear a face mask with an anti-police message.
Local10.com reported that Arlinda Johns, who says she was removed from a flight after a flight attendant noticed that she was wearing a mask that read “F— 12,” an insult referring to members of law enforcement.
Johns claims she was only warned once not to wear the mask, while American Airlines told the news station in a statement that she “continued” to display the mask, which a crew member found offensive.
“I think I got taken off the plane because I’m black,” Johns told Local10.com. “My mask said ‘F— 12’ and my shirt said, ‘Black Lives Matter.’ ”
American Airlines said in a statement that the plane returned to the gate “after [Johns] refused to follow crew member instructions to remove or cover a face mask with offensive language.”
“[A]lthough [Johns] initially complied, [she] later continued to display the inappropriate language. After arriving at the gate, the passenger was asked to deplane,” the company continued. A request for further comment from The Hill was not immediately returned.
Johns told Local10.com that she advocates for defunding and the eventual abolition of policing in the U.S.
“I am an abolitionist,” she told the news outlet. “I believe that we need to defund and abolish the police.”
Protests against violence committed by members of law enforcement and racism in policing have swept across the U.S. in recent months following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
Many have called for resources to be shifted away from law enforcement and pointed instead toward social welfare programs.
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