A Nashville airport police was caught on camera threatening to arrest a Black Southwest Airlines customer for trespassing as she waited in line amidst the holiday travel chaos, viral video shows.
The clip, which has garnered nearly a million views as of Friday, was posted to TikTok Wednesday by Amani Robinson, 20, who was amongst a group of travelers who had lined up at a counter outside of a terminal gate.
“Your Ticket Just Got Cancelled” Airline Cop Tells Stranded Southwest Passengers While Threatening Arrest
“If you have no ticket, you don’t need to be on the secured side,” the officer tells the frustrated customers.
“But we have tickets,” one of the passengers replies.
“Your ticket just got canceled,” the cop snaps back.
Robinson’s mother, Shelley Morrison, can then be heard asking the officer why he would arrest them for trespassing at the airport, prompting him to reply: “if you don’t have a valid ticket and you’re on the secured side and you refuse to leave, you’ll be arrested.”
Me and my family were trying to go to Ohio and we were threatened and followed by this police officer,, lmk if y’all want a part 2 #southwestairlines #southwest #police #fypシ #foryoupage
♬ original sound – A.ndreart
She attempts to explain to the officer that their flight had only been delayed and not canceled, citing a text message the airline sent her minutes beforehand.
In another video shared by former Tennessee State House candidate Brad Batt, the officer can again be heard telling customers “you will be arrested for trespassing.” That video has over 3.8 million views as of Friday.
However, the travelers countered that their tickets are only invalid due to the nationwide Southwest flight cancellations, which have left thousands of would-be passengers stranded over the holiday season.
“You have no ticket. You don’t need to be in the secured side. Let’s go,” the cop replies.
“Absolutely Inappropriate” For Officer To Threaten Passengers With Arrest For “Simply Standing In Line”
In Robinson and Morrison’s followup video, also posted to TikTok, she continues to challenge the officer, claiming it was “absolutely inappropriate” for him to threaten passengers with arrest “simply for standing the line.”
Replying to @thequintavious1 Mind you we left and went to another line after we left the first line. He then FOLLOWED US to this line and picked us out specifically out of a line full of people. We were not the only ones in the second line that came from the first line either. He picked US OUT. Also we didn’t know much information concerning our ticket and we wanted to get clarity (like every other customer) on what’s going on, which he was trying to prevent us from doing up until this point. I do have a part 3, when we were leaving and he literally follows us and when we ask he LIES and goes a different direction. #southwestairlines #southwest #fyp #foryou
♬ original sound – A.ndreart
The mother-daughter duo told The Tennessean that they were not disrespectful toward Southwest personnel or airline officers.
Robinson went on to say that one officer even followed them as they left the airport, only to head in the opposite direction when she confronted him about it.
In an effort to get in front of the situation, Nashville airport officials released a statement stating that police were sent to C-concourse “to escort passengers to the pre-security ticketing counters.”
“We understand and appreciate the frustrations traveler may have, and we are working to provide the best passenger experience for all,” airport officials said.
Southwest Airlines Forced To Ground Some 14,500 Flights Since Last Friday, Flight Records Show
The officers in the video have not been identified and airline officials would not comment on whether or not any customers were indeed arrested for trespassing.
WOW: Nashville airport cop threatens to arrest stranded passengers who are standing in line at a Southwest counter to rebook their cancelled flights (1/2) pic.twitter.com/UARLErYdSZ
— Brad Batt for TN State Sanity ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾 (@bradbatt) December 28, 2022
The passengers had been stranded due to the deadly winter storm that has plagued much of the country during the busy holiday weekend, leaving over 60 dead and resulting in the delay or cancellation of thousands of flights, The Shade Room previously reported.
Southwest Airlines alone was forced to ground some 14,500 flights since last Friday, flight records show.
On Friday, the airline planned for things to return back to normal, however they still logged 41 cancellations and 99 delays at airports across the country.
Not The First Time Southwest Airlines Has Come Under Fire For Dubious Racial Situations
This is not the first time the airline has come under fire for dubious racial situations.
Last year, a white woman said Southwest Airlines questioned her about human trafficking while traveling with her 10-year-old biracial daughter.
Mary MacCarthy alleges two police officers and a Southwest employee believed she was a human trafficker when traveling with her daughter, Moira, from San Jose to Denver, The Shade Room reported at the time.