An employee for United Airlines has been criminally charged after she directed racial slurs at a passenger at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. Carmella Davano was given a citation for using profane and abusive language in a public place after she allegedly called Cacilie Hughes a "monkey."
Hughes says that she had just landed in Houston and went to the baggage claim to collect her luggage. While she was waiting for her bags to come out, she went up to Davano to ask her a question. Hughes claims Davano started insulting her and told her to stop looking at her with a "monkey face." Davano then accused her of using drugs and called her a "shining monkey."
Other passengers rushed to defend Hughes and tried to get the Davano to calm down. Hughes called police after other United employees refused to do so.
"I'm still in shock. I can't believe this happened. I was traveling home from a speaking engagement in Michigan where I made it my mission to empower other women. I finally landed at home in Texas, and a United Airlines employee named Carmella publicly humiliated me and called me degrading racial slurs for no reason," Hughes told KTRK. "I am thankful that other passengers stood up for me. Without them, I would have been completely alone.
United issued a statement saying they have removed Davano from her job and are working to terminate her.
"At United, we believe that the diversity of our workforce makes us stronger. Together, we proudly hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. This incident is deeply offensive and does not reflect the fundamental values of our company and our 90,000 employees. That is why we took immediate action to remove this individual from the job. Since then, we have been following all of the required procedures under this individual’s union contract and are actively pursuing termination."
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