Black Florida state senator details racial mistreatment from white Delta Airlines employee: 'It was blatant'

Black Florida state senator details racial mistreatment from white Delta Airlines employee: 'It was blatant'
State Senator Shevrin Jones, image via Screengrab.

A Black state senator in Florida is shedding light on his recent exchange with an employee working for Delta Airlines. Shevrin Jones, a Democratic state senator representing South Broward, Fla., took to Twitter to oust the Delta employee.

In his tweets, he also recalled the racially charged mistreatment he allegedly suffered from the white airline employee at the Orlando International Airport. As a result of his flight from Minneapolis to Orlando being delayed, the airline placed him in a hotel but his luggage was already boarded to the plane.

The following day when he arrived in Orlando, he went to retrieve his luggage. When he walked up to the Delta employee, only identified as "Lori," she automatically assumed he was traveling with a Black woman and infant in front of him who were speaking to another baggage service agent.

"Are you with them?" the Delta employee said in reference to the Black woman.

"No ma'am, I'm not," Jones recalled saying.

When Jones inquired about his bag, the employee reportedly "told him it was impossible that his bag was still there, and he need to file a claim to get it."

Even after Jones explained the situation, the employee reportedly did not budge.

The publication reports: "Jones said he insisted, based on the Delta notice to his phone, that the agent try to locate his bag."

"I said so you're not going to take an extra step to find out where my bag is at?" he recalled. "She said, 'I'm calling my supervisor because I feel threatened.' I said, 'Ma'am, did you really just say that? I haven't raised my voice at you. I'm not cursing at you. I'm speaking to you very professionally. You're going to tell me that you feel threatened?"

Jones claimed the woman threatened to summon security.

As their exchange continued, Jones said that he'd spotted the bag himself. "Guess what I see right in front of her? My bag. I said to her my bag is right there."

Following the tweets, Jones also conducted a phone interview with The Sun-Sentinel, describing the woman's behavior as "blatant" racism. Jones noted that he does not have footage of the incident but said it "should have" been recorded.

Speaking to the publication on Monday, he said, "So, here's my thing: I try my best not to automatically jump to the extreme of calling anybody a racist or all that other stuff."

"But the unfortunate part here is given the nature of how she responded to me at the moment, it was blatant," Jones said. "No one should be treated in that manner. Nobody."

In wake of Jones' accusation, a Delta representative has addressed the situation, and confirmed the airline would further investigate what occurred.

"Delta takes any allegation like this seriously as it runs counter to our values, which stand for treating all customers with respect and dignity with no room for discrimination of any kind. We will look into what may have occurred and follow up with the customer," the representative said in an email.

In another tweet, Jones also stressed the importance of exposing this type of behavior.

"People like that need to be exposed," he tweeted. "We can't continue to excuse people's actions because it's not right. And people need to be exposed. It's the right thing to do, call people out when they do things like that, that's wrong."

On Tuesday, August 10, Jones tweeted to thank Delta for addressing the issue.


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