The lead paragraphs on Monday from the Associated Press read thusly:
Police temporarily detained and questioned three passengers at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport on Sunday after the crew of the Frontier Airlines flight from Denver reported suspicious activity on board, and NORAD sent two F-16 jets to shadow the flight until it landed safely, airline and federal officials said.
The three passengers who were taken off the plane in handcuffs were released Sunday night, and no charges were filed against them, airport spokesman Scott Wintner said.
Folks on the plane reported seeing two men and one woman, all seated in the same row, acting "suspiciously" and taking multiple trips to the bathroom on the flight. It was the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Fears were heightened. An abundance of caution was being shown. Thus the SWAT team, the scrambled jets, the handcuffs, the questions.
After the interrogation, authorities discovered nothing was amiss. None of them knew each other. They were released, free to go. Plenty of jokes on Twitter were made about the possibility of folks trying for a mile-high accomplishment and getting in trouble. That was not the case.
The two men were Indian; the woman was of Arab/Jewish descent. Her name is Shoshana Hebshi, and she's a suburban Ohio mom who dabbles in blogging. From the handcuffs, to the strip search, to the questions and detainment, unable to call her husband, unaware of why she was in a cell, she has detailed her ordeal in excruciating and sad detail. An excerpt below, but you should head over and read the whole thing.
Someone shouted for us to place our hands on the seats in front of us, heads down. The cops ran down the aisle, stopped at my row and yelled at the three of us to get up. “Can I bring my phone?” I asked, of course. What a cliffhanger for my Twitter followers! No, one of the cops said, grabbing my arm a little harder than I would have liked. He slapped metal cuffs on my wrists and pushed me off the plane. The three of us, two Indian men living in the Detroit metro area, and me, a half-Arab, half-Jewish housewife living in suburban Ohio, were being detained.
The cops brought us to a parked squad car next to the plane, had us spread our legs and arms. Mine asked me if I was wearing any explosives. “No,” I said, holding my tongue to not let out a snarky response. I wasn’t sure what I could and could not say, and all that came out was “What’s going on?”
No one would answer me. They put me in the back of the car. It’s a plastic seat, for all you out there who have never been tossed into the back of a police car. It’s hard, it’s hot, and it’s humiliating. The Indian man who had sat next to me on the plane was already in the backseat. I turned to him, shocked, and asked him if he knew what was going on. I asked him if he knew the other man that had been in our row, and he said he had just met him. I said, it’s because of what we look like. They’re doing this because of what we look like. And I couldn’t believe that I was being arrested and taken away.
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