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Police Investigating Man's Racist Outburst on Flight

Ryanair accused of failing to act
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2018 5:24 AM CDT
Passengers board a Ryanair airplane.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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(Newser) – Discount airline Ryanair is facing a backlash over its handling of a man who engaged in what a fellow passenger describes as a "disgusting" outburst of "racial slurs and foul language." Passenger video from the flight shows the man insulting, threatening, and racially abusing a 77-year-old black woman, apparently because she didn't get out of her aisle seat quickly when he wanted to get to his window seat, the BBC reports. He calls her an "ugly black bastard" and, after she speaks to him in a Jamaican accent, tells her: "Don't speak in a foreign language, you stupid ugly cow." Flight attendants and the woman's daughter intervened and the woman was moved to a different seat, but the male passenger was allowed to remain in his seat for the Barcelona to London flight.

Passenger David Lawrence, who filmed the incident, tells the Washington Post that he was shocked when the man remained on the flight. "I thought the flight attendant was going to call someone and escort the man off the flight," he says. "They moved the woman instead of moving him." The woman's daughter, who had taken her to Barcelona to raise her spirits on the first anniversary of her husband's death, says her mother moved slowly to let the man in because she has arthritis. "I know that if I was behaving like he was or any other black person, for that matter, police would’ve been called and we would’ve been kicked off of the flight," she tells the Huffington Post. Ryanair says it "will not tolerate" this kind of behavior and it has referred the incident to police. (Passengers in Chicago cheered when a man who ranted about foreigners was kicked off their flight.)

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