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Scott Olson

A Black Man Sues American Airlines For Removing Him From First-Class To Make Room For A Dog

Dana Holcomb said American Airlines employees removed from first-class and the flight to make room for a dog.

A black man is reportedly suing American Airlines for allegedly removing him from first-class to make room for a dog.

According to reports, Dana Holcomb was flying back to Austin from Las Vegas in April when there was a layover in Phoenix. While boarding the flight, Holcomb, who was seated in first class, realized the person next to him had a service dog. Holcomb is allergic to dogs and a reaction began within minutes.

Holcomb said the passenger offered to switch seats but after no one was willing to give up their seat the pilot and a stewardess got involved.

“At that point (workers) told him you’re going to go to the rear of the plane or get off the plane,” Holcomb's attorney Reginald McKamie, Sr. said during a press conference.

Holcomb was then taken off the plane after American Airlines employees alleged he was confrontational, which he denied. Two other passengers made sworn statements corroborating Holcomb.

“What American Airlines is doing is discrimination. They have repeatedly humiliated African-American citizens by throwing them off the plane, leaving them with no way home, no hotel, just throwing them off the plane,” McKamie added.

After disembarking, Holcomb said he wasn't given his luggage or his allergy medication and had to figure out an alternative way home. He stayed at a hotel in Phoenix and then flew back to Auston via Delta Airlines. McKamie said Holcomb is seeking punitive damages, contractual damages.

In a statement, American Airlines said they make accommodations for service dogs and will look into Holcomb's lawsuit.

“We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us.

Federal regulations require American Airlines to transport service and support animals. American makes every effort to accommodate all passengers, including those traveling with and seated near service or support animals. In the case of an allergy, we work to re-seat a passenger further away from the service or support animal. If the customer is still not comfortable flying, we will re-book them on the next available flight to their destination. If a lawsuit is filed, American will review it and respond in court when appropriate.”

"Mr. Holcomb’s seat was next to a customer with an emotional support animal. In an effort to accommodate Mr. Holcomb, the customer with the emotional support animal offered to switch seats with another customer so Mr. Holcomb could remain in his seat. Mr. Holcomb wasn’t satisfied with that solution, so he was given the option of a seat further away from the service animal in the main cabin with a refund in the difference in fare, which he also declined. After all the attempts to accommodate Mr. Holcomb were declined and he refused to comply with crew member instruction, he was removed from the plane. Our team offered to rebook Mr. Holcomb and refunded his first-class ticket. "

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MANDEL NGAN

Baltimore Cop Under Investigation For Intentionally Coughing At Residents In Public Housing Complex

The Baltimore Police Department has launched an internal investigation after an officer was filmed intentionally coughing at residents while walking through a public housing complex in Southeast Baltimore.

“The Department takes COVID-19 very seriously and we do not condone any action by our members which may be perceived as making light of the COVID-19 pandemic, ” the Department said in a statement on Monday (April 6) according to CNN.

Video footage of the incident picks up as the officer walks towards a woman who addresses him as “officer friendly with the cherry cheeks.” The officer doesn’t respond verbally but begins coughing at the woman and continues coughing without covering his mouth as he walks past numerous residents.

Baltimore police investigating video showing officer cough near residents of a housing project; at least 8 cops in the department have tested positive for coronavirus

*Language Warning*

pic.twitter.com/wnhfM0AnkM

— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 7, 2020

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison called the footage “disturbing.”

“It is not only disturbing, but incomprehensible, especially considering the high-level of strong and clear guidance that we have provided from the beginning, regarding COVID-19,”  Harrison said in the statement. “Members are always expected to be sensitive and professional to the community, but what we saw in the video is alarming because this pandemic is affecting lives not only nationally, worldwide, but right here in our own police department.”

The BPD confirmed on Monday that at least eight police officers and two civilian employees tested positive for COVID-19. According to WBAL-TV, 94 officers have been cleared to return to work after the department quarantined 305 officers amid the pandemic.

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Detroit Bus Driver Dies From COVID-19 After Posting About Passenger Coughing

A Detroit bus driver died from coronavirus two weeks after making a Facebook Live post calling out a passenger for coughing several times on the bus without covering her mouth. The death of Jason Hargrove, a Transportation Equipment Operator for the Detroit Department of Transportation, was announced by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Thursday (April 2).

“He knew his life was being put in jeopardy -- even though he was going to work for the citizens of Detroit every day -- by somebody who just didn’t care and now he’s gone,” Duggan said.

The Amalgamated Transit Union also tweeted a message confirming Hargrove’s death. Hargrove belonged to the Union since 2016 and was one of two AUT members to die from COVID-19. The second victim, Joseph Madore, was a paratransit operator for First Transit, Greater Hartford Transit District.

#1u #Solidarity #COVID19 #Frontlines pic.twitter.com/OGeW5AsL1m

— ATU, Transit Union (@ATUComm) April 3, 2020

Hargrove vented about his safety being at risk in an 8-minute video posted on March 21. “This coronavirus s**t is for real and we out here as public workers, doing our job, trying to make an honest living to take care of our families, but for you to get on the bus and stand on the bus and cough several times without covering up your mouth and you know we in the middle of a pandemic…that lets me know that some folks don’t care. Utterly don’t give a f**k, excuse my language but that’s how I feel right about now.”

Hargrove said that the woman was in her late 50s or early 60s and coughed four to five times. There were around nine passengers were on the bus at the time.

“I ain’t blaming nobody but that woman that did that s**t,” he continued. “For us to get through this ya’ll need to take this s**t serious. It’s folks dying out here [because] of this s**t. I’m mad right now because that s**t was uncalled for. I’m trying to be the professional that they want me to be, so I kept my mouth closed. But at some point..you gotta' draw the line and say 'enough is enough.' That s**t was uncalled for. I feel violated. I feel violated for the folks that were on the bus when this happened.”

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and a state of disaster over the spread of COVID-19. Since reporting its first two cases on March 10, more than 12,000 people in Michigan have tested positive for the disease, and nearly 500 people have died. Many of the cases have been centered in Detroit and Oakland County.

Watch Hargrove's video below.

 

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Michael Loccisano

CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo Has Tested Positive For COVID-19

The 49-year-old brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo announced in a tweet today (March 31) that he tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to people who are infected. Cuomo has extensively covered the coronavirus pandemic on the cable news network during his show titled, Cuomo Prime Time.

"Sooooo in these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus. I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath," Cuomo wrote in aTweet.

pic.twitter.com/e9Ym9jeT2R

— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 31, 2020

The New York governor said in a press conference Tuesday (March 31) that his brother "is going to be fine."

"Even for essential workers, people have to be careful. Again, I've been trying to communicate that everyone – everyone – is subject to this virus," the governor said. "This virus is the great equalizer. My brother, Chris, is positive for coronavirus. Found out this morning. Now, he is going to be fine. He's young, in good shape, strong – not as strong as he thinks – he will be fine. But there's a lesson in this. He's an essential worker, a member of the press, so he's been out there. If you go out there, the chance that you'll get infected is very high."

Cuomo says his brother “is going to be fine.”

He said he’s young and strong, but jokes not as much as he thinks.

Chris will be quarantined in his basement and worried about his kids.

“He’s my best friend,” the governor said. pic.twitter.com/gmsIi9Qao8

— Joseph Spector (@GannettAlbany) March 31, 2020

"He's just worried about his daughter and his kids and he hopes he didn't get them infected," the governor continued. "You don't really know Chris – you see Chris on his show at night … but you just see one dimension," Gov. Cuomo added.

According the New York Times, Cuomo plans to continue shooting his show, Cuomo Prime Time, from his basement, where he is quarantining himself.

 

 

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