Bob Bianchi appeared on Fox News Happening Now with co-guest Lis Whiel and host Jon Scott to discuss the case of some passengers who boarded a plane and were later thrown off because the pilots did not “feel comfortable” with them.  The people are supposedly of Middle Eastern and/or Asian descent.  Without explanation, they were detained and told by an airline employee that “the way they looked” explained the reason why they were thrown off the plane.

They were then allowed to board another plane without incident.

This situation is problematic to me.  Having been a NJ law enforcement officer and NJ prosecutor, we continually trained our fine law enforcement officers that they are to look at behavior and not the “way a person looks” when enforcing the law.  To be sure, with airlines there is wide latitude for a pilot not to fly (or to remove a passenger) if they feel there is a danger.  But from what we know of this case, there was no “articulable suspicion” about these folks, other than they were of Middle Eastern and/or Asian descent.

And, if they looked suspicious to the pilot, then how did they get past screening, etc…to get on the plane in the first place.  And furthermore, why was it that they were then allowed to fly shortly thereafter on another plane?  If these facts as reported are true, then to me this is an abuse of even the wide latitude given to pilots.

As a former NJ Prosecutor we know that laws should not be enforced based upon class, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc…  To do so not only is constitutionally wrong, it is fundamentally inhuman.  So, if there was no basis to throw them off based upon an “objective articulable suspicion” of wrongdoing or danger, I say this airline will be writing a check.

I think me and Lis disagree a little on this one.  Check it out and let me know your thoughts.