Charges have been dropped in the mind boggling case against Deshon Marman, the 20-year old Bay Area native who was arrested last month for not pulling up his sagging pants fast enough on a US Airways flight leaving San Francisco. But the airlines has yet to issue an apology to Marman or his family for the incident. Black activists are now leading the call to hold the airline publicly accountable.
On Monday, about 20 NAACP supporters from the local San Francisco chapter protested at the US Airways terminal at San Francisco International airport demanding that airline officials meet with the civil rights group.
“US Airways racially profiled Deshon that day because he was a young, African-American male with dreadlocks, and chose to place the blame on his attire,” Amos Brown, president of the NAACP’s San Francisco chapter, told the San Francisco Examiner.
Brown said the NAACP was seeking to meet with the airline and ask it to clearly define and execute their dress policy.
ColorOfChange.org* is also demanding an apology from US Airways for the incident. Also on Monday, the online civil rights group sent an email to members asking them to sign a petition demanding US Airways “apologize and correct its practices.”
“However you feel about sagging pants, it’s clear that US Airways’ response to Marman’s clothing was inappropriate and discriminatory,” read a ColorofChage.org email sent to members.
“If US Airways gets away with this, it sets a dangerous precedent – we can’t let it become acceptable for corporations to target and criminalize young Black men because of their appearance,” the email continued.
According to the SF Examiner, US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said the airline hopes the DA’s decision to drop charges “helps Mr. Marman and his family move past this incident.”
The Marman family has hired an attorney and plans to pursue legal action agaisnt the airline.
In a poll taken by more than 300 Colorlines.com readers in June, 73 percent of respondents believed US Airways actions were largely due to Marman’s race.
* Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, is a board member at the Applied Research Center (ARC), publisher of Colorlines.com.