United Airlines employee accused of calling customer racially charged word faces misdemeanor charge: report

A United Airlines employee who allegedly hurled racial insults at a customer earlier this year faces a charge of disorderly conduct, according to a Monday report that cited court documents.

Cacilie Hughes, a black woman and United Airlines customer, told The New York Times she approached a United employee at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in February to ask if a “refund code” was available. Hughes, 31, said the employee, identified in the report as Carmella Davano, allegedly yelled at her and repeatedly called her “a monkey” and a "shining monkey."

“I was humiliated, I was crying and I was the only black woman in the area,” Hughes told The Times. She said police officers arrived on the scene where two witnesses told them what Davano had allegedly said.

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The Houston Police Department issued Devano with a citation for profane and abusive language in a public place, The Times reported. A misdemeanor charge was filed in Municipal Court for Houston in March, the report said.

The paper reported that it reached out to the employee and did not get a response. It was unclear if she had a lawyer.

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United said in a statement it has “withheld the employee from service since the night of the incident pending an internal investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, we will take any and all appropriate corrective action up to and including termination.”