Police Accused Delta Air Lines Passenger Of Stealing His Own Bag, Until White Woman Stepped In

A passenger on a delayed Delta Air Lines Minneapolis – Sacramento flight put down his carry on bag to throw something away at a nearby trash – and wound up accused of stealing his own bag when he returned. And it wasn’t until another passenger, a white woman, stepped in that police backed down.

When the flight finally began to board, the bag was technically unattended. Another passenger saw it and flagged it for a nearby police officer, presumably concerned that it might be terrorism (because, of course, we can’t count on TSA to catch things).

The officer asked passengers in the gate area whose bag it was. The owner claimed it, and that’s when things escalated. The white woman who saw everything go down spoke up, and that changed the tone of the conversation – but the officer still questioned the man and insisted on seeing his ID, even though nobody had so much as claimed that bag was stolen or belonged to anyone else.

The woman who spoke to police had her young daughter film the incident. Here she is narrating the story of what happened.

Never leave your bag unattended, but the consequences for doing so are different depending on who you are. Anyone can make a mistake, but different people experience mistakes differently.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. How do you know the white person identifies as a woman? You should know better than to classify people based solely on appearance.

  2. It can’t be racial profiling: by contemporary standards; he’s dressed to the nines, and potentially overdressed for a domestic commercial flight. I was more shocked that the police didn’t first direct themselves to the dust bin where, as a neat freak and germaphobe, the passenger tossed potentially incriminating evidence. Ater all, in MSP, Minnesota, he mostly is observed as a Black Man not in Prison; (whereas, government transvestites historically get a pass.)

    Will the much-maligned Karens of the world experienced redemption by the other passenger? Sadly, unlikely.

    Anyway, thank you for the video–it’s a TikTok video; but, not the usual Spirit TikTok, we’ve all come to enjoy as guaranteed complimentary entertainment in air travel.

  3. Flying while Black. Bravo to the white woman involved. I’ve been the white woman who steps in (not the cops, just some general nasty harassment of a Black *teenager* by an older white man who disapproved of his fashion statement) and it’s nervewracking.

  4. The Minneapolis PD is going through a major and necessary revamping. But the MSP cops are separate. Maybe they have the same culture.

  5. But, no, we are not a country with racially-biased tendencies.

    The police asked who owned the bag and the gentleman stepped up and claimed it. To immediately assume that he stole the bag cannot be explained away easily. For this kind of behavior to stop, reasonable people like the woman involved in this incident need to step up and say “enough.”

    A few months ago, I was flying out of an airport with one TSA agent manning the standard and precheck line. There was a black woman standing in front of me in the precheck line. She was next in line and over the course of the next couple of minutes the TSA agent proceeded to take six white passenger who entered the standard line while the black woman was the next person in the pre-check line to be processed. The TSA agent then had the nerve to tell this woman that all those people were in the line first. They were not. It was a lie. After going through security I went up to the woman and expressed my frustration with what she experienced and then went right over to the supervisor to share what I saw. It will surprise no one what that my concerns were basically dismissed.

    It’s beyond me how one human being can treat another human being this way. My mother would have beat my a@@ if I ever treated someone with this kind of disrespect.

  6. I don’t understand why he didn’t take his bag with him. How far away was the trash can? To take your eyes off your bag runs the risk of it being stolen. I hear comments about bags with no apparent owner. I put our bags on the back of my son’s wheelchair. I did leave a small bag behind once. It contained nutritional drinks for my son. I had a brief search but reclaimed it without problems. I make sure to put name tags on everything now. It would be interesting to see what would have happened if the owner of the bags had been white.

  7. DrRichard: MSP is located in the bucolic suburb of Bloomington, adjacent to the over-achiever suburb of Edina..

  8. Race baiting by Gary that is all this is. Just clickbait garbage. What he doesn’t write is the fact that the guy didn’t just walk away for a second to throw trash away. The bag was left unattended long enough that another family GRABBED the bag and HANDED it to the police officer who was dealing with something else at the time. Maybe the guy should have listened to all those announcements that say don’t leave your bag unattended. The police officer was told that it was believed the bag belonged to a family who had ALREADY boarded the plane. The gate agent was calling the FAs on the plane to check with the family to see if it was their bag. It was in that context that this guy comes up and tries to claim the bag. Is it really unreasonable for the officer to ask to see ID in that situation. It was an unattended bag that was given to him and people had told him they believe it belonged to someone else? Notice how the video starts in the middle of the incident once again so you don’t see everything that happened before. Noticed how the guy is cursing at the cop. Sorry not racial profiling. Not racism. Just a Karen with a camera and a blogger desperate for clicks.

  9. Race baiting at its finest. Why in God’s name Gary do you have to put the women’s race “white woman” in the narrative. What does this have to do with race other than your making it so? This was a potential public safety issue handled appropriately by law enforcement. Everyone should know by now that you never leave your bags unattended even for a moment in a public space.

  10. Excuse me. Aren’t all the warnings about not leaving your bag unattended supposed to be about that it will be assumed that a bomb is inside??? So what does the family do who “finds” this unattended bag? They pick it up. And what does the cop do with the “unattended” bag? Does he call the bomb squad. Both handled the potential bomb, and then the cop wastes valuable time arguing with the person who says it’s his bag? This was assumed to be a theft situation from the beginning and not bomb situation – which is what the warning about not leaving your bag unattended is all about. A FAIL on the part of the cop and the family who picked up the bag and gave it to the cop.

  11. Oh, @Chad, you’re back to troll. I was wondering where you went.

    It’s funny how you think I’m a victim for speaking out against intolerance and hate. Speaking truth to power is the exact opposite of victimization. It’s called empowerment.

    If you’d like to engage in reasonable dialogue about of different points of view that’s fine, but constantly reverting to calling people “victims” because they see things differently is just pathetic and feeds the narrative that you think that if everyone get the same rights you have, you somehow lose your rights (which seem to include being allowed to treat those different than you poorly).

    Besides, those of us who are on here with some regularity have seen some of your sexist and racists rants get posted only to be taken down because they were so out of touch with what constitutes decent civil discourse.

    But, hey, you do you. You’re the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror every day.

  12. Chad is an obvious troll, the name is a giveaway. The sad thing is there are tens of millions of Americans who think exactly like Chad.

  13. Ooohhh I’m watching a good one unfold right now in front of the Spirit ticket counter at MCO. I have to catch my flight so I can’t enjoy the show any longer.
    Black guy fight with cops so it must be racism. Half of the cops are black so they must be white supremacist too!

  14. @Alison
    How’s that?
    You mean think rationally and not enable a perpetual victim complex?

    Everyone has the same rights. That’s why it’s so funny when people like you continue to push your grievance politics and make excuses for your failures.

    You suffer from success envy.

  15. @Bill
    Are you the only person on the Internet who doesn’t know what Karen means?
    I am surprised they let you out of the rock you have been living under

  16. What you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent blog post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone reading it is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  17. I agree with one commenter above…nothing mentions the color of the bag owner. However, the writer says “…a white woman”. Exactly what does the writer imply, would a black woman not do the same? How about an Asian, Polynesian….? What the writer is doing (and he owns this blog) is race bating. One way or another…race has something to do with this. Just like the previous article on the black TV star getting ticketed for his terrible behavior and storming past the gate agent. Race has nothing…zero…nada…bupkis to do with either of these two events. Oh, but we gotta stir up the race pot. Poor reporting.

  18. @Win Whitmire You can see the race of the bag owner on the video. I would hope whoever knew the bag belonged to the owner would step up and help. It just happened to be this certain person. Someone said they may not identify as a female. I guess it’s no insult to call them a person. Maybe they don’t identify as a person. My guess is it is assumed that white will not help unless maybe it is white. Or it would be unusual for white to help in this instance.

  19. @Chad “success envy…” LMFAO! Thank you for lobbing the softballs my way to point out how stupid people who thing the way you troll really are.

    I am a wild success. First person in my family to go to college (which I paid for myself and still pay $1,900 a month in student loans). I now have THREE graduate degrees and my income puts me in the top 3% of earners. I have a wonderful partner of 21 years, two lovely homes, a job where I make a difference every day and two dogs who love me unconditionally. And…I am gay as F.

    This makes you sick to your stomach, doesn’t it? It should, because I and a lot of people like me succeeded in spite of hateful trolls like you.

    I AM the American dream. I have nothing by gratitude for what I have achieved while people like you kicked me in the balls every change you got. First, it was because I am Latino and clearly “got where I was going on affirmative action.” Then, it was because I’m gay and busy spending my time indoctrinating kids (even though statistically kids are far less safe with priests, scout masters and coaches than anyone else). Then it was because of my political POV and seeing that American is an amazing country, but far from perfect.

    Bad things happen when reasonable people stand back and do nothing. The woman referenced in this piece did the absolute right thing. She spoke truth to power. She understands that human rights are not a zero-sum game. A rising tide lift all boats. It’s sad that you don’t see that.

    I’ll pray for you.

  20. @SOBE ER DOC

    “And…I am gay as F.”
    yeah we know, you’ve made it clear many times with your comments that you’re mentally ill.

    “I’ll pray for you.”
    You’re not a Christian.

  21. @chad you do you. I do not need someone like you to validate or approve of me or how I practice my spirituality. All you do with comments like this is point out how narrow-minded, intolerant people like yourself weaponize religion.

    And, not to point out the obvious, but it seem like YOU are the one with, what did you call it, “success envy.”

    At the end of the day, you are nothing more than a distraction. A sad POS who has to attack everything they don’t understand or don’t agree with. Funny thing is, I have seem many like you who “doth protest too much.” only to find themselves caught red-handed being the very thing they attacked smack dab in the middle of the dance floor in a gay bar spinning around to Brittney Spears like they’re on a tilt-a-whirl.

    I’m done engaging you. I’ll let @Gary decide if your hateful, intolerant, narrow-minded comments reflect what he wants associated with his brand and whether his advertisers will find it something they want to be associated with. May your life bring you everything you deserve and have earned with your actions. I pity you.

  22. I see no reason to cite anyone’s race in this article. Perhaps some sensitivity training is necessary.

  23. And yet people question the racist GA who wanted Marlon Wayans to check his bag despite his F ticket.

    Racism happens every day in America. Thankfully there is video now.

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