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Racial discrimination lawsuit against American Airlines is over an incident in Phoenix

A consumer advocacy group wants a jury to decide if American Airlines employees singled out passengers to be taken off a flight from Phoenix to New York because they are Black.

American Airlines says allegations of racial discrimination in a new lawsuit do not reflect company values.

Court records say at least eight Black passengers were suddenly told to exit a plane right before it was due to leave Phoenix in January.

The reason allegedly given by American Airlines staff was a complaint about body odor made by a white flight attendant.

Airline officials reportedly wanted to reassign the Black passengers to other planes. Then let them reboard the flight to New York.

While they were gone, the pilot allegedly told the other passengers that the takeoff delay was over a complaint about body odor.

American Airlines says it is investigating what happened.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.