In a statement released Wednesday, Daulatzai's attorneys charged that she was "profiled, abused, interrogated, detained, and subjected to false reporting and the trauma of racist, vitriolic public shaming precisely because she is a woman, a person of color, and a Muslim."
"She survived sexism, racial profiling, and police brutality that fateful day," reads the statement from Hall & Sethi, a law firm based in Reston, Virginia, that specializes in cases of personal injury. "Her mistreatment was particularly distressing because she is presently pregnant with her first child."
Daulatzai had discussed her non-life-threatening dog allergies with Southwest crew members soon after boarding the aircraft, her attorneys say. But shortly after she had taken a seat at a safe distance from the dogs toward the back of the plane, a Southwest representative approached her, asking her to leave the plane. Despite assuring flight crew that she would be completely fine on the plane, her attorneys allege, Daulatzai was "pulled from her seat by her belt loop" and "dragged ... through the aisle exposed with torn pants."
Daulatzai's attorneys say that the charges filed against her "have no merit."
Bill Dumas, the passenger who recorded the incident and uploaded it to YouTube, told NBC News that while the police were being "overly aggressive," Daulatzai was also combative and "wasn't giving [the officers] much of a choice."
In a statement to The Washington Post, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police said that "[d]espite her clear attempt to resist a law enforcement officer, Ms. Daulatzai was professionally removed from the aircraft within the guidelines of the MDTA Police. This remains an open case that will be handled in the appropriate venue, not through various media channels."
Since the incident, Daulatzai has received hate mail and violent threats, and has had to leave her home out of fear for her safety, her attorneys said. They did not respond to emailed questions about next steps in the proceedings.
Reached for comment regarding the attorneys' statement, Southwest repeated its response last week that it is "disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the customer's removal by local law enforcement officers."
The airline noted that it has "publicly apologized to this customer for her experience and made several attempts to contact her directly to address her concerns."
This latest episode is just another in the seemingly endless stream of airline-passenger meltdowns. Other nightmarish incidents in recent months include the man who was violently dragged off a United Airlines plane in April, leaving him battered and limp, and the infant-carrying easyJet passenger who was punched in the face by an airport employee in July.