ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Police dispute Cindy McCain’s claim of human trafficking at airport

Feb 6, 2019, 4:02 PM | Updated: Feb 7, 2019, 8:05 pm
(Facebook Photo / McCain Institute)...
(Facebook Photo / McCain Institute)
(Facebook Photo / McCain Institute)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police disputed Cindy McCain’s claims that she witnessed human trafficking at Sky Harbor International Airport last week.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Armando Carbajal told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday that they conducted a welfare check on a child at the airport Thursday at McCain’s request.

During the call, “officers determined there was no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment,” he said.

The McCain Institute said in a statement Thursday that McCain has devoted her career to fighting human trafficking.

“When Cindy reported what she thought was an incident of trafficking at the airport she was only thinking about the possible ramifications of a criminal act not the ethnicity of the possible trafficker,” the statement read.

“Her hypersensitivity to looking for trafficking in this instance was not correct, but it should in no way distract from the broader importance that we all have a responsibility to be aware of this kind of crime.  This incident should in no way discourage anyone from reporting potential trafficking issues to law enforcement.”

McCain addressed the situation Wednesday on Twitter, saying she apologizes “if anything else I have said on this matter distracts from ‘if you see something, say something.'”

McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Monday that she noticed a situation in the airport that didn’t feel right to her.

“I came in from a trip I’d been on and I spotted — it looked odd — it was a woman of a different ethnicity than the child, this little toddler she had, and something didn’t click with me. … I went over to the police and told them what I saw and they went over and questioned her and, by God, she was trafficking that kid,” McCain said.

“She was waiting for the guy who bought the child to get off an airplane,” she added.

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Phoenix Police dispute Cindy McCain’s claim of human trafficking at airport