Plane passenger pulls off woman’s headscarf saying this is America


Gill Parker Payne 
By: Tanya Malhotra

(Scroll down for video) A plane passenger was arrested on a charge of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs after being accused of pulling off the headscarf of a woman during a flight, police in New Mexico said.

Now, 37-year-old Gill Parker Payne of Gastonia, North Carolina, will be sentenced to serve two months of home detention after pleading guilty to the charge.

According to the police investigation, Payne and the victim, identified as K.A., were passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, when the incident occurred.

Payne was sitting several rows behind K.A., who was wearing a hijab. During the flight, Payne approached K.A. and he demanded to take off the head covering, saying take it off this is America.

Payne proceeded to forcibly remove the headscarf and pulled it completely off the victim’s head. The woman said that she felt violated by the exposure, adding that she quickly pulled the headscarf over her head.