Saturday, May 8, 2021

‘Keisha Lance Bottoms Please Help Me’: Comic Eric Andre Says He was Racially Profiled at Atlanta Airport (Watch)

eric andre
Eric Andre (Getty Images)

*Comedic actor Eric Andre has leveled racism claims against Georgia’s Clayton County Police department after he says officers racially profiled him during a random drug search Wednesday afternoon at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Andre described the incident at the Delta terminal in a series of tweets.

He first tweeted at the Atlanta Police Dept, saying: “They stopped me on the way down the bridge to the plane for a ‘random’ search and asked they could search me for drugs. I told them no. Be careful.”

He then tagged Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms asking for assistance. “@KeishaBottoms please help me,” the tweet reads.
“They let me go. I’m on the plane in the air. I’m fine now but I want this reported. Please any Atlanta lawyer reach out to me.@KeishaBottoms #racialprofiling #jimcrowgeorgia terminal T3 Atlanta airport,” he wrote.

The mayor responded saying that APD was not involved in the incident.

APD also released a statement denying involvement. It read: “The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is somewhat unique in that multiple law enforcement agencies operate there. It appears this incident involved members of another agency. Additionally, members of APD’s Airport Drug Interdiction Unit do not randomly approach travelers and ask to search them. Searches are conducted based on some type of evidence or indication of criminal.”

Eventually, Clayton County Police stepped forward to announce that they made a “consensual encounter” with Andre as he was preparing to fly to California from the Atlanta Airport. But on social media, Andre is disputing their narrative of what happened.

“Mr. Andre chose to speak with investigators during the initial encounter. During the encounter, Mr. Andre voluntarily provided the investigators information as to his travel plans. Mr. Andre also voluntarily consented to a search of his luggage but the investigators chose not to do so,” the statement from Clayton County Police said. “Investigators identified that there was no reason to continue a conversation and therefore terminated the encounter. Mr. Andre boarded the plane without being detained and continued on his travels,” they claimed.

The statement did not address Andre’s claims of racial profiling. After finding out that Atlanta Police were not involved with the incident, Andre tweeted he was “so glad to hear APD doesn’t operate like this.” However, he claims that Clayton County’s statement was “full of misinformation” and that the officers “violated my rights.” He said he didn’t volunteer for a search.
“THIS IS RACISM,” he tweeted.


Watch Atlanta’s 11Alive report about Andre’s ordeal below:

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