Actor and comedian Eric Andre believes he was racially profiled by two police officers in an Atlanta airport before boarding a flight on Wednesday.
Andre made the claims in a series of tweets, alleging that two plainclothes officers stopped him at the Delta terminal in the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and performed a random drug search on him. He claimed the search was due to racial profiling and that he was the only person of color in line when the officers stopped him.
In a since-deleted tweet, Andre said, “I was just racially profiled by two plain clothes Atlanta PD police in Delta terminal T3 at the Atlanta airport. They stopped me on the way down the bridge to the plane for a ‘random’ search and asked [if] they could search me for drugs. I told them no. Be careful.”
However, the Atlanta Police Department public affairs director told Variety that multiple law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the Hartsfield-Jackson airport, and that APD officers were not involved. Officers for Clayton County, Ga., also operate in the airport.
“The Atlanta Police Department became aware of Mr. Andre’s social media posts, prior to news media reaching out to us. As soon as we learned of Mr. Andre’s complaint, we began gathering information on what occurred. We have determined the Atlanta Police Department was not involved in this interaction. 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 activity,” the Atlanta Police Department said.
Andre took back his claim that the officers may have been from the Atlanta Police Department, and claimed that they may have been Drug Enforcement Agency officers. But, in an email to Variety, a DEA representative said that the agency was not involved. Andre later added in a tweet that he was “fine now” and successfully boarded his plane.
After Andre tweeted at her multiple times, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she is working to confirm the details about what happened.
We stand with Eric.