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    Eric André Discusses Being Racially Profiled in Atlanta on Kimmel


    This week, Eric André said he was racially profiled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, tweeting that plainclothes police targeted him for a supposedly random drug search. The next day (Thursday, April 22), André appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for a scheduled interview about his new film Bad Trip. In an 11-minute segment, André went into detail about the profiling incident, describing the conduct of Clayton County Police Department as “old-school, Giuliani stop-and-frisk racial profiling.”

    André unpacked the racial dynamic of the search, pointing out that he was flying business class on a domestic flight, and was the only Black person on the jet bridge. The white police officers who interrogated him were from the Clayton County Police Department, André said. Both Kimmel and André noted that it was unusual for a search to be carried out on the jet bridge, when André had already passed security.

    André declined to have his luggage searched and was allowed to board his plane, at which point, he joked, he “got really woke” and started tweeting various authorities (up to and including Joe Biden) using the plane Wi-Fi. “And then the mayor of Atlanta starts tweeting back at me,” he added, laughing. “I’m like, Oh, I didn’t know that was gonna work.” The mayor apologized to André and said she was investigating.

    In a press conference Thursday, a representative for Clayton County Police Department gave a statement playing down the incident; the department also released a written statement, read by Kimmel in the video below. André strongly disputed elements of the statement, particularly the claim that officers declined to search André’s luggage despite receiving consent. “That was a bald-faced lie,” he said. The airport released its own statement saying it would “meet with Clayton County law enforcement officers next week to review procedures.”





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