by Robin Kemp

UPDATE 3:42 p.m. April 22: CCPD issues statement adding details of encounter.

The Clayton County Police Department has issued a statement denying comedian/actor/writer Eric André‘s claim that he was racially profiled and searched for drugs at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Wednesday.

A further statement issued April 22 gave more details of the encounter and stressed the department’s non-discrimination policy:

Image of Eric André tweet to Atlanta Police Department, saying they had profiled him at Hartsfield-Jackson

The original press release read, “On April 21, 2021, the Clayton County Police Department made a consensual encounter with a male traveler, later identified as Eric Andre, as he was preparing to fly to California from the Atlanta Airport,” CCPD said in a press release. “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. 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. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Atlanta Police Department did not assist in this consensual encounter.”

At 2:54 p.m. on Twitter, André said that he had been at Gate T3 when he was approached by a couple of plainclothes officers: “@Atlanta_Police 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.”

André posted a series of tweets about the incident, looping in Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and President Joe Biden, asking for “any Atlanta lawyer” to contact him, and wondering whether the Drug Enforcement Administration was involved:

Andre then posted a series of tweets on disgraced former President Richard Nixon’s prescription drug abuse and his creation of the DEA to go after hippies and Blacks:

The Clayton Crescent has asked André’s publicist for further clarification about the incident but has not yet heard back.

Leave a comment