Eric André Sues Atlanta Police Department For Alleged Racial Profiling

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Eric André and Clayton English have sued Clayton County police for alleged racial profiling at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Comedians Eric André and Clayton English have sued Atlanta’s Clayton County police department. On Wednesday (October 12), it was announced that the two have pursued legal action against the department for alleged racial profiling while both were boarding their flights at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport last year. The lawsuit names Clayton County, their police chief Kevin Roberts, four officers and a district attorney’s office investigator.

At the time of the incident, which happened last April, André says he was stopped on a jet bridge by Clayton County police, prior to getting his ticket checked and going through TSA screenings. Both André and English claim that they were stopped by officers six months apart for coercive drug searches. Lawyers representing André and English claim that these drugs stops “rely on coercion, and targets are selected disproportionately based on their race,” despite drugs seldom being found. Instead, cash is seized to financially benefit the department.

“I was the only person of color on the jet bridge,” André said during a recent press conference. “They singled me out. They asked me if I was selling drugs, transporting drugs, what kind of drugs I have on me. It was clearly racial profiling. The experience was humiliating and dehumanizing, it was degrading.”

André adds that during the search, nearby passengers were “gawking” at him as if he were a “perpetrator.”

During the incident last year, André urgently tweeted about being searched by Clayton County officers, even tagging Atlanta’s former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

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