Eric André Sues Over Police’s ‘Racial Profiling and Coercive Stops’ at Atlanta Airport (UPDATE)

The comedian and performance artist detailed his experience last year, saying he was targeted and harassed by police while boarding a flight.

Eric Andre is pictured at a red carpet event

Image via Getty/JC Olivera

Eric Andre is pictured at a red carpet event

UPDATED 10/17, 4:40 p.m. ET: Eric André elaborated on his decision to sue Clayton County in a piece he wrote for The Daily Beast.

“This week, I sued Clayton County to expose and end this program and help break that cycle,” he wrote. “Together with The Policing Project at NYU School of Law, I have asked a federal court to find that the jet bridge stop violated two core constitutional rights: to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and free from racial discrimination in policing.”

André added that he hopes is lawsuit “illuminates how pervasive these police practices are—how often they occur, who is engaging in similar programs, and what role, if any, airlines have played.”

Read the rest of his piece here

See original story below. 

Eric André has filed a lawsuit against Clayton County over police’s “program of racial profiling and coercive stops” at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

As previously reported, André went public last year with what he described as a racial profiling incident at the Georgia airport, ultimately hitting Jimmy Kimmel Live to detail the harassment. Per André, a statement from Clayton County police about the incident was “full of misinformation,” including their assertion that the incident amounted to a “consensual encounter.”

At one point during the resulting interrogation, André said, police asked him if he was “transporting crystal meth to Los Angeles.”

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Policing Project at NYU School of Law announced that André and fellow comedian Clayton English, who is said to have been targeted in a similar manner while traveling to Los Angeles in 2020, have filed a lawsuit in which it’s argued that these police tactics are not constitutional.

In the filing, dated Oct. 11, the legal team behind the suit (including pro bono counsel from Jones Day and Lawrence & Bundy) notes that the program being utilized by the Clayton County Police Department and investigators from the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office doesn’t hold up to scrutiny of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment variety.

More specifically, the suit states, police records show that officers have been choosing their targets in the airport stop program “based on race.” Defendants in the suit include Clayton County, CCPD chief Kevin Roberts, CCDAO investigator Michael Hooks, and multiple CCPD officers. The officers named in the filing include Aimee Branham, Tony Griffin, Kevin Campbell, and C. Smith.

“I was blocked in a jet bridge by two police officers who interrogated me about drugs,” André said Tuesday. “I didn’t see any other Black people boarding at the time. It’s hard to believe I was selected at ‘random’ for questioning. It was a humiliating and degrading experience.”

In May, André and Adult Swim announced the impending arrival of the sixth season (a.k.a. Season 666) of The Eric Andre Show. Confirmed guests for the 2023-premiering new season include Lil Yachty, Jon Hamm, Rico Nasty, Raven-Symoné, and more.

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