Earlier this week, Eric Andre was the target of what he described as a racial profiling incident at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. According to Andre, a subsequent statement from the Clayton County Police Department claiming he had a “consensual encounter” with officers was “full of misinformation.” In the moments after the incident, Andre pointed to the historically proven ineffectiveness of—and racist inspiration behind—the so-called “war on drugs” mentality that’s often at the heart of such police tactics.
On Thursday night, Andre made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he discussed the incident in greater detail.
“I’m in the Atlanta Airport Delta Lounge drinking a piña colada, enjoying myself,” Andre said. “They swipe my ticket, I go to the gate, they’re like, ‘Hey, welcome aboard.’ I’m down the little, narrow, awkward jet bridge. Two cops appear—these two white cops—on that little, awkward, narrow jet bridge and they whip out their badge, like, Hawaii Five-O style and they’re like, ‘Come with me.’ And I’m, like, business class so I’m the only brown person there. So clearly they’re, like, singling me out. It’s, like, all white businessmen and then me.”
At one point during the “crazy interrogation,” Andre said, one of the officers asked if he was “transporting crystal meth to Los Angeles.” At first, Andre thought the officers were TSA agents and only later learned they were from the Clayton County department. Andre declined to let them search his luggage, which was his right, a fact which he noted the department later distorted in their press release.
“I’m tweeting at everybody all angry the whole flight and I’m drinking vodka tonics and I’m just getting more drunk and angry,” Andre said of how he felt once he finally boarded the flight.
Andre compared the tactics of the officers to the racist stop-and-frisk program infamously used in NYC.
“It wasn’t Atlanta PD, it’s like the neighboring, like the more boring county next door, Clayton County,” he told Kimmel. “It’s their police department. They’re doing, like, old school Giuliani stop-and-frisk racial profiling. It happened to my other buddy who’s a Black comedian too.”
Elsewhere, Andre and Kimmel highlighted the truly bizarre wording of “consensual encounter” in the Clayton County department’s statement.
Below, see the full interview:
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