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Comedians Eric Andre, Clay English Sue After Police Searches in Atlanta Airport

Two Black comedians, Eric Andre and Clay English, filed a lawsuit against Clayton County’s police department and district attorney’s office, accusing the agencies of violating their constitutional rights when they separately subjected each of the men to questioning and searches for illegal drugs, reports Julian Mark for the Washington Post. Both men were stopped on a jet bridge at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, questioned, and searched in a procedure the department called “consensual.”

The lawsuit argues that this practice is unconstitutional and that the stops are not consensual but coercive and racially biased toward Black people. According to the lawsuit, over half of those stopped during an eight-month period were Black, though only 8 percent of American airline passengers are Black. During that period, officers found fewer than 0.08 pounds of illegal drugs and six prescription pills for which passengers did not have a prescription, while the department pursued charges against just two passengers. Records also show the officers seized more than $1 million in cash from passengers via asset forfeitures.

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