Two Black Comedians Sue Police Over Search at Atlanta Airport
Three black comedians have filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta police department over its search of a car they were forced to leave by airport security officials after they refused to remove a bag they were carrying at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, reported Fox News.
The comedian’s lawyer, Thomas D. Smith, told the station that the three men were refused service for more than 45 minutes at the airport, and that security was so rude that one of them said the officer grabbed his shoulder. The suit alleges that the police officers followed them into the passenger area of the plane, threatening to arrest them.
The three men were scheduled to perform at the Georgia Theatre in Atlanta as part of the Comedy Central stand up tour, The New York Times reported.
This is the second time that Smith has sued the police department over a search of a bag containing marijuana. Earlier this year, Smith sued the police in a similar suit for a search that took place at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport in 2013.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in March that the Justice Department would begin investigating how TSA search agents handled marijuana cases, after a series of news reports revealed that marijuana was found in at least two bags at the Denver airport in 2012.
Mr. Holder said that he had “grave concerns” about what happened in Denver and that the government would now review the way the TSA handles such cases.
But the head of the TSA, John Pistole, said that marijuana is not considered a dangerous drug by the agency and that TSA cannot regulate the distribution of marijuana through the mail.
Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the comedian’s lawyer said they were still waiting on the comedian’s scheduled performance at the Georgia Theatre. The attorney said the venue had not yet received the suit and would be forced to cancel the performance if the comedians decided to take their show.
“Any time that you are inconvenienced, in this case, inconvenienced to the point where you have to have to give up your livelihood for the next two weeks, that is not the way America should be functioning,” Smith said.
“What they’re doing to