Two Black Comedians Sue Police Over Search at Atlanta Airport
Two Black Comedians Sue the police officer who was on duty on the night an African-American comedian was arrested for marijuana possession. He was arrested at the International Arrivals Terminal at Atlanta International Airport.
Two Black Comedians Sue the Police officer who was on duty on the night an African-American comedian was arrested after marijuana possession last year, including one who is a former police officer.
They sued the Atlanta, Ga. Police Department alleging that the arresting officer, Sean McBride, had no probable cause to arrest them. The department denied any wrongdoing.
McBride arrested them after a routine police pat down of Eddie Griffin, then-comedian, during his flight to London.
McBride claims the comedian was going through security when he asked the officer to move his hands so that he could get through.
An international comedy festival, the International Comedy Festival in London, sent an agent to fly Griffin to England to perform in the run up to the festival. But Griffin was detained on arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport, leaving Griffin and Griffin’s team with several hours on the phone, before the plane took off.
Police on the ground told reporters that Griffin had been carrying a white pill with a “blue” band on it, known to contain a synthetic THC compound. The drug had been legalized for recreational use in Canada last year.
Griffin and his team sued the police, stating that McBride had neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion to detain Griffin for questioning while carrying a small white pill with a “blue” band. Griffin’s team says that if they had known it was marijuana they would have asked him to take it out of his pocket and put it in his mouth, as is common in drug seizure.
Their lawsuit does not rule out Griffin’s actions. As Griffin’s team stated in a press release, “We still believe Mr. Griffin was innocent of any charges and are grateful to the police for his cooperation and patience.”
But Griffin’s team disagrees with McBride’s account of the events. They believe that McBride told them that Griffin was carrying a “marijuana pipe,” which Griffin denies, and that they would not have allowed Griffin to board the