Rich the Kid is accusing an airline of racial discrimination after being kicked off a flight.
The rapper shared video of the incident on Dec. 4 via Instagram live, in which he is seen embroiled in a dispute with airport staff members who supposedly removed him from a flight because he smelled of weed.
Rich the Kid refuted the claims, instead accusing the personnel of victimizing him based on his race.
“You on live now. Since you want to racially discriminate me. Guess what? Look!” he said in the video. “She’s trying to tell me I smell like marijuana. I don’t even smoke marijuana, woman. I don’t smoke.”
“The world gonna know. Your son — you have kids? He probably know me. Since you wanna play, you don’t know who I am! She’s trying to racially discriminate me, tellin’ me I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m high? I don’t even smoke weed …”
As Rich is being escorted off the plane, a male staff member can be heard saying “race has nothing to do with it.”
Not long after, a female employee indicated that after he was seen “falling” Rich was asked to depart the plane. Rich then said he would take legal action, noting that he was “rich.”
“I’m a rich guy, so my lawyer will be contacting you,” he said.
While Rich the Kid insisted that he did not smoke, he has implied that in past interviews that he does partake in marijuana in his own time.
In an interview last year with Interview Magazine, Rich remarked that the first thing he likes to do in the morning is “smoke a blunt” and added that he has someone roll them for him.
In fact, in a 2019 article by The Source, it was reported that Rich was at an outdoor event celebrating National Weed Day, and announced that he needed a dedicated blunt roller. “I got $5,000 for a blunt roller to come on tour with me, ’cause I shouldn’t be rolling up on 4/20 myself,” he said. “So, if you trying to, damn, roll up, let me know.”
While there is no written policy concerning carrying the smell of marijuana on a flight, airlines can remove a person due to body odor, according to Inside Hook. David Reischer, attorney and CEO for LegalAdvice.com, told Inside Hook, “The FAA has operating procedures that allow for passenger removal if the safety and health of other travelers are affected by the bad odor from a passenger.”
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, and federal law governs airplane travel in this country, while the TSA website states that TSA security officers do not actively search for marijuana or other illegal drugs.
However, “because the TSA is a federal agency, its officers must enforce federal laws,” said The Washington Post in a report.
A spokesperson for the TSA told The Washington Post that “If a TSA officer comes across [pot] while they’re conducting a bag check, they are obligated to report it to the police, and then it’s up to the police how they want to handle it.”
In 2017, according to TMZ, Rich the Kid also filmed an incident in which he was taken off a flight for playing music loudly without wearing headphones.