Video of a White man being arrested at Orlando International Airport has gone viral when during his struggle with police officers he can be heard saying that they were treating him like a “Black person.”
Jeffrey Epstein, 59, was seen on camera screaming at law enforcement on Thursday while they were placing him under arrest for causing a disturbance after American Airlines took awhile to board him.
“Do not hurt me, do not get rough with me. Look at them,” Epstein can be heard saying in the video. “Don’t beat me up…You’re treating me like a…Black person.”
Epstein told Fox 26 Houston that he caused a scene on purpose.
“I’m a provocative guy, and I do it on purpose. You know why? Because people don’t say stuff. If you say it, people will debate it and talk about it. Maybe we’ll get a solution,” Epstein told Fox 26.
He said cops were called and that once they became physical with him he realized that he could use being a White man to his advantage.
“I figured a white guy getting arrested at an airport might get some attention to these black people who I think are legitimately concerned,” he said. “If I was a black person, I’d be terrified.”
Activist Shaun King posted the video on Twitter on Friday saying that Epstein’s comments reflected a belief that police brutality was something only for Black people.
“Think on that for a moment. With all of this going on, that’s what came to his mind. Police brutality, to him, is something reserved for Black folk,” King wrote.
Epstein told Fox that he wouldn’t cause a scene like that again, but seemed pleased to highlight the cops’ behavior toward him.
“My behavior wasn’t perfect but I think there’s problems in the system and maybe this’ll bring light to it.”
He was charged with battery, resisting arrest, trespassing and disorderly conduct, per the report.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.