Bodycam Footage Shows Odell Beckham Jr. Prior to Being Removed From Flight
Police have released bodycam footage of Odell Beckham Jr.'s removal from an American Airlines flight over Thanksgiving weekend. The incident made headlines after the NFL free agent spoke out about being removed by police from an aircraft before takeoff at Miami International Airport.
According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, Beckham Jr. was removed from the plane after officers were dispatched for a "medical emergency" on an American Airlines flight.
Officials said Beckham Jr. allegedly failed to respond to flight attendants' requests to buckle his seatbelt and appeared to be unconscious. When flight attendants asked him to leave the airplane before it took off, allegedly concerned that he was ill, the athlete refused.
Detective Argemis "AC" Colome of the Miami-Dade Police Department, told ET at the time, "Upon the officers' arrival, the flight crew asked Mr. Beckham several times to exit the aircraft, which he refused. The aircraft was deplaned, at which time Mr. Beckham was asked by the officers to exit the plane, and did so without incident. Mr. Beckham was escorted to the non-secure area of the terminal by the officers where he made other arrangements."
The released bodycam footage from Miami-Dade Police Department shows officers approaching Beckham Jr. in first class and asking if he can get up. After speaking to him briefly, one officer says, "He looks good to me."
The officers who approached him are seemingly satisfied with his answers, stating that they don't see anything that would be considered grounds for his removal, but leave the decision up to the flight attendants as to whether he should leave the plane.
A flight attendant alleges that Beckham Jr. was unresponsive before the plane pushed away from the gate and they got him to wake up to put his seatbelt on prior to taking off but he "was still passed out." They also tell officers that Beckham Jr. allegedly told them that he "came from a club" despite being unresponsive, and was only wearing underwear despite him being in sweatpants when officers approached him.
"Crew at this time don't feel comfortable with him flying because they don't know what's going on with him," the adamant attendant says, adding that they can put him on the next flight.
The officers, who recognize Beckham as an NFL player, say he may just be tired. "If you don't want him to fly, that's your decision that you guys are going to have to make," an officer says to a flight attendant.
Flight attendants proceed to ask Beckham Jr. to leave the plane but he refuses. Officers also try to ask him to leave, and he says this has never happened to him on previous flights and it is "beyond embarrassing."
Officers explain if he doesn't get off they will have to deplane, and Beckham Jr. says that's fine.
As everyone is asked to deplane, a passenger seemingly says something provocative to Beckham Jr., setting off a verbal argument.
"I would never, ever in my life get off the plane for you, not specifically you," he says. "Maybe for everybody else I would get off the plane."
"That s**t don't mean nothing to me... You gonna wait 40 minutes and I'mma be on a private plane home," he adds, calling the man a "fat a**."
Before Beckham Jr. gets off the plane, he tells officers, "Don't let me walk by him," describing the man he argued with.
After everyone is deplaned and paramedics check Beckham Jr.'s blood pressure, officers then escort him off the plane and through the airport. They then leave Beckham Jr. as he says someone is coming to pick him up.
Following the incident, Daniel E. Davillier, an attorney for Beckham Jr., claimed that the incident was due to an "overzealous flight attendant."
"Earlier today, Odell Beckham Jr. boarded a morning flight in Miami without any problems. The flight was delayed after boarding and prior to takeoff, Mr. Beckham fell asleep with his blanket over his head, which is his normal practice for long flights," Davillier told ET. "He was awakened and told that the plane was back at the gate and that he needed to get off the plane because he did not put his seatbelt on when asked. He responded that he was asleep and that he would put his seatbelt on at that time. He was informed that it was too late and that either he would have to get off the plane or everyone would have to deplane."
"The overzealous flight attendant refused to simply allow Mr. Beckham to fasten his seatbelt and proceed with the flight and instead immediately removed everyone from the plane," Davillier claimed. "At no time was Mr. Beckham disruptive or combative. He was willing to comply with the seatbelt requirement, but the flight attendant wanted to prove that he had the authority to have Mr. Beckham removed from the flight. The airline proceeded to send Mr. Beckham's luggage to Los Angeles without him."
The attorney called the incident "completely unnecessary," adding that if Beckham Jr. could be woken up "when the flight returned to the gate, then they could have done the same thing and woken him up to ask him to put on his seatbelt."
Beckham Jr. was not officially cited or detained as part of the incident. It's unclear he will take legal action against American Airlines.
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