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A doctor says a viral video of him struggling with police officers and yelling, “You’re treating me like a black person!” was staged to prove a point about race relations.
The recording shows Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, 59, a geriatric physician in Lakeland, Fla., scuffling with police officers at Orlando International Airport on Thursday after arguing with American Airlines employees who had reported him for disorderly behavior.
According to a police report sent to Yahoo Lifestyle from the Orlando Police Department, officers found Epstein at the ticket counter where he began yelling that “police had come to arrest him.” When Epstein was informed that he lost his flying privileges due to his behavior, he went on a rant captured in a video and tweeted by WESH 2 News.
As police escorted Epstein from the line, the doctor then removed his backpack, threw his hands in the air and told officers to make an arrest. “He’s a law enforcement officer and he’s trying to provoke me,” Epstein says to an officer on the footage. “Do you know how to de-escalate things, genius? Do you have training, genius? Do you want to test me?”
Three officers moved in to restrain Epstein and he’s tackled to the ground while screaming, “Don’t beat me up, you motherf***ers!” and “They’re treating me like a f***ing black person!”
Epstein was handcuffed and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, trespassing on a property after a warning, and disorderly conduct. He was medically treated after complaining of chest pains and also told an officer he “created a very big disturbance and I did it on purpose.” Cannabis was also found in Epstein’s pocket.
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach Epstein for comment, however, he told WESH 2 that his behavior was to “prove a point” about forceful police tactics. “If you’re going to do this to a white doctor, who’s 59 years old, for doing nothing, then why would black people trust you?” he told the news station.
“I’m a conservative Republican, I’m a Trump guy,” he said. “But until the police fix this problem, I don’t blame black people for being upset when they get arrested.”
“I was no danger,” Epstein insisted. “I was being loud because I wanted everyone to see. I wanted everything to be out in the open. Big companies have to take care of their customers, and when they call the cops in, they got to de-escalate, not escalate.”
Twitter didn’t buy the doctor’s excuse.
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