Philadelphia-born Muhammad Ali, Jr, the son of the boxing legend, was stopped by TSA agents for about 20 minutes at Reagan International Airport in Washington, DC, before being allowed to board a domestic flight to his home in Florida.
He was in Washington to testify before a congressional subcommittee about his experience being detained at an airport for several hours by Homeland Security returning from Jamaica on February 7.
Ali’s lawyer, Chris Mancini, told the New York Daily News that Ali was not allowed to board the flight until he showed his American passport. He did not encounter any difficulty flying to Washington on Wednesday, Mancini said.
Former Representative and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz happened to be on the same flight and Tweeted a photo and recounting Ali’s experience.
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) March 10, 2017
Wasserman Schultz’s wording was not entirely accurate as Ali was never technically “detained,” TSA officials said. TSA officials told The Louisville Courier-Journal that agents did stop him for 11 minutes while made a call to confirm Ali’s identity, but did not say why that call was necessary. They also confirmed that he was subject to a seven-minute body search and screening as he passed through security.
Ali and his mother, Muhammad Ali’s second wife, were detained and questioned at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Feb. 7. Ali Jr. said he repeatedly was asked his name, where his name came from and what his religion was.