Passengers aboard the Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee were told they were third in line for takeoff. Thirty minutes later, they were still waiting—and Kima Hamilton says he could wait no longer. Though passengers were to remain in their seats—and Hamilton had been told a bathroom visit would forfeit the plane's position in line—Hamilton says he was forced to make an emergency run to pee. "We weren't taking off. We were still," he tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of the incident on April 18. But when he returned to his seat, Hamilton heard the pilot announce that the plane would return to the gate so a passenger could be removed. As agents approached him, Hamilton initially refused to get out of his seat.
In a video from passenger Krista Rosolino, Hamilton can be heard calmly asking for an explanation. "I had to pee. I tried to hold it the first time … and now I'm being kicked off the plane," he says, per WISN. All passengers were eventually removed, but Hamilton, who was met by FBI agents, was not allowed to return. Instead, he says he got a partial refund from Delta but paid three times the price of his original ticket to take another flight. "It just felt really wrong," Rosolino tells CBS 58. In an open letter, she wonders if Hamilton's race was a factor, noting passengers aboard another Delta flight reportedly used the bathroom during taxiing without repercussions. Says Delta, "it is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions." (Another black passenger accused Delta of discrimination.)