‘Hoverboard’-riding rapper Wiz Khalifa is briefly detained by authorities at LAX


Rapper Wiz Khalifa said he was riding a ‘hoverboard’ at the Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend when authorities stopped him and held him to the ground.

On Twitter, Khalifa said he was essentially being punished for being technologically avant garde -- similar to Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly character in “Back to the Future II.” The “Black and Yellow” singer posted videos on Twitter and Instagram showing his run-in.

“All because I didn’t want to ditch the technology everyone will be using in the next 6 months,” he said in a tweet. “Do what you want kids.”


Interested in the stories shaping California? Sign up for the free Essential California newsletter >>

The hoverboard is actually a device. Some companies like Hendo have created the flying boards that only work on a conductive surface, so most people use self-balancing, electric unicycles.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection isn’t saying much about Khalifa’s run-in with law enforcement officers Saturday.

The series of videos show Khalifa, whose real name is Cameron Jibril Thomaz, surrounded by uniformed officers at the airport. One of the officers places his hand on the rapper’s chest.

Khalifa tells the officer, “You can’t do nothing anyway. Whatcha going to do? Put me in jail?”

Then at some point, at least four officers slammed Khalifa to the ground.

The photo of the takedown shows Khalifa facedown as three officers hold his arms behind his back.


Khalifa was handcuffed as officers told him to stop resisting.

Khalifa replied, “I am not resisting, sir” several times.

Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection, declined to describe details about the incident, but said Khalifa was not arrested. The rapper was restrained, and later apologized, he said.

Customs and Border Protection screens as many as 25,000 travelers a day at LAX, and distractions can be dangerous, Ruiz said.

“An unruly, disruptive passenger could create a chaotic situation, which could result in a vulnerability to our national security,” he said in an email. “Imagine there is a terrorist, or a fugitive waiting in line waiting for a distraction like this – it is really serious.”

Times staff writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA



Group of black women kicked off Napa wine train after laughing too loud

LAPD officers wound two men in separate weekend shootings

Fight between homeless men outside Disneyland ends in stabbing