12:57 PM PT -- Stevie tells TMZ ... the reason he and his son, Stevie II, were removed is due in part to the fact they didn't follow a Delta staffer's instructions on the drop of a dime -- which he thinks led to them blowing the situation out of proportion.
He says he and his son were drinking beverages prior to boarding and were told they'd have to chuck 'em before getting on. Steve says they did that, but not before finishing the drinks ... something that apparently pissed of the gate agent, whom Stevie says then made a big fuss.
He insists no drink was brought onboard, and that they did as they were told to do -- and yet, they were treated quite poorly. Stevie says he thinks there was a racial component to the confrontation, and he's going to follow up with his attorneys. We're told he wasn't banned from flying Delta, and that no arrests were made. They simply booked another flight and made it to their destination -- Atlanta, for his daughter's bday -- without further issue.
Stevie J's trip to Atlanta was derailed this week, all because a buddy he was flying with wanted to take his boozy beverage to go -- a big enough no-no to get 'em booted.
The producer was escorted off of a Delta flight Friday at LAX, where it looks like cops were on hand to greet both Stevie and another passenger he appeared to be traveling alongside ... and we finally learned what the heck caused the whole ruckus.
Sources familiar with the situation tell us ... this man with Stevie had apparently purchased an alcoholic beverage in the terminal while waiting to board, and then tried carrying it on past the gate, something we're told Delta personnel was telling him not to do.
Sounds like he did it anyway, and once he was in the plane -- our sources he threw it away ... but the damage was already done because the Delta team insisted they exit for disobeying their orders.
We also got video of Stevie and this guy deplaning, and you can hear the man explain to everyone that there was no longer an issue ... asking why they were being shooed off.
As for Stevie ... he was pretty pissed about it all. There's another video someone captured of him talking to the gate attendant, threatening to sue them while also calling him a few things.
Delta wouldn't confirm names to us, but they did acknowledge something happened on Thursday that slightly delayed their flight to ATL due to two passengers exiting. They say they were only 8 minutes late as a result ... but wouldn't elaborate further.
Originally Published -- 10:25 AM PT