Wyclef Jean refuses to stay silent over the L.A. County Sheriff Department’s clumsy mishandling of an arrest. On Tuesday afternoon, the rapper, singer, and songwriter was mistaken for a suspect in a robbery. He documented his arrest on Twitter, tweeting, “I was asked by the police to put my hands up. Then I was told do not move. I was instantly hand cuffed before being asked to identify myself.” He further vented, “Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but I’m in handcuffs?”
LAPD another case of mistaken identity. Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs? pic.twitter.com/vjRfJUkooA
The sheriff’s department eventually realized their mistake after Jean was briefly detained. They issued a statement hours later saying, “It is unfortunate that Mr. Jean was detained for six minutes during this investigation, as he had no involvement whatsoever in this violent crime.” They continued, “The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is apologetic for any inconvenience this process caused Mr. Jean.” You can read their lengthy statement below. The suspects authorities were searching for were eventually apprehended, according to the statement.
Despite their apology, Wyclef Jean’s words still resonate.
As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD.
The sheriff’s department insisted, “Since this writing, neither Mr. Jean nor his representatives have personally contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the actual agency whose deputies reasonably and lawfully detained him.”
Considering Jean’s racially profiled experience, it’s understandable if he takes some time before deciding to reach out to the sheriff’s department.