Wyclef Jean was “scared for his life” and slammed police for racial profiling after he was handcuffed by gun-wielding officers in a case of mistaken identity on Tuesday (21.03.17).
The 47-year-old singer was pulled over by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies investigating an armed robbery on Tuesday (21.03.17) and is relieved he never lashed out during his ordeal.
He said: “I have family on both sides of the lens but I got a chance to see what happens with a citizen versus a police firsthand.
“I have to tell you, I was scared for my life to the point where I could have acted different and if I had, something different could have happened.”
Wyclef slammed officials for “racial profiling” and targeting him because he is black.
He said authorities were looking for a car with a paper license plate, but that his vehicle didn’t have a paper plate.
He added to ABC News’ Robin Roberts: “After I got out of the car, I have my backpack on, I’m coming from the recording studio. I’m automatically rushed
“When I’m rushed, guns are drawn, which is the part you don’t see … I’m pulled over.”
Wyclef claimed no one told him why they handcuffed him and he was in “shock and awe” as the incident occurred.
He added: “I say, ‘Well, my name is Wyclef Jean.’ Then I’m taken and put in handcuffs in the back.
“The point I want to make and the racial profiling is that basically I feel like I was targeted as a black man.
“It is clear and was obvious because when I was getting out of the car and the way that the cops rushed me, the conversation that I was having with them, it was a silent and a death conversation.
“So as a citizen, I feel that, it is only right that if I am telling you my name and who I am, it only takes a second with the technology that we have to basically press a button and Google and say, ‘This is Wyclef Jean.'”
West Hollywood police told Us Weekly in a statement that they were able to determine the Fugees star wasn’t the suspect, and the person they were looking for was eventually located a few blocks away and charged with robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.