‘I was treated like a criminal’
Early Monday morning, Grammy-winning musician and former Fugee, Wyclef Jean, found himself in a scary situation after being wrongly detained by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Jean was coming home from a recording session with rapper T-Baby when he was pulled over by an officer and handcuffed before being able to identify himself. “I was treated like a criminal,” Jean later said about the incident on Twitter.
“I was asked by the police to put my hands up,” Jean wrote on Instagram. “Then I was told do not move. I was instantly handcuffed before being asked to identify myself. Nor was I told why I was being cuffed.” In video taken during the incident, the 47-year-old “Ready or Not” rapper threatened to sue the sheriffs for the unnecessary harassment. After the officers realized Jean didn’t fit the description of the man they were looking for, he was released.
LAPD another case of mistaken identity. Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio work… https://t.co/9CRj1Oe7Nx— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490087513.0
As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD.— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490101430.0
They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person.— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490101243.0
Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person.— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490101114.0
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— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490101048.0
Why am I in Handcuffs!!!!!????? This is what I said to the LAPD after they put me in Handcuffs… https://t.co/accbcWuAYe— Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef Jean)1490099173.0
A post shared by Wyclef Jean (@wyclefjean) on
“They stopped him thinking he was the person involved in the robbery,” LA County Sheriff spokesperson Jeff Gordon told The Washington Post. The officers had been on the lookout for an armed black man wearing a red bandana who had robbed a nearby liquor store 15 minutes before Jean was stopped. Jean was wearing a partially red-colored bandana, which may have caused the confusion. Later that morning, a 26-year-old who authorities believe is the real suspect was apprehended.
(Editor’s Note: In his tweets, Jean incorrectly refers to the officers as Los Angeles Police Department, when he was detained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.)