EXCLUSIVE: "I was scared for my life." Singer @wyclef tells his story, saying he was wrongfully detained by police: https://t.co/cpi1ZyFbSa pic.twitter.com/sKlCtC8T6w— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 22, 2017
Wyclef Jean is requesting a formal investigation into racial profiling after he was mistaken for a suspect in a nearby robbery and detained by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officers in West Hollywood on Tuesday, ABC News reports. The musician posted a video of the incident to Twitter and appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday to discuss the events.
"I feel that I was targeted as a black man" Jean said on the show. "I got a chance to what happens with a citizen versus the police first hand. And, I have to tell you, I was scared for my life to the point where I could've acted different. If I had acted different, something else would've happened."
In a statement issued on Tuesday, a representative for the musician wrote, "Mr. Jean is requesting a formal investigation into racial profiling by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAPD chief Charlie Beck and the LA Sheriff's Department while calling upon the ACLU and Black Lives Matter to join him in defense of civil liberties and racial bias."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to the incident in a statement posted to their Facebook. "It is unfortunate that Mr. Jean was detained for six minutes during this investigation, as he had no involvement whatsoever in this violent crime," the statement reads. "However, Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs are frequently required to make lawful detentions, under the strict parameters provided by law, in the interest of catching often dangerous and armed suspects in our communities and keeping the public safe."
Two suspects have been arrested in the robbery and are being held on $100,000 bail.