Hip-Hop artist Wyclef Jean arrested by LA Sheriff’s deputies

After he emerged from a studio where he had been working, Hai- tian-born hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean was arrested early Tuesday byLosAngeles Sheriff’s deputies looking for an armed man who had earlier perpetrated a robbery. The singer was subjected to all the humiliation linked to a regular arrest, including being handcuff- ed, before he was released. Re- ports indicated the man res- ponsible for the robbery was ap- prehended, and the car involved in the get-away seized,in addition to the purse stolen having been recovered.

According to a tweetfrom Mr. Jean, hewas detained in handcuffs by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in the early morning of Tuesday (March 21,) in West Hollywood. He wasreleased after the latter realized he was not the robbery suspect they were looking for.

In his tweet, the Hip-Hop artist, nicknamedNel by hismom, says: ‘’LAPD, another case of mistaken identity.Blackman with red bandana robbed a gas station asI wasin the studio working, but I’m in handcuffs.’’ He went on to say in the same tweet: ‘’Ya’ll see the police have handcuffs on me. They just took off my Haitian bandana. That’s what’s going on right now with Wyclef and LA right now. The LAPD have me in cuffs for absolutely nothing.’’ (As it’s pointed above, it wasn‘t the LAPD, but deputies of Los An- geles County sheriff.)

Indeed, the singer accompa- nied his tweet with a video show- ing him in handcuffs. It was not indicated who had taken the video, which showed Mr. Jean seemingly speaking into a web- cam.

According to Sergeant Duncan, deputies with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station were in search of an armed Black man wearing a red bandana alleged to have robbed a gas station earlier near Sunset and North San Vincente boulevards.The suspected perpetrator was described wearing a black or grayish-colored hoodie, and a red bandana heading east on Sunset Blvd, driv- ing an older tan or gold four-door Toyota.

Sergeant Duncan explained that minutes later a vehicle fitting the description given wasspotted. Pulled over near Shenwood and West Knoll the driver of the car happened to be Wyclef Jean, who was also wearing his regular red-and-blue Haitian flag bandana at the time his car wasintercepted by deputies and stopped.

After interrogating him, deputies determined he was not the suspect they were looking for and released him.

Obviously, the Hip-Hop artist believes he was a victim of mistaken identity, a case that’s often happening in cities across the United States nowadays overwhelmingly against Black men, sometimes triggering violent de- monstrations, particularly when such incidents result in the killing of the victims by Police officers. In this particular case, some observers raise the possibility of racial profiling.

This article is in the version PDF of the edition of March 22nd, 2017 of the weekly Haiti Observer, P. 1 and 3 of which the link :