Singer Wyclef Jean posted a video on his Twitter account early Tuesday, showing him being detained by Los Angeles police officers. Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies were looking for a robbery suspect and detained Jean because his vehicle matched the description of the suspects. Jean was released a short time later.
“LAPD another case of mistaken identity,” Jean wrote. “Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?”
In the video, Jean claims the police took off his Haitian bandanna and put him in haandcuffs.
After posting the video, Jean claimed on Twitter that he was not told why he was being cuffed and wrote that the officers ignored him when he told them who he is.
“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… Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person,” Jean tweeted. “They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person. I am sure no father wants his sons or daughters to see him in Handcuffs especially if he is innocent. As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD.”
Heavy.com contacted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office, but weren’t able to get a statement immediately. However, CBS Los Angeles reported that there was a reported robbery at a gas station on Sunset Boulevard at around 1 a.m. local time in West Hollywood. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found a victim claiming to have had a wallet stolen.
The victim provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which looked like Jean’s. When they spotted the singer’s vehicle, they pulled him over and detained him for a short time. They later released him because he was not the suspect.
A sergeant told CBS Los Angeles that Jean was only arrested because his vehicle looked like the victim’s description of the suspect. They did eventually arrest the suspect, recovering a stolen wallet and a gun allegedly used in the crime.
Sgt. Duncan told NBC Los Angeles that the suspect was seen wearing a gray or dark-colored hoodie and a red bandanna. Duncan said the vehicle was described as an older-model, tan Toyota sedan. Minutes after they arrived at the scene, they saw Jean and questioned him until they determined that he wasn’t the suspect.
The LAPD has stressed that they did not detain Jean on Twitter. An officer also told Heavy.com that it was sheriff’s deputies who detained Jean.
Jean is a three-time Grammy winner and best known for his work as a member of the Fugees. In 2010, he tried to run for the Haitian presidency, but he didn’t meet the five-year residency requirement. Still, he’s spent much of his time raising relief funds after the 2010 earthquake in his native country. In February 2017, he released the EP J’ouvert.