Wyclef Jean was on the the set of Good Morning America Wednesday, to talk about his recent run-in with the law. The Haitian-born musician was detained by Los Angeles police Tuesday, after being mistaken for the suspect in a nearby assault and robbery. As it was happening, Jean had someone record the incident and then post it on social media criticizing the Los Angeles deputies involved.
“I was targeted as a black man. It was clear and it was obvious,” Jean told Robin Roberts. “I was scared for my life to the point where I could have acted different, and had I acted different, something else could have happened.”
“We have seen that in the past,” said Roberts.
“When I was pulled over, and when I got out the car, I was not told why,” Jean continued. “If I’m not told why and guns are drawn on me, how am I supposed to react?”
Also on GMA, was Mediaite Founder and ABC News Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams, who said it was important that viewers consider the police perspective too.
“Older gold car with a female driver, and a passenger, male, wearing some sort of bandana, the actual suspects are captured four blocks away,” said Abrams recounting the similarity between the suspect and Jean’s car. “Does that mean that they got it right? No. But does that mean what they did was improper? Also no.”
Jean took pains to stress he was not anti-police, but only that he took exception to the individual actions of the officers involved in his case. “Not until I’m put inside of the car and I’m in cuffs, six minutes, I’m told, ‘ok there was an investigation.'” said Jean.
In a conversation that was refreshingly civil and respectful considering the nature of the discussion, Abrams pointed out the police claimed that Jean did not respond to certain requests from the officers on the scene:
“The police are saying that there were certain actions that he took that made them uncomfortable,” he said. “Police do put people in cuffs sometimes, very much temporarily as they try and sort something out. That’s not necessarily bad procedure, that’s not necessarily wrong.”
“As a person who is alive,” said Jean. “I’m telling you I did nothing wrong.”
[image via screengrab]
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