Wyclef Says He Was Mistaken For a Robber & Handcuffed By Police (Video)

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As police brutality and baseless apprehension by law enforcement continue to plague the country’s Black and Brown citizens, encounters between officers and Hip-Hop celebrities seem to prove that, regardless of wealth or fame, discrimination is still commonplace. Last summer, Dr. Dre was handcuffed and detained by police in front of his own home, but that is hardly the only time a Hip-Hop celebrity has been treated unfairly by the cops. In fact, it’s not even the most recent time the Los Angeles Police Department has been involved with handcuffing a Hip-Hop celebrity for seemingly no legitimate reason. Just a few hours ago, Wyclef Jean reported that he, too, was placed in handcuffs by the LAPD with no just cause.

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Taking to social media, ‘Clef shared video footage that appears to show him being handcuffed by police in Los Angeles, for what he says are unwarranted and egregiously biased reasons. The celebrated MC, singer, songwriter, and activist uploaded the encounter in the early morning hours today (March 21), and called the LAPD out for allowing “another case of mistaken identity” to take place against a person of color. “Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?,” reads the caption of his Twitter video. In the video itself, Wyclef can be heard saying “That’s what’s going on with Wyclef in L.A. right now. They have me in cuffs for absolutely nothing.”


In speaking with XXL, a representative for ‘Clef shared the following statement from the Grammy-winning artist:
“I was asked by the police to put my hands up. Then I was told, ‘Do not move.’ I was instantly handcuffed before being asked to identify myself and before being told why. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person. They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal. I am sure no father wants his sons or daughters to see him in Handcuffs especially if he is innocent. As someone who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by the behavior of the LAPD.”In a series of Tweets posted today, ‘Clef continued to express his anger with the treatment he faced. “[The police] proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person,” he writes. “I am sure no father wants his sons or daughters to see him in Handcuffs especially if he is innocent.”

Wyclef most recently released the EP J’Ouvert, which celebrates his Haitian background and features “If I Was President 2016,” a poignant song that features the lyrics “There’s riots every week/Their uniforms blue and the peoples on the streets/And everyone’s living on their knees/Cause you could be the next one walking with the dead.”