Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean was briefly handcuffed and detained in Los Angeles after authorities mistook him for a robbery suspect.


Sgt. C. Duncan with the LA Sheriff’s Department said that they had been investigating a report of a man and woman being robbed at gun point around 1 am. The assailant was described as a black man with a dark hoodie who fled in a gold/tan Toyota. They pulled over a man who matched that description, and it happened to be Jean.

“L.A., right now, coming from the studio,” Jean said in a video posted to Twitter. “Y’all see the police have handcuffs on me. They just took off my Haitian bandanna. That’s what’s going on right now with Wyclef in LA right now. The LAPD have me in cuffs for absolutely nothing.”

Jean was traveling with a woman in the car as well, and was only let go after the victim confirmed there was no woman in the getaway vehicle. According to Sgt. Duncan, the entire ordeal lasted only six minutes.

Around 9 am, Jean described the incident, saying, “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.” A spokeswoman for the singer released a statement on Tuesday calling for an investigation into racial profiling. “Just because someone tells me their name, I have to verify it through legal means,” said Sgt. Duncan in response.

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