'I was scared for my life': Wyclef Jean recounts moment deputies pulled him out of his car at gunpoint
Wyclef Jean opened up about the terrifying moment he was detained by deputies from the LA County Sheriff's Department in an interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday.
The 47-year-old singer and producer was returning to his hotel following a session in the recording studio when the car he was being driven in was pulled over, with the make and color of he vehicle being similar to the one an armed robber was driving in the area.
Wyclef said however that the suspect's vehicle had a paper license plate, which his did not, but still the deputies ordered him out at gunpoint.
The two deputies did not tell him their names or why they were holding him explained Wyclef, who said he began to fear for his life.
He then added that in his mind it was clear that he was targeted because he is a black man.
Opening up: Wyclef Jean (above on GMA) spoke about being detained by deputies from the LA County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday during the search for a robbery suspect
Stopped: Wyclef was detained by deputies in West Hollywood on Tuesday at around 1am on his way home from the studio (singer above in handcuffs)
'I'm automatically rushed, when I'm rushed guns are drawn, the moment this happens I say, "I'm going to sue the LDPD" because I'm in shock and awe,' explained Wyclef of being pulled from the vehicle.
'No one is telling me this is the LA County Sheriff's Department.'
Wyclef said that he then identified himself but the deputies did not tell him their names, and instead put him in handcuffs and loaded him into the back of their police car.
He also admitted he did not have his ID on him because it was back at his hotel, but said he told officers he would gladly get it for them as they were outside the establishment when they pulled over his car.
'The point I want to make, and the racial profiling part, is I was targeted as a black man and it was clear and obvious,' said Wyclef.
'I have family on both sides of the lens but I got a chance to see what happens with a citizen versus a police firsthand, and I have to tell you, I was scared for my life'
Wylcef went on to say: 'And if I acted different, something else would've happened.'
On Tuesday, the singer detailed the incident on Twitter while also posting two videos taken at the scene taken by singer T Baby, who was with him at the time.
A LA County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the deputies stopped the former member of the Fugees because he was driving a similar car and wearing the same bandanna as an armed robbery suspect.
Sergeant Duncan of the LA County Sheriff Department's West Hollywood station confirmed that Wyclef was detained by deputies around 1am on Tuesday.
There had been an armed robbery nearby and the suspect was driving a car similar in make and color to Wyclef's according Sergeant Duncan, and also wearing a red bandanna.
The deputies released Wyclef after briefly questioning him said Sergeant Duncan.
Difficult night: 'I tell you, I was scared for my life to the point where I could have acted different,' said Wyclef to Robin Roberts on GMA (above)
Dynamic duo: Wyclef, who on Monday had been in the studio working with songwriter Diane Warren (above), has not filed a complaint at this time
Wyclef's spokesperson Melanie A. Bonvicino also released a statement on Tuesday about the incident earlier that day.
'My client recording artist Wyclef Jean was detained by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department this morning while en route back to his hotel from a recording session in Los Angeles, after the vehicle he was being liveried in was pulled over and subsequently subject to police brutality, racial profiling, police bias and the ongoing discriminatory practices of law enforcement officials which remain rampant throughout the United States and for which the LA Sheriff's office is deeming a case of mistaken identity,' said Bonvicino.
'As such, Mr. Jean is requesting a formal investigation into racial profiling by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAPD chief Charlie Beck and the LA Sheriff's Department while calling upon the ACLU and Black Lives Matter to join him in defense of civil liberties and racial bias.'
Wyclef gave his version of events on Twitter, which are not vastly different from the account given by authorities.
'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,'; wrote Wyclef.
'Nor was I told why I was being cuffed. In the process I said my name and told them they have wrong person.'
He then went on to state: 'They proceeded to ignore me and I was treated like a criminal until other police showed up and pointed out they had wrong person.'
And in his final tweet he wrote: 'As some one who has law enforcers in my family, I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD.'
In the beginning: A police spokesperson confirmed to DailyMail.com that Wyclef, who shiot to fame as a member of the Fugges (l to r: Pras, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef in 2005) was briefly detained, but said the singer was released after brief questioning
In the first video posted by Wyclef he can be seen standing against the side of his car and in handcuffs with the two deputies behind him.
The deputies did no try to stop the filming, and at the start of the video Wyclef can be seen telling one of the officers: 'I'm a recording artist sir, I was coming from the studio.'
Family: Wyclef with his wife Marie and daughter Angelina in 20913
He the turns to look at the camera phone filming him and says: 'This is ... just so you all know, I am going to sue the LAPD. I am going to sue. Because you took off my hat. You put the cuffs on me.'
The second video posted by Wyclef appears to have been filmed first, with the two deputies still in the process of detaining him while he speaks to the camera.
'This is what's happening in LA right now, I'm coming from the studio with T Baby, and you can see the police have handcuffs on me,' says Wyclef.
'They just took off my Haitian bandanna. That's what's going down with Wyclef in LA right now, the police have me in cuffs for absolutely nothing.'
Wyclef has not made any additional statements about being detained at the time.
It was an unfortunate end to a what looked to be an exciting day for Wyclef.
The singer had been working with famed songwriter Diane Warren earlier in the day, and posted an image of the two on his Instagram account revealing that they were working together on a new song.
Wyclef shot to fame along with Lauryn Hill and Pras in the mid-90s as a member of the Fugees before going on to have his own solo career.
He has been married to designer Marie Claudinette since 1994 and in 2005 the couple adopted their daughter Angelina.
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