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Wyclef Jean Says Wrongful Detainment by LA Sheriffs Is ‘Bigger Than a Black and White Issue’

Wyclef Jean wants Black Lives Matter involved in his wrongful detainment investigation, but he doesn’t think it’s just a race issue.

The Fugees singer spoke about the Tuesday, March 21, ordeal that had him handcuffed by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Department when they confronted the wrong suspect. Jean said the incident, which resulted in the arrest of the right suspect moments later and an apology from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, had him “scared for my life.”

“This is bigger than a Black-and-white issue,” Jean told “Good Morning America” Wednesday, March 22. “After I got out the car, automatically … I got my backpack on, I’m coming from the recording studio, I’m automatically rushed. When I’m rushed, guns are drawn, which is the part that you don’t see.”

Jean explained he said he would “sue the LAPD” because he wasn’t told that it was the sheriff’s department and not the Los Angeles Police Department that was handling him. Jean also said he wasn’t told why he was being detained before being handcuffed and placed into the back of the cop car.

“I feel that I was targeted as a Black man,” he said. “It’s clear and it was obvious because when I was getting out of the car and the way that the cops rushed me, the conversation that I was having with them, it was a silent and a deaf conversation. So, as a citizen, I feel that it’s only right that if I’m telling you my name and who I am, it only takes a second with the technology that we have to basically press a button and Google say, ‘This is Wyclef Jean.’ ”

Jean went on about the ordeal in a video to TMZ, saying he explained to his daughter what to do if she were pulled over. He refuted the sheriff’s report that he was not following police orders and called it an “assassination of character” and “not giving the truth.”

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