Darris Love was shopping at a Los Angeles-area mall with his girlfriend last week when he says he was racially profiled and wrongly arrested as a burglary suspect. Now, the “Straight Outta Compton” actor is taking legal action and launching a campaign because of it.
The incident happened at The Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, Calif., Wednesday, June 4 after Love had rushed back into the Apple Store to validate his parking.
“We were just shopping, just doing what normal people do in the mall,” said Love, who was with his girlfriend, Ayesha Dumas, at a Tuesday, June 14 press conference.
While the couple shopped, police were led to the mall after chasing a suspected burglary ring from Tarzana to the Glendale Galleria mall area about 20 miles away.
“It’s been hard sleeping from having a gun pulled on you… slammed to the ground, knee on your neck,” “The Secret World of Alex Mac” actor says of police rushing in. “It wears on my peace of mind … When you got 12 police officers running up with guns drawn, you kind of freeze for a moment but then you have to realize if you do anything wrong, breathe wrong, look wrong — you could be dead. So it was a very post-traumatic type of scenario that keeps replaying in my head.”
Love said upon his arrest, he pleaded with officers to check surveillance footage
The actor’s attorney, James Bryant of The Cochran Firm, said his client was in police custody for seven hours before being released.
Dumas, who recorded the incident on her phone, also was affected by the incident. She explained she had a K-9 dog barking at her to get out of the vehicle and was detained for over an hour. To show she wasn’t guilty, she allowed officers to search the car, which she says they damaged.
Still, Love credited two officers, including Senior Lead Officer Daryl Scoggins, for helping correct the situation. Love said Scoggins offered to turn on the air conditioning in the cop car and had the former Nickelodeon star explain what occurred. Love handed the officer his parking validation as proof he couldn’t have been involved in the chase. Scoggins and his fellow officer ultimately reviewed surveillance video and validated Love’s story.
A statement issued by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said Love, who was wearing a Black hoodie, “closely resembled” the suspect who had abandoned a BMW at the Galleria and took off on foot.
“Darris Love was detained by Glendale police at the mall and turned over to the LAPD after he was mistakenly identified by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department as the possible suspect. He was in LAPD’s custody for less than three hours and was released after it was determined he was not the suspect.”
Bryant says the couple is taking legal action against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and they’ll seek monetary damages for compensation and punitive damages.
Love is also launching the #IAmNotASuspect campaign on social media to “kill negative stereotypes and the negative narrative and perception” of Black Americans.
Watch our press conference with actor Darris Love as he details what happened to him when Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Glendale Police Department racially profiled him and mistook him for a burglary suspect while he was shopping at the mall. #IAmNotASuspect
Posted by The Cochran Firm California on Tuesday, June 12, 2018