ENTERTAINMENT

Wyclef Jean Was Treated 'Like A Criminal' After Mistaken For Suspect

22/03/2017 08:42 SAST | Updated 22/03/2017 08:55 SAST
GC Images
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 07: Singer, rapper, musician and actor Wyclef Jean visits FOX 29 Studio to promote His new EP, titled J'Ouvert on March 7, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean threatened to sue authorities in Los Angeles in a video posted early Tuesday that shows him in handcuffs following what he's calling "another case of mistaken identity."

"I was treated like a criminal," the 47-year-old artist Tweeted following the incident that he said left him "appalled."

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesperson confirmed to The Huffington Post that their deputies had detained him. Jean had initially accused the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD has since denied being involved in the case.

The "Gone Till November" singer said he had just left a recording studio when he was ordered to put his hands up by officers, despite identifying himself.

Why am I in Handcuffs!!!!!????? This is what I said to the LAPD after they put me in Handcuffs for mistaken identity !!!!!!!

A post shared by Wyclef Jean (@wyclefjean) on

"Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working but im in handcuffs?" he tweeted.

In an Instagram video, the former Fugees musician is heard telling the officers that he plans to sue the LAPD.

A statement released by a representative of Jean hours after the incident accused the deputies of police brutality, racial profiling and police bias.

"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," the statement read.

Authorities confirmed to HuffPost that Jean was placed in handcuffs but called it a detainment and not an arrest. The entire incident lasted about 10 minutes, said Sgt. D. Walker.

NBC News, citing local police, said that the officers were looking for an armed suspect who was described as a black male wearing a gray or dark-colored hoodie and red bandana. The suspect was also said to have fled in a gold or tan Toyota sedan, which a West Hollywood patrol unit said matched Jean's vehicle.

After being ordered out of the car and placed in handcuffs, authorities said that Jean was released once it was determined that he was not the suspect.

The Haitian-born artist, who grew up in New Jersey, is also known for his humanitarian work and attempt to run for president of his home country.

This story has been updated with a statement from Jean's spokesperson.