Wyclef Jean Speaks Out After Being Wrongfully Detained

During his Wednesday, March 22nd appearance on Good Morning America, Wyclef Jean addressed being mistakenly handcuffed and wrongly detained by Los Angeles sheriffs in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 21st. The musician stated he believes the incident was the result of racial profiling. "Basically, I feel I was targeted as a black man" (via Entertainment Tonight).


Jean continued, "It's clear and it was obvious, because when I was getting out of the car and the way that the cars rushed me, the conversation I was having with them, it was a silent and a deaf conversation." The rapper then reasoned, "So, as a citizen, I'm saying it's only right that if I'm telling you my name, and who I am, it only take a second with the technology that we have, it only take a button to Google and say, 'This is Wyclef Jean.'"


E! News confirmed the episode with law enforcement Tuesday, outlining that a robbery had occurred in West Hollywood and that Jean's appearance matched the description of the suspect, who was later arrested. The three-time Grammy winner took to social media soon after to document the event, tweeting, "I was appalled by this behavior of the LAPD."


On this last erroneous note, Jean clarified that he was understandably "in shock and awe" at the time: "The minute this happens, I say I'm going to sue the LAPD because I don't know what's going on...nobody is telling me this is the sheriff's department." He said that now, "I fully understand that."


In the age of Black Lives Matter and police brutality protests, Jean added that he feels it's his duty to speak out. "I stepped up because I have family on both sides of the lens, but I got a chance to see what happens with a citizen versus police firsthand," he said. "I have to tell you, I was scared for my life to the point where I could have acted different, and if I acted different, something else could have happened," he added. "I'm alive to tell my story."