Beverly Hills officials have issued statements expressing regret over the arrest of an innocent black producer in town for a pre-Emmys party who was mistaken for a wanted bank robber.
Charles Belk was held for six hours on $100,000 bond because he "matched the clothing and physical characteristics" of a suspect. He was pulled over Friday night when he left a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard, police said.
Beverly Hills mayor Lili Bosse said in a statement that Belk's arrest was "unfortunate" but "necessary":
“It is extremely unfortunate that an innocent bystander was mistakenly identified as a suspect. However, because of this positive identification and because multiple law enforcement agencies were involved, a thorough and lengthy investigation was absolutely necessary.”
The Beverly Hills police department issued a statement also, expressing regret, but not too much:
“The Beverly Hills Police Department deeply regrets the inconvenience to Mr. Belk and has reached out to him to express those regrets and further explain the circumstances,” the police statement said. A spokesman said the incident will be recorded as a detention, not an arrest."
In a long Facebook post that has since had nearly 40,000 shares, Belk offered his thoughts after the arrest. Here's an excerpt:
"I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a well educated American citizen that had received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University ... and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard Business School," said in a Facebook post after he was released. "Hey, I was "tall", "bald", a "male" and "black", so I fit the description."
[Via L.A. Times]