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If it could not get any worse for police in America, it just did.

On Friday, Aug. 22 television producer and award-wining filmmaker Charles Belk was wrongfully arrested in Beverly Hills. Belk, who holds an MBA from Indiana University, was apprehended as he strolled away from a restaurant. According to authorities, Belk fit the description of a suspect who participated in a bank robbery of a Citibank.

Following the incident, Belk tweeted a photo of himself sitting on the pavement in handcuffs.

Belk was detained for six hours in a cold jail cell. In addition, he penned an open letter via Facebook:

WHEN YOU “FIT THE DESCRIPTION”!

It’s one of those things that you hear about, but never think it would happen to you.

On Friday afternoon, August 22nd around 5:20pm, while innocently walking by myself from a restaurant on Wilshire Blvd, to my car up LaCienega Blvd my freedom was taken from me by the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Within seconds, I was detained and told to sit on the curb of the very busy street, during rush hour traffic.

Within minutes, I was surrounded by 6 police cars, handcuffed very tightly, fully searched for weapons, and placed back on the curb.

Within an hour, I was transported to the Beverly Hills Police Headquarters, photographed, finger printed and put under a $100,000 bail and accused of armed bank robbery and accessory to robbery of a Citibank.

Within an evening, I was wrongly arrested, locked up, denied a phone call, denied explanation of charges against me, denied ever being read my rights, denied being able to speak to my lawyer for a lengthy time, and denied being told that my car had been impounded…..All because I was mis-indentified as the wrong “tall, bald head, black male,” … “fitting the description.”

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know at the time that I was a law abiding citizen of the community and that in my 51 years of existence, had never been handcuffed or arrested for any reason. All they saw, was someone fitting the description. Doesn’t matter if he’s a “Taye Diggs BLACK”, a “LL Cool J BLACK”, or “a

Drake BLACK”

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was an award nominated and awarding winning business professional, most recently being recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal at their Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards. They didn’t need to because, they saw someone fitting the description.

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 (including a full Consortium Fellowship to business school) and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard Business School. Hey, I was “tall”, “bald”, a “male” and “black”, so I fit the description.

Belk, who is rightfully offended, ended his letter by not only insisting it is time for a change, but also reiterated not everyone fits the “description.”

To read the entire letter visit Belk’s Facebook page.

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  • Mary Burrell

    This reminds me of that scene from that movie “Crash” were Terrance Howard’s character gets pulled over by the cops.

  • joe

    Law enforcement nationwide has turned the clock back to the Jim Crow era. A 27 year old cop in Oklahoma was arrested and charged with raping and sexually abusing at least seven black women while on duty. The prosecutor believes there are many more victims and is urging women to come forward. The officer’s name is Daniel Holtzclaw. Whites in his community are giving him their full support while raising money for his defense.

    The known victims range in age from 34 to 58. There is speculation that he targeted these women because they are black.

    • Yes, I just read about that case. I read it in the Nation Magazine Online. So far, I haven’t read or heard about it in any mainstream news outlets or publications. Time will tell.