A television and film producer who was in Beverly Hills for a pre-Emmy Awards party was arrested over the weekend after police officers mistakenly accused him of “armed bank robbery and accessory to robbery of a Citibank,” KTLA.com reports, citing a Facebook post from Belk.
Charles Belk was detained for about six hours Friday evening before police realized they had the wrong person, the publication reports.
A photo on his Facebook page shows him sitting on a curb in handcuffs, while two police officers stand nearby.
“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,’” he wrote on Facebook.
He added, “I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was an award nominated and [award] 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.”
Belk told TheWrap that while he was detained, he thought of the “Ferguson and New York situations,” referring to the deaths of two black men, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, who died after a police officer put him in a chokehold.
Belk, a freelance television producer whose credits include “The Greatest Song” and “Douglass U.,” said, “I did not want to give them any reason to question my interest in cooperating.”
On Monday, the police department said his detention was due to misidentification, TheWrap notes. “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 said in a statement.
Belk’s biography on IMDb includes this description of some of his community activities: “Committed to community service, Charles has served on the Board of Directors for the inaugural Downtown Film Festival — Los Angeles, the University of Southern California BAA, the Silverlake Film Festival Board of Directors, and the Chaka Khan Foundation ‘I Believe’ Gala Committee. While in Atlanta, he served on the boards of the Hughes Spaulding Childrens Hospital, House of Love for the Homeless, Georgia CASA, Jomandi Theater, United Way of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Initiate Program, Cobb County Transit Advisory. Prior to that, the Durham City / County Zoning Commission, and the Durham Country Transportation Commission.”
Charles Belk, detained in Beverly Hills