Black actor Darris Love held by police 7 hours, mistaken as burglar
Carol Ozemhoya| OW Contributor | 6/13/2018, 11:20 a.m.
NBC News is reporting that Black actor Darris Love was held by sheriff’s deputies last week in Los Angeles as a suspect in a burglary ring. Love, 38, along with his female companion, Ayehsa Dumas, 39, said they plan to file a claim with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a prelude to a civil lawsuit. Love has been in movies and on television for more than 20 years, with credits including “Sister, Sister,” “NYPD Blue,” “ER” and many more. Love’s attorney told reporters that he was held for hours despite evidence that he had been miles away from the alleged crime spree. Love said he and Dumas were at a suburban Los Angeles mall Wednesday (June 6) when the arrest took place. “We were just shopping, just doing what normal people do in the mall," Love said at a news conference Tuesday (June 12). He was accompanied by one of the national founders of Black Lives Matter, Melina Abdullah. He said he was terrified when deputies, with their weapons drawn, surrounded him and barked orders. “If you do anything wrong — breathe wrong, look wrong — you could be dead,” he was told. The two were detained after a suspected burglary crew in a black BMW sedan led deputies on a chase from suburban Tarzana to the Glendale Galleria mall, about 20 miles away. Love was running to the Apple store at the adjacent Americana at Brand mall shortly before noon to get a parking validation, the two said, when he was spotted by officers and arrested at gunpoint. “Slammed to the ground, knee on your neck,” said the actor, whose credits also include “Straight Outta Compton” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” In a statement, the sheriff's department said an officer saw Love running near the area where the car chase had ended, and detectives initially identified him as one of the men seen leaving the house in Tarzana that had been burglarized. Love “closely resembled” the burglar, the statement said. Dumas said officers at the mall, unaware that she was with Love, zeroed in on her vehicle as she waited for him to return with the parking validation. She said she was “held at gunpoint with a K-9 dog barking at me to get out of my car.” The actor said he pleaded with his jailers, asking them to look at Americana security video and at his parking stub. They released him after seven hours, his attorney, James Bryant, said in an interview. Police failed to do “any number of things they could have done to quickly resolve this issue to determine he was not a suspect,” Bryant said. Bryant said his clients were still considering the role of Glendale police, one of three departments involved in the hunt for the burglary suspects. “We feel [Love] was just randomly picked out and racially profiled by Glendale police,” the attorney said.