Producer Charles Belk Falsely Arrested For Bank Robbery En Route To Emmys Party

August 27, 2014  |  

More evidence that by being Black and male you can come under attack by authorities, anyplace anytime: film and television producer Charles Belk was on his way to put money into a parking meter when he was swarmed by Beverly Hills police and arrested.

Instead of attending a pre-Emmys party as he was supposed to, Belk was detained for six hours because the police thought he looked like a bank robber.

The 51-year-old Harvard graduate wasn’t even told why he was being arrested. He only learned later it was because the police said he “fit the description” of a Black bank robber. Belk had just left an area restaurant when he was arrested. He says he was “denied a phone call before being released just before midnight when police admitted they had made a mistake,” reports The Daily Mail.

The award-winning executive was booked on $100,000 bail and he said he was only released when the police finally looked at the surveillance video of the bank robbery to realize that Belk looked nothing like the suspect,  according to TV station KTLA.

Belk later posted a picture of himself cuffed and sitting on a street curb with police guarding over him. It has been shared almost 30,000 times. Needless to say the Beverly Hills Police are getting some major negative press out of this outrageous incident.

“I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a well-educated American citizen that had received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University … and an executive leadership certificate from Harvard Business School,” wrote Belk on Facebook. He goes on to list a rather impressive resume of things that he has done, including the work he was in town to do — working with celebrities for the Emmy Awards at a fancy hotel.

“What I don’t get………WHAT I DON”T GET, is, why, during the 45 minutes that they had me on the curb, handcuffed in the sun, before they locked me up and took away my civil rights, that they could not simply review the ATM and bank’s HD video footage to clearly see that the ‘tall, bald headed, black male”… did not fit MY description,'” he writes. That thought crossed our minds as well.

The Beverly Hills Police Department issued a statement on Monday defending the officers’ actions as part of an investigation of an armed robbery at a nearby Citibank.

“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. However, based on witness accounts, and his location close to the bank, officers properly detained and arrested him based on the totality of the circumstances known at the time of the field investigation,” the statement says.

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