Actor Darris Love, who voiced Tupac Shakur in the film Straight Outta Compton and has appeared in various TV shows over the years including ER, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and ’90s Nickelodeon series The Secret World of Alex Mack, is accusing Los Angeles law enforcement of racial profiling after he was taken into custody at gunpoint for a crime he didn’t commit.
According to local news reports, Love, who is African-American, alleges that deputies identified him as a suspect in a home burglary and subsequent high-speed pursuit that ended up at Glendale Galleria, an L.A.-area mall, on June 6.
Love, 38, says he and his girlfriend had been shopping at the mall’s Apple store at the time of the crime. He offered up a time-stamped parking ticket and suggested the police check mall security cameras to confirm his whereabouts, but instead he was taken into custody and detained for seven hours.
He was set free after being taken to a local precinct, where the police there determined he was not a suspect and let him go.
Love detailed that he had been running through the mall’s garage to validate his parking ticket but that he slowed down when he saw the deputies. As soon as he slowed down, they immediately took him into custody.
Love’s girlfriend, Ayesha Dumas, said she allowed police to search her car. “They tore it apart and didn’t put it back together,” she said.
The actor and his attorneys have filed a legal claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “There can be no other explanation other than race. There was absolutely nothing about my clients’ demeanor, about their actions or about their manner in dealing with law enforcement that in any way would have suggested criminal culpability to a reasonable police officer,” said attorney Brian Dunn in a statement.
At the time of posting, the sheriff’s department has not responded to a request for comment.
Love said he decided to come forward with his story because he wants to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“This is not a hate-all-police matter,” Love said. He thanked the Los Angeles Police Department officers for realizing he wasn’t a suspect, despite being initially identified as one by sheriff’s deputies.
No other suspects have been apprehended, according to the LAPD.
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