Charles Belk has an impressive resume: a BS in Electrical Engineering from USC, an MBA from Indiana University and a Executive Management Certificate from Harvard University School of Business. He is President and Chief Branding Officer of Charles Belk Entertainment, a film and TV producer who has worked with the NAACP and an adjunct professor at Pearce College.
He is also a black man who according to Beverly Hills Police “fit the description” of a suspected bank robber.
On Friday, August 22 while walking back to his car after lunch at a Wilshire Boulevard restaurant, Belk was stopped by police who handcuffed him, searched him for weapons and forced him to sit on the curb as 6 more police cars arrived on the scene to “protect” the public from this dastardly criminal.
Belk posted about the incident on his Facebook page saying:
“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.'”
Belk admits that he understands that the police had no way of knowing when they first approached him that in his 51 years he had never once been arrested or handcuffed, that he was a successful and award winning business man who had never been in the bank that he was accused of having robbed — but that he also understands that his rights were violated shamelessly.
“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.
Why, at 11:59pm (approximately 6 hours later), was the video footage reviewed only after my request to the Lead Detective for the Beverly Hills Police Department and an FBI Agent to do so, and, after being directly accused by another FBI Special Agent of ‘…going in and out of the bank several times complaining about the ATM Machine to cause a distraction…’ thereby aiding in the armed robbery attempt of a bank that I never heard of, or ever been to; and within 10 minutes……10 MINUTES, my lawyer was told that I was being release because it was clear that it was not me.”
Mr. Belk’s experience is a perfect illustration of why it is that the parents of black boys have to have “the talk” with their sons, not about sex, but about how to protect themselves from being shot and killed by an overzealous police officer.
h/t: Crooks and Liars