Beverly Hills Police Mistake Black TV Producer for Bank Robber; ‘Deeply Regrets’ Error


Charles Belk says he was held for six hours because he fit the description of a “tall, bald head, black male”

The Beverly Hills Police Department has issued an apology for detaining Hollywood producer Charles Belk, saying it “deeply regrets” mistaking him for a bank robber.

Belk, whose credits include “The Greatest Song” and “Douglass U,” posted on his Facebook account that he was “innocently walking by myself” from a restaurant to his car shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday when “my freedom was taken from me by the Beverly Hills Police Department.”

The incident took place near Wilshire and La Cienega Boulevards, according to Belk, who said he was en route to check the time on his parking meter. According to Belk, hours earlier, he had been handling celebrity talent at an Emmy Awards Gifting Suite, and had been invited to a VIP Emmys pre-party that evening.

The police department admitted Monday that Belk’s detention was a case of mistaken identity. “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,” police said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. ”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 suspect that Belk was mistaken for remains at large. But his alleged female accomplice has been taken into custody. Police say 47-year-old Brianna Clemons Kloutse a.k.a. the “Purse Packing Bandit,” is responsible for nine bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies in Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

As for Belk, the 51-year-old is criticizing the department for singling him out as a suspect because of his race.

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SOURCE: The Wrap – Tim Kenneally

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