Hollywood producer Charles Belk says he was arrested and mistreated by Beverly Hills police when he was taken into custody Friday night because he fit the description of an African American bank robber.
Police say Belk "matched the clothing and physical characteristics" and that is why he was arrested as he left a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard.
On Tuesday night, in a press release, police called the incident “extremely unfortunate."
Belk says the entire situation is unacceptable.
On his personal Facebook page, Belk said he was in fact arrested and jailed for more than six hours, but never once told why. During the entire process, Belk said, he was never read his Miranda Rights, nor was he allowed to use the phone.
His attorney was denied seeing him for almost an hour, Belk says.
Belk has gone on to do multiple TV interviews about the incident.
Sgt. Max Subin, spokesman for the Beverly Hills police, told The Times on Wednesday night that accusations by Belk are being investigated by the department. However, the department stands by the decision to arrest Belk based on the information officers had at the time, he said.
Belk was arrested about 6 p.m., shortly after a bank robbery occurred in the area, police say.
Subin says Belk matched the description and clothing of the suspect and was near the bank. Police would not provide details about the initial description.
In addition, police said a witness identified Belk as the suspect during a “field show-up” when brought to the area where Belk was detained and asked if he was the perpetrator.
Belk was ultimately let go after detectives reviewed evidence, including security footage from the bank, Subin said. He declined to specify how the video cleared Belk.
“I get more and more outraged by this every day, especially now that the BHPD and the Mayor of Beverly Hills have gone into crisis prevention mode. And somehow or another, the FBI have escaped any responsibility in all of this,” Belk wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday.
An attempt to reach Belk Wednesday afternoon for additional comment was unsuccessful.
Beverly Hills police anticipate more information, including the outcome of the investigation into Belk’s accusations, to be released Thursday.
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