Taraji P. Henson Apologizes to Glendale Police for Racial Profile Allegations
The 'Empire' actress took to Instagram to issue her public apology.
Taraji P. Henson apologized to the Glendale Police Department on Friday afternoon for the allegations she made against them about racially profiling her son.
"I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department. A mother's job is not easy and neither is a police officer's," the Empire actress wrote on Instagram. "Sometimes as humans WE over react without gathering all of the facts. As a mother in this case I over reacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son."
In an interview with Uptown magazine, Henson said that her son will not be attending USC — and instead attending Howard University in Washington D.C. — because he was racially profiled near the campus. "Police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets,” Henson said in the interview. Henson did not reference the alleged USC incident in her apology.
She went on to explain that her son was also racially profiled by Glendale police. "My child has been racially profiled. He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car,” Henson said. “It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for.”
The apology came hours after a video obtained by the Los Angeles Times showed the encounter between Henson's son and Glendale police, disproving that police racially profiled him.
Footage from the Oct. 18 incident shows an officer speed up and stop a Honda Civic that drove through a lit crosswalk as a pedestrian crossed. Marcell Johnson, Henson's son, is not visibly apparent in the video when the officer stopped him.
The officer tells Johnson he was stopped for driving through a crosswalk that a pedestrian was walking across and asks if he has any illegal items in his car. Johnson admitted to having marijuana (and a medical marijuana license that he could not find) and prescription drug Ritalin.
“I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that because I do smell weed,” the officer told Johnson.
Johnson consented to having the officer search his car; the officer was joined by two fellow police officers and a cadet during the search. Following the car search, the officers found hash oil, a grinder and marijuana, according to the LA Times.
“I am not going to give you a citation for running that yellow because that would actually put a moving violation on your driver's license, and you are going to have to go to traffic school and all that stuff, so I am helping you by not giving you a violation on it. All I am going to do is take the weed from you,” the officer said.
Johnson was told he could pay off the fine instead of going to court.