August 28th, 2014
11:50 AM ET

Black TV Producer is Mistaken for Bank Robber

Charles Belk was supposed to end last Friday night at an Emmys party but instead he was held by the Beverly Hills police for six hours, arrested as a suspect in a local bank robbery.

Belk, 51, is an acclaimed African-American TV producer who says he was detained because he was "misidentified as the wrong tall, bald head, black male fitting the description."

As he was rushing towards his almost expired parking meter, Belk was approached by a police officer on a motorcycle who told him he matched the description of a bank robbery suspect.

Belk gave the officer his identification and was told to sit on the curb, where he spent 45 minutes, before being taken to the police station.

"I sat there with my head down in handcuffs," he told CNN's Michaela Pereira on "New Day" Thursday.

Belk said the officers should have reviewed the ATM and bank's HD video footage to see that he was not the right person.

Instead, he said he called back to a friend he was with before the incident and instructed the man to call the NAACP.

During his booking, Belk said he told an officer – "this is a real nightmare."

But the officer convicted him on the spot, responding "This is a serious crime you committed."

Beverly Hills police say they've arrested a woman who's responsible for nine recent bank robberies and two attempted bank robberies in the area, but the man she was most likely working with is still on the run.

In a statement, the department said they "deeply regret the inconvenience to Mr. Belk."

"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."

For Belk, he just wants this message out there to police:  "I hope they can start making it about the face and not about the race."


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Filed under: Interview • News • Videos
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. CompassionateAmerican

    This is some b.s., they need to reform the police departments, 6 hours after checking id and not even reviewing tapes, plus they already were accusing him as if he did it smh.

    September 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  2. Gary Dee, Portland, Oregon

    A friend of mine is an engineering professor at an elite Chicago-area university and lives nearby in a progressive upper-middle class suburb (with two Whole Foods locations) yet at least once a year, he is followed into his driveway by a squad car ... sometimes twice, the record is three times in one academic year ... the kicker is that the SAME officer was behind the wheel a second time!

    August 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply

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