Skip to main content

Charles Beck handcuffed in Beverly Hills/Photo at the '14 BET Awards
By all means, Charles Belk is about as successful as they come. From his IMBd profile:
Charles Belk, a graduate of Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina, completed his BS degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California and received an MBA from Indiana University and a Executive Management Certificate from Harvard University School of Business.
You can imagine his shock and horror as he was walking back from a restaurant to put more money in a parking meter and he was abruptly stopped and handcuffed by Beverly Hills police—and detained as the prime suspect in a bank robbery. He was humiliated and confused as police made him sit on the curb. The Beverly Hills police detained him for six hours before realizing they definitely had the wrong man.

Jump below the fold to read Charles Belk's account in his own words.

From the Facebook page of Charles Belk:


It’s one of those things that you hear about, but never think it would happen to you.

On Friday afternoon, August 22nd around 5:20pm, while innocently walking by myself from a restaurant on Wilshire Blvd, to my car up LaCienega Blvd my freedom was taken from me by the Beverly Hills Police Department.

Within seconds, I was detained and told to sit on the curb of the very busy street, during rush hour traffic.

Within minutes, I was surrounded by 6 police cars, handcuffed very tightly, fully searched for weapons, and placed back on the curb.

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."

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know at the time that I was a law abiding citizen of the community and that in my 51 years of existence, had never been handcuffed or arrested for any reason. All they saw, was someone fitting the description. Doesn't matter if he's a "Taye Diggs BLACK", a "LL Cool J BLACK", or "a Drake BLACK"

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was an award nominated and awarding winning business professional, most recently being recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal at their Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards. They didn't need to because, they saw someone fitting the description.

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a well educated American citizen that had received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University (including a full Consortium Fellowship to business school) and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Harvard Business School. Hey, I was "tall", "bald", a "male" and "black", so I fit the description.

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that I was a Consultant for the NAACP, a film and tv producer, a previous VP of Marketing for a wireless application company, VP of Integrated Promotions for a marketing agency, ran Community Affairs for the Atlanta Hawks, was the Deputy Director of Olympic Village Operations for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, was a Test/Quality/Mfg Engineering Manager for IBM and was a Bond Trader on Wall street. Surely, folks that fit the description wouldn't qualify as any of those.

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that throughout my entire life I have been very active in serving the communities that I have lived in, including Chapter President and National PR Chair for NSBE, a USC Student Senator, a USC Trojan Knight, a USC Engineering Student Council Member, a USC Black Students Council Member, and a Resident Assistant; as well as a founding board member of the RTP NBMBAA, a member of Durham County Transportation Advisory Board, Durham City / County Planning Commission, Atlanta House of Love for the Homeless Board, Cobb County Transportation Advisory Board, Georgia CASA Board, United Way of Greater Atlanta VIP Selection Committee, Jomandi Theater Board, Silver Lake Film Festival Board, Downtown LA Film Festival Board, Chaka Khan Foundation Fundraising Dinner Committee, and the USC Black Alumni Association Board. Nawl, not a "black male", especially a "tall, bald" one.

I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn’t know that just hours earlier, I was at one of the finest hotels in their city, handling celebrity talent at a Emmy Awards Gifting Suite, as part of business as usual, and, invited to attend a VIP Emmy pre-party that very night in their city. The guy doing that, just DON"T fit the description.

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.

The sad thing is, prior to my freedom being taken from me for an easily proven crime I did not commit, I was walking back to my car, by myself, because I needed to check my parking meter, so that I wouldn’t get a ticket and break the law. In fact, if it wasn’t for a text message that I was responding to, I would have actually been running up LaCienega Blvd when the first Beverly Hills Police Officer approached me. Running!

I want to thank GOD, Robin Lola Harrison of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, Robert Dowdy and Attorney Jaaye Person-Lynn , without whom, I am certain that I would still be locked up in the custody of the Beverly Hills Police Department. Based on comments made by a Beverly Hills Police Officer during my booking, and an FBI Special Agent, it appeared that they had tried and convicted me.

To everyone, especial black males (regardless of height, hair style or particular shade of "black") - Hari Williams, Michael Marcel, Reginald L Shaw, Shawn Carter Peterson, Devon Libran, Aaron D Spears, Cedric Sanders, Cornelius Smith Jr, Catfish Jean, Ashford Thomas, Drew McCaskill, Carlton Jordan, Jawn Murray, AS Lee, Bertrand L Roberson Sr, Deron Benjamin, Hawk Oau, James Alan Belk, Juhahn Jones, Darryl Dunning II, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Stephen Bishop, Logan Alexander, Brandon Dmico Anderson, Jon Covington, Lamar Stewart, David Mitchell, Gerald Andre Radford, Gerald Edwin Rush II, Gerald Yates, etal, - I have always stayed as far away from being on the wrong side of the law as much as possible; so please, be careful. If something like this can happen to ME, it can certainly happen to ANYONE!

Time has come for a change in the way OUR law enforcement officers "serve and protect" us.


Peace and Blessings...

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 12:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

kos, Thumb, Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, Sylv, jo fish, nota bene, KeithH, Ducktape, Trix, Chi, True North, jotter, hester, melo, mwm341, deben, Timaeus, askew, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, NYmom, mimi, DebtorsPrison, delbert, superfly, Emerson, dengre, Debby, LynChi, mlharges, mslat27, celdd, eeff, jeremybloom, xynz, polecat, freewayblogger, Do Something, elfling, blksista, varro, Matilda, Walt starr, Ahianne, jancw, hubcap, davelf2, geordie, bigforkgirl, Disgusted in St Louis, concernedamerican, TracieLynn, mik, mbayrob, susakinovember, whenwego, teresahill, CoolOnion, boadicea, shanikka, mkfarkus, farmerhunt, roses, retLT, limae, Miss Blue, sngmama, corncam, Nate Roberts, fumie, splashy, high uintas, artebella, sele, aitchdee, edrie, psnyder, hangingchad, annan, MrSandman, TexDem, mrkvica, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, wordene, johanus, cosette, JimWilson, chrismorgan, niteskolar, newore, defluxion10, Calidrissp, lcrp, BlogDog, Brian82, blonde moment, zerelda, side pocket, randallt, KayCeSF, Steven D, Emmy, AaronBa, Sassy, sebastianguy99, murrayewv, Armand451, Frank Vyan Walton, My Philosophy, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, weelzup, sb, Dirk McQuigley, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, Tinfoil Hat, jrooth, ichibon, wmc418, LarisaW, subtropolis, mjd in florida, Chinton, chimene, democracy inaction, PsychoSavannah, vgranucci, keschen, one of 8, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, stagemom, YucatanMan, orson, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, Morrigan, majcmb1, SaraBeth, komogo, most peculiar mama, Steve in Urbana, markdd, bmaples, Sandino, not a lamb, kaliope, rb608, Tunk, noemie maxwell, Blu Gal in DE, Shotput8, Ammo Hauler, Rusty in PA, FindingMyVoice, snoopydawg, peacestpete, kathny, bently, xaxnar, Jim R, begone, velaski, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Clytemnestra, bastrop, cookseytalbott, mskitty, KenBee, dougymi, MargaretPOA, arlene, kck, blueoasis, tecampbell, MJ via Chicago, wild hair, philipmerrill, 4Freedom, bubbanomics, NCJan, Crashing Vor, SadieSue, gabriella, ER Doc, middleagedhousewife, Joshua Bloxom, bumbi, thenekkidtruth, rage, JugOPunch, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, suspiciousmind, Stripe, Compostings, bstotts, Friend of the court, Aaa T Tudeattack, Tamar, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, Sapere aude, timewarp, out of left field, Cronesense, auntialias, Habitat Vic, peagreen, Cat Whisperer, Mr K, oklacoma dem, tgypsy, camlbacker, verso2, ColoTim, EdSF, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, Busted Flat in Baton Rouge, wildweasels, Cofcos, shesaid, suejazz, HCKAD, MI Sooner, jayden, twistedflatcat, Back In Blue, jnhobbs, carpunder, Librarianmom, cececville, GeorgeXVIII, fallina7, Azubia, on the cusp, TomP, gizmo59, fb, jwinIL14, MKinTN, JeffW, HappyinNM, BethyNYC, 6412093, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, Fiona West, bonch, NewDealer, smrichmond, VA gentlewoman, lineatus, KJG52, mikeconwell, Greyhound, moose67, Calamity Jean, here4tehbeer, Lujane, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, RandomNonviolence, MrJayTee, vernonbc, Jeff Y, catly, home solar, glendaw271, elpacifico66, phrogge prince, Uncle Bob, Al Fondy, HarpboyAK, Quilldriver, rodentrancher, dmhlt 66, RWN, Ellid, maggiejean, Sun dog, Bule Betawi, multilee, WhizKid331, MufsMom, Dirtandiron, ARS, ewmorr, lilsky, CanyonWren, Norm in Chicago, janmtairy, Ohiodem1, indres, virginwoolf, petral, glitterlust, oxfdblue, papahaha, kevinpdx, IreGyre, KenInCO, Northern Light, moviemeister76, sfarkash, jfromga, kingfishstew, Edge PA, Leftcandid, America Jones, Vita Brevis, Hamlets Father, ruscle, HoopJones, Just Bob, commonmass, parse this, coppercelt, mamamorgaine, FogCityJohn, Captain Marty, Susan Grigsby, politik, tubacat, Polly Syllabic, DrWhk, ATFILLINOIS, shyewoods, gulfgal98, samanthab, anonevent, DiegoUK, addisnana, nirbama, DrTerwilliker, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, MikeMaloney, leu2500, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, Dems in 08, slice, Mister Met, theKgirls, Onomastic, annieli, kerflooey, Bluefin, I love OCD, spooks51, slowbutsure, implicate order, La Gitane, HiKa, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, mikejay611, OhioNatureMom, deeproots, cama2008, MaryRW, marleycat, Jasonhouse, thomask, looking and listening, BarackStarObama, midnight lurker, VirginiaJeff, abbotkinney, worldlotus, Square Knot, sound of progress, poliwrangler, bakeneko, Hayate Yagami, redbaron, this is only a test, ratcityreprobate, SoCalSal, SteelerGrrl, imlpdx, leftykook, Lucy2009, ArtemisBSG, Laurel in CA, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, quill, hulibow, mod2lib, OldDragon, Heart n Mind, anodnhajo, sow hat, liberalfrombirth, TheLizardKing, lurkyloo, SilverWillow, Trevin, orangecurtainlib, AnnieR, Lonely Texan, a2nite, FloridaSNMOM, ANY THING TOO ADD, Yonkers Boy, swedepi, Socalled Socialist, Jake Bodhi, belinda ridgewood, Forest Deva, wxorknot, avsp, bigrivergal, cablecargal, Spirit of Life, 4mygirls, George3, databob, Windowpane, Robynhood too, Master Alchemi, EducatetheMasses, Phoebe Loosinhouse, mzkryz, Chaddiwicker, onceasgt, Illinois IRV, countwebb, Linda1961, Late Again, VeloDramatic, Setsuna Mudo, Papuska, SanFernandoValleyMom, shockratees, Oly moly, sbode, aresea, Yo Bubba, Alhambra, leeleedee, Hellstrom, ggfkate, Jollie Ollie Orange, howabout, chocoholic, Constantly Amazed, LaraJones, Mannie, Avilyn, nice marmot, unkadan, GrannyRedBird, marcr22, librarisingnsf, Another Grizzle, Ishmaelbychoice, suka, duhban, mmcnary, htowngenie, karma5230, Tom Lum Forest, Tronsix2, Ticorules, eagleray, Capt Crunch, jbsoul, old mule, UnderRevision, Gurnt, lrganassi, Lennykat, TheProgressiveAlien, libera nos, T P K, cjtjc, PrefersaPension, kfunk937, silverfoxcruiser, bobcat41702, Older and Wiser Now, aransdell, nicestjerk, laughingRabbit, PanoramaCityChick, AWW, mellowgnome, leftneckgirl, snau, bamcintyre, stuckinmtvoh, kickiewickie, CWinebrinner, NoBlueSkies, teachesl, bill dog

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site