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Darris Love, who played Tupac in the hit movieStraight Outta Compton, is preparing to sue the police after he claims he was racially profiled and wrongly arrested for burglary while shopping at a suburban Los Angeles mall, last week.
The actor said he was fingered as a burglary suspect as he shopped with his girlfriend Ayesha Dumas, reports Daily Mail. Love claims he was running toward the Apple Store when police surrounded him at gunpoint, threw him to the ground and arrested him without cause.
The police reportedly got a call about a burglary ring at the nearby Glendale Galleria mall, about 20 miles away. But they showed up at the Brand mall and arrested the 39-year-old actor and his girlfriend.
Love’s attorney said the two were held for seven hours, even though they was no evidence linking them to the crime.
Love said he has been traumatized by the unnecessary arrest.
“It’s been hard sleeping from having a gun pulled on you… slammed to the ground, knee on your neck,” said Love who has also appeared in CSI.
“When you got 12 police officers coming at you with guns drawn and you freeze for a moment but then you have to realize if you do anything wrong, breathe wrong, look wrong – you could be dead.”
Love said police surrounded his unsuspecting girlfriend as she sat in the car and waited for him. Police dogs, barked at her as police with guns drawn surrounded the vehicle and terrorized Dumas. He said their car was searched for an hour.
“We were just shopping, just doing what normal people do in the mall,” Love said at a press conference, where he was accompanied by Melina Abdullah, one of the national founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Even as he said he begged police to check security footage, they refused and took them to the police station. They were released seven hours later, his attorney James Bryant said, according to NBC News.
Love and Dumas plan to file a claim with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and then a civil lawsuit, according to reports.
In what seems like an everyday occurrence for Black men constantly being harassed by police, Love started the hashtag #IAmNotASuspect to generate conversation around the issue.
Love added: “In this day and time, the reason why we fear for our lives is because it usually doesn’t go quite so well. Most people don’t live to tell their story. I’m here to tell my story… in the public eye, not behind bars and that is a miracle in itself.