Actress Apologizes After Video Shows Cops Did Not Racially Profile Her Son [VIDEO]

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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An actress who recently claimed her 20-year-old son was racially profiled during a traffic stop in California last year has apologized after video footage of the stop completely debunked the accusation.

In fact, video from the Oct. 18 traffic stop of Marcel Johnson, the son of “Empire” star Taraji Henson, shows the Glendale police officer who pulled Johnson over did him a favor by not issuing a ticket for a clear traffic violation.

The Los Angeles Times obtained video of the stop after Henson said in a recent interview with Uptown magazine that police targeted her son because he is black.

“My child has been racially profiled,” Henson told the magazine. “He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for.”

Henson tweeted about the same incident during nationwide #BlackLivesMatter protests and said that because of it, she was enrolling her son in the historically-black Howard University rather than the University of Southern California.

“I’m not paying $50K so I can’t sleep at night wondering is this the night my son is getting racially profiled on campus,” Henson told Uptown.

But the Emmy-nominated actress was forced to walk back her claims on Friday after video of Johnson’s traffic stop emerged. Police dashcam footage shows that not only was Johnson not racially profiled, but the police officer who pulled him over was lenient and helpful.

Johnson was pulled over after he drove through a lighted crosswalk while a pedestrian was crossing the street.

Dashcam video does not capture Johnson’s race. The footage also debunks Henson’s claim that police stopped Johnson for no reason.

After the officer told Johnson why he was stopped, the actress’ son admitted he had some marijuana in his backpack and a Ritalin pill that was not prescribed to him. He said that he had a license for medical marijuana but that he could not find it. He also said he had smoked marijuana two hours earlier.

“I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that because I do smell weed,” the cop said. “So thank you for being honest about that.”

“I do appreciate your cooperation on that, I really do.”

Other officers showed up and searched Johnson’s car for the Ritalin but did not find it. They also found a knife during the search but determined that it was legal. Johnson was also given a field sobriety test, which he passed.

The officer appeared to deal with Johnson in a professional manner. He even helped Johnson out by not citing him for the traffic infraction or for having recently smoked marijuana. Instead, the officer wrote him an order to appear in court to produce the medical marijuana license.

“I am not going to give you a citation for running that yellow because that would actually put a moving violation on your driving 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,” the officer told Johnson. “All I am going to do is take the weed from you.”

“It felt like this was a little better than the other one,” the officer added. “I am giving this to you too because you smoked weed about two hours ago… and a warning if you have Ritalin on you and you’re not supposed to, don’t do it. That’s a big violation and I wouldn’t want to do that to you.”

After the dashcam footage emerged, Henson issued a public apology on the social media site Instagram.

“Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son,” she wrote. “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,” she added. “Sometimes as humans we overreact without gathering all the facts. As a mother in this case I overreacted and for that I apologize.”

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