Taraji P. Henson, who alleged in a magazine article that her son was the victim of racial profiling by Glendale Police, publicly apologized Friday after video of the traffic stop countered her version of events.
“I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department,” the star of the Fox series “Empire” posted on Instagram. “A mother’s job is not easy and neither is a police officer’s. Sometimes as humans we overreact without gathering all of the facts.
“As a mother in this case I overreacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son.”
The actress made headlines earlier this week when she contended her son had been racially profiled not only in Glendale, but also on the USC campus, prompting her son to attend her alma mater, Howard University, instead of becoming a Trojan.
USC police Chief John Thomas said he did not know if his department was involved in the alleged profiling, but he planned to investigate.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times obtained video of the Oct. 18 traffic stop involving Henson’s son, 20-year-old Marcell Johnson. According to The Times, the video shows him driving through a lighted crosswalk while a pedestrian is attempting to cross the street.
Police pulled him over, and he admitted he had marijuana in a backpack, The Times reported. Johnson claimed he had a valid medical-marijuana license, but could not find it. He later admitted that he had a Ritalin pill, but did not have a prescription, according to The Times.
After a lengthy conversation in which Johnson consents to a search of his car, the Glendale officer opted not to cite him for the crosswalk violation, telling him it would wind up on his driving record unless he went through traffic school. The officer instead confiscated the marijuana and gave him a citation that can be resolved by paying a fine. He also warned him that he needs to have a prescription for the Ritalin.
The video appears to contradict Henson’s initial contention that her son was following police orders but had his car illegally searched.
—City News Service
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