Once again, a Black man has been detained by police while doing something normal. The latest incident happened in Los Angeles to actor Darris Love, co-star of the FX show, “Atlanta,” who was simply shopping at Americana at Brand mall, which is near the Glendale Galleria.
Love needed to get his parking ticket validated and left his girlfriend, Ayesha Dumas, in the car as he ran into the Apple store. Little did Love know that a 20-mile police chase involving burglary suspects had just ended at the mall. So when members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office saw Love running on foot, they assumed he was a part of the car chase and a fleeing suspect. According to Love, the police went after him and he found himself slammed to the ground with a knee on his neck.
Love held a news conference and shared his story with the public. He stated to the media, “It’s been hard sleep from having a gun pulled on you … slammed to the ground, knee on your neck. … 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.”
His girlfriend was also subjected to the stressful situation and found herself surrounded by police and a barking K9. She was ordered out of the car at gunpoint and detained for an hour. Police held Love for seven hours before it was established he had nothing to do with the car chase and was released.
The incident has drawn the attention and the support of Melina Abdullah, one of the national founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. Love and Dumas intend to file a civil lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s department maintains that Love closely resembled one of the suspects and that is why he was detained. The whole experience has inspired Love to start the #IAmNotASuspect social media campaign.