WASHINGTON - Wyclef Jean said the recent incident involving him and police in Los Angeles was a case of mistaken identity. "At the end of the day, I understand law and order," he told us during a visit to GoodDayDC. "The topic is real simple. With the idea of police and citizens - the trust has to be established."
He said police stopped him because his bandana matched that of a suspect in a robbery and laughed when he told us the incident played out like a scene from Spike Lee’s film, ‘Do The Right Thing.’ “And I think they swore they had the right guy," he said. "The crowd was like –'He's Wyclef Jean, you got the wrong person!'"
"I said the police was doing their job. But now as a citizen, I have to do my job. And my job is that I'm alive," he said.
He said he was confused; however, during the incident as to why officers didn’t try and confirm his identity. "I got out the car, there was no resistance. I talked peacefully. I was honest. I stood with my head up. There was no cursing. I still got cuffed," he said.
After the incident, Wyclef said a teachable moment arose when talking with his daughter. "You told me when the police stop you, be nice to the police, address them as officer and do all these things," he said his daughter told him. "And then," he said his daughter continued, "you did all of that daddy, and they took your Hattian bandana from your head…so what do you whan me to do now?"
"Still do the same thing," he said he told her. "Because what happens is, when you do the same thing, it’s that chance that nothing will happen."
"I always encourage the kids - keep it positive - the law is the law - you ain't going to be bigger than the law," he said. "In order to help to change the law, you have to hold your congress, your senators and your mayors and everyone you voting for accountable."
Wyclef Jean visited FOX 5 with a preview of his upcoming performance at the Fillmore in Silver Spring.