Empire star Taraji P. Henson made a public apology to the Glendale Police Department in California after mistakenly claiming that her 20-year-old son Marcell Johnson has been racially profiled. In her cover story interview with Uptown Magazine, the actress shared that she would be transferring her son to HBCU Howard University because her son, a USC student, had been unfairly targeted by police.
“My child has been racially profiled. 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,” she said.
But a video released by Glendale police proved otherwise. Reported by the Los Angeles Times, a 40-minute video of Johnson’s arrest proved contrary to Henson’s claims. After failing to yield in a crosswalk, Johnson was pulled over, where he informed police that he was in possession of marijuana and Ritalin. After passing a sobriety test, the officer – who upheld a professional demeanor – decided to confiscate the drugs, and issue a citation. This was a lesser punishment than giving the actress’ son a traffic violation.
“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 in the video. All I am going to do is take the weed from you.”
After the video went viral, Henson took to Instagram with the following statement:
Watch the full video of Taraji P. Henson’s son’s interaction with police here.