Darris Love, an actor who’s had roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Shameless, plans to file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after he was wrongfully detained for a crime he didn’t commit.
Love held a news conference Tuesday at the Los Angeles office of The Cochran Firm.
Flanked by his girlfriend, Ayesha Dumas, activists and his two attorneys, the African-American actor recalled the ordeal of being mistaken for a “knock-knock burglary” suspect and detained last Wednesday at gunpoint.
“It’s been hard sleeping,” Love told reporters.
Read More: Black Actor Detained After Being ‘Mistaken’ for Knock-Knock Burglar
The actor’s attorney, Brian Dunn, blamed racial profiling for the mistake and said they are taking steps to file a lawsuit both for monetary damages, and to send a message.
“It’s going to be against the sheriff’s department, which is essentially the county of Los Angeles,” Dunn said of the suit.
Dunn, managing partner of the law firm, said a sheriff’s deputy identified Love as a suspect in a “knock-knock burglary” that deputies saw occur earlier in the day.
“The sheriff’s department let it happen,” Dunn stated about the burglary. “They were watching what we have learned to be multiple suspects, three suspects.”
The suspects got into a black BMW that police chased through the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles before pulling into the parking garage of the Glendale Galleria.
Love and Dumas were shopping at the nearby Americana at Brand in Glendale.
The actor said he was detained when he ran through a parking garage to get his parking ticket validated.
Dunn blamed race for his client’s wrongful detention.
“There can be no other explanation other than race,” the attorney said.
News crews, including a KABC-TV photographer, recorded video of Love being taken away in handcuffs.
The actor was transported in a squad car to the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley station, and held for about three hours.
During the news conference, Love praised the LAPD lieutenant who determined he was not involved in the burglary, saying the lieutenant went “against the word of the sheriff who identified me as the actual suspect.”
Meanwhile, his outraged attorney blasted the sheriff’s department for failing to review the mall’s surveillance footage.
“They weren’t interested in determining whether or not these two individuals [Love and Dumas] actually were guilty of the crime,” Dunn said. “It wasn’t until another agency got involved, specifically the Los Angeles Police Department, that there was any semblance of intelligent police work.”
The sheriff’s department did not comment on the threatened lawsuit, but said in a statement Tuesday evening, “Mr. Love closely resembled the individual who left the scene of the burglary.”
The statement continued: “While Glendale police officers were searching the mall area for the burglary suspects, Mr. Love was seen running away not far from the area where the pursuit terminated towards an illegally parked vehicle. ”
Love acknowledged that the outcome could have been much worse.
“Most people that encounter police in this day and time, usually end with their lives being taken,” he said. “All lives matter.”