After Glendale, California, police released a dashcam video that appeared to contradict claims by "Empire" star Taraji Henson that her son was racially profiled during a traffic stop, the actress apologized to the department on her Instagram account.
The dashcam video released by the Glendale Police Department seemed to contradict statements from Henson that her son was racially profiled by police during the Oct. 18 stop. She also said her son had been profiled by police at USC.
"I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department," said the statement on Henson's 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. Love, Taraji P. Henson."
Henson's publicist called the department and confirmed that they post came from her, according to Glendale police.
Henson, an Emmy and Academy-award nominated actress, said in an interview with Uptown magazine released this week that her son was racially profiled by police in two different incidents, one in Glendale and one at USC.
The 40-minute video shows Henson’s son, Marcell Johnson, driving through a lit and flashing crosswalk with a woman walking in it. The officer pulls Johnson over and explains why he was stopped.
During the initial interaction, Johnson is asked if he has ever been arrested and if there is anything illegal in the car. Johnson discloses that there is marijuana in his backpack, and tells the officer that he has a medical marijuana prescription.
"I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that because I do smell weed," the officer said.
Later during the stop, Johnson also tells the office that he has Ritalin pills that he obtained from a friend in the car. Those are never found during a search of the car.
In the end, the officer issues Johnson a citation for the marijuana, and advises him that he can go to court with his proof of prescription and will then likely only have to pay a fine.
He tells Johnson that the marijuana citation is better than a ticket for illegally running through the crosswalk because it won’t have a lasting effect on his driving record.
"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. All I am going to do is take the weed from you," he said.
Johnson was also asked to take a field sobriety test because he admitted he had smoked marijuana two hours before the traffic stop. He passed the sobriety test.
Henson told Uptown magazine that her son was slated to attend USC but that he would now be attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. because she was concerned about the profiling.
The chief of USC's Department of Public Safety said in a statement Tuesday he was racially profiled as a teenager and was “deeply disturbed” to learn that Henson's son felt profiled because of his race.
"As someone who personally experienced racial profiling as a teenager, I have a stake in learning more about this incident and doing all I can to reach a just resolution," he said.