LAPD Didn’t Racially Profile 'Empire' Star’s Son, Let Him Off With Pot Citation

By Victoria Kim 04/06/15

Taraji P. Henson publicly claimed her son was profiled by Glendale police, but has since apologized.

Taraji P. Henson

New dashcam footage released by the LAPD last Friday contradicts claims that the police “racially profiled” Taraji P. Henson’s 20-year-old son, Marcell Johnson.

“My child has been racially profiled,” Henson said of the October incident in UPTOWN Magazine. “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.”

After investigating the incident after Henson’s comments, the Glendale Police Department released dashcam footage of Johnson running a yellow light while a pedestrian was crossing the street. The video contradicts the Empire actress’ claim in UPTOWN Magazine that her son was racially profiled.

During the traffic stop, Johnson admitted to having marijuana and Ritalin on him. He consented to a search of the vehicle and police found hash oil, a grinder, and a knife.

“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 can be heard saying in the video. “All I am going to do is take the weed from you."

The officer let Johnson off with only a citation for marijuana possession. Henson has since publicly apologized to the Glendale Police Department.

“I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department,” she wrote on her 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.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr