Santa Monica Police: Officers did not treat actor Ving Rhames in racist manner
“Mission Impossible” actor Ving Rhames says he was the victim of racist behavior by officers who pointed a weapon at his face in his Santa Monica home.
Ving Rhames told Sirius-XM radio that back in July, 2016 some neighbors called 911 to report they had seen a “large black man” in his home.
Santa Monica Police posted a response Saturday on their Facebook page, describing their version of the incident: “Within minutes, officers arrived at the residence. As officers were assessing the residence, they encountered the resident at the front door. Officers recognized the resident and the situation was quickly de-escalated with no use of force occurring.”
Rhames says that’s not how he remembers the incident.
“I open the door. There’s a red dot pointed at my face from a 9 mm, and they say, ‘Put up your hands!’ ”
Lt. Saul Rodriguez with the Santa Monica Police Department says the people who called were scared.
“You can completely hear from the audio from the 911 call that they’re in fear because they start talking low, indicating they don’t want anyone to hear them. They believed there was an accomplice in a car nearby. That’s what led us to respond to that residence … The call-taker specifically asked, ‘Does this person live there?’ And the person calling in said, ‘No.” They believed the homeowners were on vacation.”
As for the red dot Rhames says was pointed at him by the officers, Rodriguez says Santa Monica Police handguns don’t have a laser beam. He says it’s possible a one of the officers held a Taser, which does emit a red laser light beam.
As a result of this incident, the Santa Monica Police Department launched the “Meet Your Neighbors” program, to encourage residents to become acquainted with each other to prevent such a situation from happening again.
Sgt. Rodriguez was a guest on McIntyre in the Morning.
By Sandy Wells