Exclusive: Officer Who Pulled Over Taraji P. Henson's Son Speaks Out
The rookie cop who pulled over the son of Empire star Taraji P. Henson is speaking for the first time about the headline-making incident.
Taraji had claimed in a recent magazine interview that the Glendale California Police Department racially profiled her son.
She told the magazine, "He did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including illegally search his car. I said, 'Why did you do that?' He said, 'Mom, I figured if I let them just do whatever, they wouldn't have an excuse to beat me up, or do something.' My son has to walk around with that on his shoulders."
Now, in an INSIDE EDITION exclusive, officer Jose Gutierrez is speaking out for the first time.
"I knew I hadn't done anything wrong," Gutierrez told INSIDE EDITION.
He took us back to where the firestorm began, the street where he stopped Taraji's 20-year-old son, Marcell.
INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret asked, "Did he ever mention that his mother was a celebrity?"
“No, I was unaware,” answered the officer.
Marcell's last name is Johnson. So Officer Gutierrez had no idea he's pulled over the son of TV's Cookie, the name of Taraji's character on Empire.
Officer Gutierrez says it never was a case of racial profiling but it was just a simple traffic violation. Gutierrez says Marcell failed to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
In the dash cam video, Gutierrez asked Marcel, “I want you to be completely honest with me. Is there anything illegal in the car I should know about now?”
Officer Gutierrez was polite when he asked Marcell if he had anything in the car. Marcell admitted he had some weed but couldn’t find his I.D. card that gives him permission to use medical marijuana.
During the incident, dash cam video shows that Officer Gutierrez said to Marcell, “Ok. I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that, because I do smell weed so thank you for being honest about that, all right?”
“He was very polite young man,” Gutierrez told INSIDE EDITION. “He did everything exactly like I asked him to do."
After the dash cam video was released, Taraji quickly apologized to Glendale cops on her Instagram page for jumping to conclusions about the way her son was treated, saying: "I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department. As a mother in this case I over reacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son."
Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro also spoke to INSIDE EDITION’s Jim Moret, who asked, “Do you accept her apology?”
He replied, “Being a father, I understand having young kids. We do accept it and we're moving on.”
Nationwide police have been under fire recently over a series of violent incidents caught on tape.
Chief Castro said, “As a police chief, it's a huge concern.”
For Taraji P. Henson's son the case is closed.
Officer Gutierrez said, “I do appreciate that she gave me an apology and the department an apology.”