California Black man falsely accused of deputy ambush: ‘Don’t feel safe at all’

Darnell Hicks had nothing to do the shooting of the deputies in California

A social media post put a man and his family in grave danger.

A photo of Darnell Hicks began to circulate around social media according to KTLA accusing the father of two of shooting Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies over the weekend. While LAPD has labeled the potential shooter as an African American man they have made it clear that Hicks had nothing to do with the crime and they have no idea why his name is even involved in the incident.

Darnell Hicks California Black man deputy
Darnell Hicks says he was falsely connected to a shooting. (Credit: KTLA/screenshot)

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“There was some bad information floating around yesterday about a suspect,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva during a briefing on Monday. “All that information is false.”

The social media post included a picture of Hicks, his license plate number address, and labeled him as armed and dangerous. At first, the football coach thought the post was a joke until he started receiving death threats and quickly learned the severity of the situation. Hicks immediately sought legal action.

“I have two daughters,” he said. “I don’t even feel safe taking them out no more.”

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Law officials did clear Hicks’ name but he says he is still receiving threats and says the only reason he was targeted was due to the color of his skin. The LAPD did not name any suspects but they did identify the suspect as an African American male.

“There has been a complete blackout of in terms of the information, where it has come from,” said Hicks “Nobody has taken responsibility for it.”

Hicks is seeking council from Brian Dunn of the Cochran Firm, who says his client “has no connection whatsoever” to the shooting. Dunn then added, “Any person would suffer greatly when falsely accused of a crime, especially a crime as heinous as this.”

Deputies were at Metro station in a patrol car before a shooter opened fire at a point blank range. Both deputies are expected to survive.

Hicks sends his sympathies to the officers but says his livelihood has been affected due to the mix-up.

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“I’ve got my own clothing line. I do a lot of business on my own,” said Hicks. “People looking at me differently now.” 

Community activist Jasmyne Cannick said the issue of mistaken identity is more serious than many realize.

“When you have a case of mistaken identity, what if he would have been killed? What if anybody would have thought he was the wanted suspect? ” argued Cannick.

Hicks stated he didn’t feel “safe” in a Facebook post Monday.

It is still unclear why or who started the fake post but Hicks has a message for Black men.

“For any other Black man out there, just be aware,” said the father. “The description was a Black male.”

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