Fitting The Description
is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization established to help build awareness of the countless number of individuals who are wrongfully detained and/or arrested each day because they "fit the description." Fitting The Description will help identify these teachable moments for educational purposes, and works to reform the criminal justice system and make the promise of fair treatment a reality for all people.
On a Friday, August 22nd, 2014, Fitting The Description, Inc. founder, Charles Belk, was wrongfully stopped, detained, handcuffed, arrested, denied a phone call, initially denied access to his attorney and held for 6 hours under a $100,000 dollars bail , all because he "fit the description" of a tall, bald, black armed bank robber.
Even though he was eventually released as innocent, he still ended up with an arrest record that had to be cleared.
The incident compelled Charles Belk to try and turn the "mess" into a "message", by helping to give a voice to the voiceless
-- the many men and women who have faced the same and worse, but were unable to tell their story. Also to educate those individuals that are wrongfully arrested on the negative effects (finding a job, obtaining a loan, etc.) of having an arrest record.
In addition to using the incident as a teachable moment for students, law enforcement agencies , and the general public, Charles Belk has advocated on behalf of the #AutoErase Campaign and rallied the support of state legislators and successfully had laws passed and legislation introduced:
1. North Carolina
(SB233) Law (12/2015)
(HB169) Law (1/2016)
3 . Colorado
(HB1265) Bill Passed
4. Rhode Island
(HB7094 / SB2421)
4. South Carolina
(HB2102 / SB2279)
#AutoErase legislation requires the automatically erasing of the arrest records of innocent individuals that were wrongfully arrested because they were mistakenly indentified of identity theft. It has received overwhelming support by citizens, and local and state law enforcement representatives. Both the NHCSL (National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators) and the NBCSL (National Black Caucus of State Legislators) passed Resolutions supporting the #AutoErase Initiative.
Since it’s inception, Fitting The Description has participated in a nine-city awareness campaign during National Make A Difference Day, conducted cultural sensitivity discussions and training with local and state law enforcement agencies, and participated in presentations, workshop and panels for high-school and college age kids to help them understand how to successfully survive an encounter with law enforcement.
Fitting The Description, #AutoErase and Charles Belk has been honored with a Resolution by the Rhode Island House of Representatives and specifically cited for "...bringing our nation closer to 'making fair treatment a reality for all people' ", and in a Proclamation by the Mayor of Durham, NC where he proclaimed Thursday, March 10, 2016 as “Charles Belk and Justified AutoErasure Day.”
Monies raised will be used in 2016 to continue advocating for #AutoErase and providing services and resources to those innocent individuals that are wrongfully detained and arrested each day, including plans for a National Arrest Record Expungement Day in 10 cities.
Fitting The Description, Inc.'s Tax ID is 47-2134233, and all donations are 100% tax-deductible.
Other donation options:
o Pay Pal - www.fittingthedescription.org/donate
o By check: Fitting The Description, Inc., PO Box 93181, Los Angeles, CA 90093
Thanks for your support! Please follow the latest legislation and event activity at facebook.com/fittingthedescription