Moving forward with his anticipated plans to sue the city over an alleged wrongful arrest last July, Ragtime star Alton Fitzgerald White has taped television interviews with NBC's Dateline and CNN's Newsstand.
White will be featured on NBC's "Dateline" Sun., Jan. 9, at 7 PM in New York, and on CNN's "Newsstand" on Wed., Jan 12, at 10 PM. Both programs interviewed her client in connection with the "summer event." That event took place on July 16, 1999 when NYPD officers responded to a call in Harlem about four Puerto Rican men with guns. White, who plays Ragtime's Coalhouse Walker, later recalled letting the officers into the building before being placed in handcuffs. The singer and actor said he was unable to convince the police that there was a mistake being made, even after his building superintendent told the officers that he was the star of a Broadway show.
"The police knew," White later explained to Playbill On-Line, "because one of the officers said to me, 'Your super says you're starring in a Broadway show.'"
White missed a few performances and was strip searched, apparently because the arrests allegedly involved felony drug charges.
White's manager said both shows had shot interviews as well as footage of Ragtime, which is scheduled to close at the Ford Center on Jan. 16. American Civil Liberties attorney Norman Siegel, who represents White in the matter and is preparing his action against the City of New York, was also interviewed by NBC and CNN.