Tyler Perry Racially Profiled?

ATLANTA (WAOK)-It seems everyone can connect in some way to the Trayvon Martin case, even movie mogul, and philanthropist Tyler Perry. Perry sent out an email blast to his supporters over the weekend describing a close call he had with Atlanta police just last month. Perry’s statement tells a scary story of being racially profiled WDB. (While driving black)

Perry writes:  A few days before President Obama was supposed to speak at my studio, I was leaving the studio, headed to the airport.  Most times when I leave the studio I have an unmarked escort. Other times I constantly check in my rearview mirror to be sure that I’m not being followed. It’s a safety precaution that my security team taught me. As I got to an intersection, I made a left turn from the right lane and was pulled over by two police officers. I pulled the car over and put it in park. Then, I let the window down and sat in the car waiting for the officer. The officer came up to the driver’s door and said that I made an illegal turn. I said, “I signaled to get into the turning lane, then made the turn because I have to be sure I’m not being followed.” He said, “why do you think someone would be following you?”

Before I could answer him, I heard a hard banging coming from the passenger window. I had never been in this position before so I asked the officer who was at my window what was going on and why is someone banging on the window like that. He said, “let your window down, let your window down. Your windows are tinted.” As I let down the passenger window, there was another officer standing on the passenger side of the car. He said, “what is wrong with you?” The other officer said to him, “he thinks he’s being followed.” Then, the second officer said, “why do you think someone is following you? What is wrong with you?”

Before I could answer the officer on the passenger side, the one on the driver’s side had reached into the car and started pulling on the switch that turns the car on and off, saying, “put your foot on the brake, put your foot on the brake!” I was so confused as to what he was doing, or what he thought he was doing. It looked like he was trying to pull the switch out of the dashboard. I finally realized that he thought that switch was the key, so I told him that it wasn’t the key he was grabbing. I reached down into the cup holder to get the key, not realizing that the key had a black leather strap on it. As I grabbed it they both tensed up and I dropped it as I heard my mother’s voice from when I was a little boy.

My mother would always say to me, “if you get stopped by the police, especially if they are white policemen, you say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’, and if they want to take you in, you go with them. Don’t resist, you hear me?  Don’t make any quick moves, don’t run, you just go.”  My mother was born in 1945 into a segregated hotbed town in rural Louisiana. She had known of many colored men at the time who were lynched and never heard from again. Since I was her only son for ten years, growing up she was so worried about me. It wasn’t until after I heard her voice that I realized that both of these officers were white.

The officer on the driver’s side continued to badger me, “why do you think someone is following you?” I then said, “I think you guys need to just write the ticket and do whatever you need to do.”  It was so hostile. I was so confused. It was happening so fast that I could easily see how this situation could get out of hand very quickly. I didn’t feel safe at all. But one officer stopped his questioning and said, “we may not let you go. You think you’re being followed, what’s wrong with you?”  At this point, I told him that I wanted to get out of the car.  I wanted the passersby to see what was happening.

As I stepped out of the car another officer pulled up in front of my car. This officer was a black guy. He took one look at me and had that “Oh No” look on his face.  He immediately took both officers to the back of my car and spoke to them in a hushed tone. After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic.

I said all of that to say this: do you see how quickly this could have turned for the worse?

Now I know that there are many great officers, patrolmen and security guys out there. I am aware of that. But although we have made significant strides with racial profiling in this country, the world needs to know that we are still being racially profiled, and until this situation has improved greatly, I’m not sure how a murder in Florida can be protected by a “stand your ground law.”

And in another case that I have been screaming at the top of my lungs about, also in Florida, is the case of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, a young black man and a young Mexican man. Eight years ago, in Naples, FL, they were both put in the back of Deputy Steve Calkins’ police car and never heard from again.

They were never arrested, never brought to jail. They were put into the back of Deputy Calkins’ car and never heard from again. And to this day Deputy Steve Calkins is a free man.

I guess it’s time to march in Naples now.

RACIAL PROFILING SHOULD BE A HATE CRIME INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI!!!

That way local government can’t make the decision on whether or not these people get punished.

More from Jean Ross
Comments

One Comment

  1. I think everyone can identify with being reduced to a stereotype in one way or another: http://charleneoldham.com/2012/03/30/walking-a-mile-in-trayvons-shoes/

  2. Evan T says:

    I REMEBER A TIME WHEN I WAS DETAINED BY TWO POLICEMAN WHEN I WAS AT A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME. THERE WAS ONE YOUNGER OFFICER AND AN ELDER OFFICER. THEY WERE BOTH BLACK POLICE MEN. THE ELDER OFFICER,WHOM IM SURE HAS RETIRED,WAS ACCUSING ME OF BEING DRUNK AND HAD ME SUBMIT TO A TEST TO SHOW THAT I WASNT. BEFORE I LEFT THE HOUSE,I HAD GARGLED SOME MOTHWASH,WHICH HAS A STRONG ALCOHOL CONTENT. THEREFORE,IT SMELLED LIKE ALCOHOL.I HAD JUST EATEN A HAMBURGER WITH ONIONS AND I WANTED TO BLOCK OUT THE ONION SMELL.
    THE LAST THING THE OFFICER SAID TO ME WAS”I DONT WANT NO TROUBLE OUT OF YOU TONIGHT” “I’LL BE WATCHING YOU” NEITHER OF THEM OFFERED AN APOLOGY. THE PASTOR AT MY CHURCH SAYS YOU MUST FORGIVE NO MATTER HOW HARSH. WELL,I HAVE BUT I DAMN SURE DIDNT FORGET. IF THE OFFICERS ARE ON FACEBOOK AND WHEN THEY SEE THIS ON THEIR POST I WANT THEM TO KNOW,IT WAS THEE WORST THING I HAVE EVER BEEN THROUGH IN MY WHOLE LIFE. NO ONE DESERVES WHAT YOU GUYS DID TO ME!!

  3. Dog says:

    It doesn’t sound like you were ‘racially profiled’. It sounds like the cops were hostile and/or acting macho. And it sounds like you were too.

    I’m white, and have only had good interactions with the police. I’m always *much* more deferential than you were. You didn’t admit you were wrong. You didn’t say “yes sir / no sir”. You sound entitled to violate the traffic law because you’re a celebrity.

    1. Camilla says:

      Could you quote the part of the post that made you feel the poster was hostile or acting macho. your post has nothing to do with reality. Of course you have only had good interactions with the police. That is the point. You are white as you stated. i hope that I dont sound hostile.

      1. Dog says:

        Hi, Camilla. Thanks for replying. First, about my being white and only having good interactions with the police. I get where you’re coming from. But the thing is, I act very differently than the black people have in the publicized stories I’ve read of them being hassled at a traffic stop. I am extremely deferential. I admit right away that I was wrong. I apologize. I really do. And I say the reason (was running late / was distracted). I don’t avoid responsibility. I say “sir” automatically. I have my license and reg ready to go in a labelled envelope in my glove compartment. I roll down my window before the officer gets there, make no sudden movements, and keep my hands on the wheel where the officer can see them at all times. I never drink and drive, and don’t have anything illegal on me, and so I’m fully relaxed with the officer looking in the windows of my car and sniffing around. And I think that the way one acts towards the officer will make all the difference. I am *sure* that many many black people have been harassed because of their race, where a white person wouldn’t. But this story, like most I read in the news, has the driver being less than fully deferential.

        Ok, you asked about the “macho” thing. Here’s what I see:

        For starters, the author seems to see prejudice in the fact that he was stopped at all. I.e., he was stopped on a pretext. And he was! This is exactly standard police procedure. All they do, esp. on weekend nights, is do pretext stops one after another, sniffing for alcohol, and running plates. That’s how the system works. It’s how I was stopped when it last happened. BTW, I’m not a great driver, so I get stopped about once/year for something I’ve done.

        By the way, I’m also skeptical that the stop itself was racially motivated because his windows were tinted as he writes. At any rate, I was fascinated by his long description of the driving tactics he engages in to shake a tail, if he has one. His tone in the writing, and the dialog show that he doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions. But he violated a traffic rule! And he wouldn’t admit being wrong. The weird driving he was doing may have been something he was taught, but he should expect to get hassled for stuff like that, and not get away with it.

        Another aspect that made him seem testosterone-affected was that he needed to remind himself of his mother’s advice. And then he calmed down a bit. In contrast, I never need to remember to be 100% deferential at all times. Just sayin’.

        Finally, the clincher was the end where the black cop appears, gets one look at him, and makes the whole problem go away, pulling off the white cops. I see this as his privileged position, being in the 1%. He’s a famous actor/director, and the black cop recognized him.

        So in summary, this article paints him as an entitled person who doesn’t accept personal responsibility.

    2. Allen Gates jr. says:

      White officers treat whites different that blacks, you may not believe that. I was walking down the street when two white rolled up and told me to get in the car. they went through all my pockets and made me take my shoes and socks off. I was 17 at the time and terrified. After they didn’t find anything they let me put my socks and shoes back on and told me to get out the car. Are we all suspects because we are black? Dog you should walk in a black man shoes before you make stupid comments like this.

  4. Chale Mea says:

    The deputy is dirty his superiors new he was lying they just fired him to get rid of the problem after he had plenty of time to clean out both his police car and his home. His is lying and it appears to be typical Florida BS I vacationed there this last winter I will not visit there again.

  5. Camilla says:

    Dog, did you read the same story that I did? Most of what you stated was made up in your mind. I went back and read the story by Tyler and I got none of this. Is there another story somewhere that I did not see?

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