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Trayvon Martin, Felipe Santos, Terrance Williams - What's Going On In Florida!!!

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.

Comments (page 2)

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  • Samantha Jamaica

    Hi Tyler! Have you ever read the book 'Elijah of Buxton' by Christopher Paul Curtis I think you should. for several reasons, I think you should read this book. If you are having a challenge locating it, I will mail my copy to you, with your permission of course, for you to read. Keep speaking to the heart of our race and this generation. Thanks for your words of inspiration. God Bless

    Reply
  • LORETTE NC

    HI TYLER I SAW THAT SAME STORY ABOUT THOSE 2 YOUNG MEN WITH THAT OFFICER CALKINS. AND HE LIED ABOUT IT THAT HE DROP THESE 2 GUYS OFF AT A GAS STATION AN WHEN THEY CHECK THE STORE VIDOE THEY DID NOT SEE HIM DROPPING OFF NO BOBY. I'M SO MADD WHEN I SAW THAT STORY. BUT OFFICER CALKINS DAY IS COMING.

    Reply
  • Jordann Marie Dallas,Tx

    Mr.Perry let me just start by saying that I love what you do, you are so awesome. I would like to know when you plan on coming to Dallas for casting auditions, cause even though there are people who don't believe in me, that's not something that I will ever let stop me cause people are going to be like that. I really wanna prove them wrong Mr.Perry like forreal. I have a talent when it comes to acting. I just need that extra boost, you know. But if you would respond to this I would be too happy Mr.Perry! Thank you

    Reply
  • Latisha Anthem az

    I'm just curious as to how you feel this is racial profiling when you clearly stated that you did not follow the guidelines of traffic laws. I understand your frustration but it seams as though you are upset because they didnt know who you were to understand why you drove the way that you did. Cops are typically jerks and I am sorry if you felt threatened by them, that is not ok. I appreciate what you are doing for those who no longer have a voice an need one. I was not aware of the other missing men and that corrupt sheriff. I am educating myself on this and hopefully able to lend my voice as well.

    Reply
    • DELO detroit #1680146

      please google father funk and the monks there is a serious song about the Treyvan issue

      Reply
    • Jannette #1680160

      Why was he pulled over? Was it because of the car he was driving? Why did the other officer go to the oposite side of the car and started hitting on it instead of asking him to roll down his window. The profiling part would be the fact that he was pulled over without rationale, other than DWB (diving while black) with tinted windows. I am sure it was legal tint. Why the hostility? I can say that I have been pulled over with reason, but once the officer saw me he questioned me in a very inappropriate way. What do you do? Where do you work? Granted he became nicer and did not ticket me; there was no reason for me to have to explain to him what I do for a living. It seems that some individuals choose to ignore "isms" as if they do not currently exist; however, wishing or ignoring the facts does not nigate the reality. Why the sudden change of heart and preferential treatment once his identity was revealed? This sounds odd, and like profiling to me. I guess we can agree to disagree.

      Reply
  • JANICE ONEY Salisbury, MD. 21801

    Racial Profiling is very heavy in my neighborhood and town. For the most part I'm a single parent of 4 beautiful sons and one who has experienced the police profile because he fit a description not dressed like a drug dealer but a school kid on a bike with a baseball cap from that day on I have made complaints to local police department about them harassing these school children and nothing has been done. As for my situation my son is fine and graduates this year (PROUD MOMMY) he wasn't arrested and after the fuss I caused they don't even talk to my children which at this time in our lives that's a blessing. Something really needs to be done about situations like mine & yours.

    Reply
    • doc #1681081

      but you see the damage is done GET 'EM YOUNG,let 'em know they can't just go where they want to go, do what they want to do, say what they want to say without reporcusions

      Reply
  • Pam Swain Boston Mass

    All I can say to your Police encounter is Thank God. You are so correct in how quick things can happen and how we are still bein treated. Racism is not dead it is modernized and in full effect.

    Reply
  • DENISE DAVIDSON LANETT, ALABAMA

    I HAVE SO MUCH COMPASSION FOR OUR BLACK MEN LIVING IN TODAYS SOCIETY. JUST THINK, IF YOU WERN'T TYLER PERRY, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED? WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO JOHN DOE? I HAVE A SON, AND I PRAY OVER HIM EVERYDAY & EVERY NIGHT. SATAN'S GOAL IS TO ATTACK THE MALE/ MAN. HE CAME TO KILL, STEAL, & DESTROY, AND HE WILL USE WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY TO GET THE JOB DONE. PRAY FOR OUR BLACK MEN DAILY. THEY NEED US ALL TO PRAY FOR THEM. I AM SURE YOUR MOM PRAYED FOR YOU. GOD BLESS YOU.

    Reply
  • AUDREY Macon, GA

    I truly understand what happened to you, because it happened to my husband. We were in Dekalb County driving our daughter to visit the college she had chosen to attend. We came to a traffic light which was red. When the turning light came on to make the left, my husband proceeded through the light. Before he could straighten up the car in the right lane, blue lights were flashing even the siren. When my husband pulled over, the officer instructed him to get out of the truck. It is an SUV with rims (which came on the vehicle). The other officer started beating on the back window saying, "let this window down"!! She could not because the child safety was on. I let the window down from the front seat. When he saw that it was a teen age girl, he went to the back. I got out of the car to find out what the problem was. My husband had a tropical background attached to the tag and they warned him to take it off because they could not read the tag number for the decoration. We still need to remember the words from our ancestors because there is no justice sometimes and when we need it we do not get it. We asked them was it a quicker way to the college, and they did give us the directions. I do not know what they thought they would find, but what they did find was a family. Father, Mother and daughter obeying the law.

    Reply
  • Lisa hilo, hawaii

    Racial profiling is a learned behavior. It is learned at home, in school, from your peers, TV all the influences that count and influence. We have failed as a society to teach our children well. We have conitnued to stereotype and profile individuals based on appearance. So Wrong! All communities across the USA need to look at breaking this terrible cycle.Teach tolerance, acceptance, and celebrate diversity. There is so much to be gained by all by knowing people of different races, creeds, colors and origins of birth. Everyone should embrace multiculturalism, after all, we are all mixed cultures, just check out your own family tree, go back as far as you can and you wil find all the races of the world, in your own family.

    Reply
  • Jim Martin Sylacauga, Alabama

    Dear Mr. Perry: Just want to say just seen movie "Good Deeds" - half way through the movie, I started crying. Even though at 45, I am not married, I know what it is like to be in a Shelter. Horrible, degrading and shameful. I really try not to look back to that time, but that's life. It made me think of this movie and how sometimes we should ask for help (pride leads to destruction) we often do not do this. I actually believe, God blesses others more when they give to the lowly meek and grateful. We know we can't take it with us. Financial gain is one thing, but the giving of the bountiful is a blessing. I really loved this movie, all the silly Madea talk you do is Great! But when you made this movie you hit the heart. Just want to say thanks, thanks for keeping it real my friend. whiteboi

    Reply
  • JP220 California

    Hello Mr. Perry....I just want to let you know that YOU ROCK!!! :)

    Reply
  • Catrina Bush Lake Park, Fl.

    Hello Tyler, I am writing you as the Lord give me utterance, at Whitney Houston's funeral you were governed by the Holy Ghost to encourage people all over the world with that prophetic Word being spoken by the Holy Ghost through you. You may not want to... but you have no choice but to increase your ministries... for you have preached from the stage of your plays to the set of your TV sitcoms to the lyrics in your songs. And now that God's Word is increasing in you for such a time as this to show the World one of Gods greatest gifts... Tyler Perry in the pulpit! My brother I pray for your journey and strength, I love you and pray whatever God is doing in this season, He keep doing with you ;)

    Reply
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