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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 3)

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  • Craig S. Atlanta, Ga.

    Mr. Perry, Unfortunately, I can understand the dilemma you have been through. All too often I have found myself in situations like that. I'm proud you were able to avoid the situation. As a 44 year old disabled veteran without a criminal record. I remember as a teenager, I was stopped by police officers who said I stole something from a store. After producing receipts for what I had. It didn't end there. To make a long story short, before I left there were seven cop cars and the "Officer in charge" from the station for a 16 year old kid on bicycle. Being a man of your stature, PLEASE push the issue in the way you see fit. To try and help resolve these type of problems for our youth. Oh My GOD ! ! - I'll keep you in my PRAYERS, the news is reporting a FIRE at one of your studios.

    Reply
  • Steven Thompson Arizona

    Hello Mr. Perry, I would like to encourage you to file a complaint against those two officers. They will treat someone else that way and that person wont be apologized to. You are truly an inspiration. I truly believe that God has sent you to this world. "Keep ya head up".

    Reply
  • Shall Lakewood CA

    Hello Mr. Perry my mom loves all your movies and I would say she is your number 1 fan so what I need to know from you is how do I get her tickets for your shows without having her sit in the balcony I went on the sight before you announce Madea gets a job and all the good seat tickets were gone' do you tell all the groups of people first or how does this work I want my mom to sit up front. Sincerely Shelle

    Reply
  • Zena FL

    I am sorry for what happen to you. Since you say you do read these here is something else that needs to be considered in the disappearance of Felipe and Terrance - they were sold into trafficking. Many people don't like to hear about it, especially happening here in the US. It is rampant in the US and girls, boys, women and men of all ages are not immune to becoming a victim. I have studied Human Trafficking for the last two years and wrote my thesis on the subject. One thing I learned, when a person ends up missing there is always the chance they were taken into some form of slavery. Just something to consider in your search for these two young men.

    Reply
  • carlos florida

    Amen brother I have had the samething happen to me with officers in my town. It's not fair to be profile just because you are black. We need to past law for this injustice.

    Reply
  • Priscilla Jones Birmingham,Al

    Amen, Mr. Perry. I agree with you totally, so sorry that happened to you. God Bless

    Reply
  • Rosa NYC

    Travton Martin In the wake of the Senseless Killing of Travyon Martin. .. The Company known as KOCH" which manufactures Paper Products! Is sponsoring in paying for Zimmermans legal Right too bare arms! and shoot Travyon, We are asking that people everywhere! Ban together and pass this informationon and NOT! purchase any of the following items,? Because your money will be paying for Zimmerman's LAWYERS AND LEGAL FEES$$. Please Do Not!! purchase any of the following items..Angel soft toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, dixie plates, bowls, napkins, & cups. Mardi gras napkins and paper towels, Quilited Northen toilet paper, Paper soft, and Gentile toilet paper, Sparkle napkins and paper towels, Vanity Fair napkins and paper towels, Zero napkins and paper towels. PLEASE! forward this very important information to all your family and friends, Please lets Help get Justice! for Travyon Martin!!! Thank You...

    Reply
    • Rhonda Shelton Atlanta, GA #1677718

      This RUMOR is FALSE and has been DENIED by Koch Industries! People lets not be guilty of the same behavior we accuse others of perpetrating against us. Be very careful of putting out information that you, yourself have not confirmed as being true!

      Reply
  • teshia Thomas montgomery al

    i see how very quickly things could have gotten out of hand.... I also see you are blessed that the third cop to arrive on the scene knew who u were to back them off. My heart aches for the men and women who cant be recognized and let go as easily. Truth be told, it isn't even a matter of celebrity status, its a matter of right and wrong. ( on their behalf) This is truly a sickening reality to which no one person has been able to answer the question... how much is enough of this nonsense. I am so glad that the lord made a way of escape from the situation for you. I remain in deep prayer for the brothers and sisters that endured the less fortunate side of scenarios almost identical to this one. Be encouraged Tyler. I pray you continue to be covered by the blood of jesus, traveling grace on the road, and shielded from those who mean you no good, for as u very well know... no weapon formed....... ( fill it in) in jesus name. B blessed brother.

    Reply
  • MAEMAE Flint,Michigan

    Tyler , you do not know how a parent feel to have a young black male in this world praying everyday.Please do a serious movie about racial profiling.I go to your movies and cry most of the time because it is a lot of meeting to them.

    Reply
  • Janet Helderle St. Louis ,MO

    OMG. My heart dropped in my chest as I read your post. This has got to stop. As a Mother I am angered and stunned by what has been happenning in the world lately. Love thy neighbor as yourself. People need to start learning to love again, and remember that everyone is some persons child.

    Reply
  • Lola H. Chicago

    Dear Mr. Perry, Will you please to help? We need an advocate for our family members who are currently being held at the Fresno County Jail (Beard brothers). Their case has not been deemed self-defense, but Murder. They have now been place on SUICIDE WATCH. The media did not tell the entire story in truth. There appears to be racial profiling in this case. Your help and prompt attention to this matter may save African-American Male Lives. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Susan Smith Arlington, Texas

    Wow. I'm from South Central Los Angeles, and I grew up experiencing what you described. I'm also over 40, okay over 50 years old. This post touched me and brought back memories. The first thing I did after I began to read this post is look at the date that it was posted. Deep down, I was hoping that I had mistakenly run across a very old post. Seeing, and already knowing, that this post was very recent just hurt my heart. I really can't even describe how I'm feeling. (I'm also wondering what rock those guys live under if they don't know who you are). Mr. Tyler Perry, just stay encouraged. God gave you a strength that will enable you to overcome, and the Holy Spirit will keep you. We love you! @InspiredLocs

    Reply
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