Tyler Perry.com


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.


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

Comments (page 4)

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  • 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

  • Lorie Newington, CT

    Oh, this message is just so disturbing and scary, and it leaves me so sad.

  • mary Hammonds Franklin ,Ky

    Tyler,I have one son that live in Nashville, Tenn and they are always pulling him over are if Im in his car that pull me over.So I know about htem.

  • Ann Cayce, SC

    Tyler, I am a mother of two young black men and a very young daughter. My sons are in their twenties now, but I still worry. I am even more worried about my daughter. I feel she should have me by her side at all times. Children of color are missing all over this country everyday and it seems no one cares. I care. I love this country and I want to do more for our community to improve the life and livelihood of our society. I have prayed for a business that would gorify the Lord as well as increase my family financially which would give me the opportunity to socialize because that's what I do well. I have it, it's very small and at its beginning phase. I began on March 10th, 2012. Even with a broke foot and a cast. I am tired of being sick and tired. I look forward to talking to strangers sometimes, because it interest me to know whats on their minds and why they all look sooo lifeless. I just have to make someone smile. I tell myself that I just might stop a bad person from doing something bad one day. Just by making them smile that day. Life is difficult, I know, I've been through Hell, but as my pastor says, "Don't stop, keep going"; I did. I look forward to doing more for my community. I encourage young people and older people to know they are blessed and think about it. I don't do it on a scale compared to yours but I feel good about any heart that I touch. I appreciate you and your business because I can tell how personal it is to you through it. I love you and I thank you. Ann Robinson www.faithtees.biz

  • Tamara McCann Bellwood, IL

    That is the worst situation anybody can be put in, be them black, white, or hispanic . It seems it took for a black cop to recognize who you are base on the work you do, but no matter what our job titles are in this world, we are nothing more than a color to people who refuse to see us as human beings and children of GOD.To realize that everyone in this world are not bad and corrupt no matter what his/her color.

  • Tangela McCall Shreveport Louisiana

    We just have to believing that GOD will continue to cover us with his blood. I'am a single mom raising a man child, let me tell U it's not easy. Ther eare so many questions rushing through my head right now. I remember a ploice officer coming to my parents house... I remember hearing the GOD'S voice telling me to go the front door... When asking what the problem was the two officers one being black female one white male...OH WE ARE TALKING TO HIM, after being asked two different times. My youngest sibling just standing there allowing this to happen. It really pissed me off...My son just nine ...WHAT?? After I came down the stairs and went up to them the female officer OH WE JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHO'S BIKE HE HAD, AND WHEN AN OFFICER IS TALKING TO HIM HE NEEDS TO MAKE EYE CONTACT...OH REALLY.?! it only took me a few minutes to realize that I had gone to high school with this lady. One of the officers know for being a "BAD A!!... "OH OKAY"... I told them that's my son, I'm the mama, I must know what's going on. I was also angry with my sister, like where is your mind...The very next day, bright and early I went down to the police station and reported they're unprofessional behavior. My son had his own bike that his mama worked so hard for. If anything his had come up missing. Your mama did right, the best lessons she knew to teach you. Before this day I never once thought this would come to my door. I immediately told my son I was sorry. Now

  • Dee K Ohio

    Tyler I think what you had to go through is very sad considering it is 2012! I do not know when people are going to realize that God created us all equally! I am a white female who grew up in a neighborhood of numerous black families. I remember being taught to call folks Mr. or Mrs. and we were never allowed to call any adult by their first name. When I hear people make a racial comment that is inappropriate, I always say it's not the race it's the individual. People want to perceive blacks as being beneath whites and that is so sad! When an individual commits a crime, etc. it is because they chose to not because their skin color made them do it. I hope you know that though there are some arrogant and ignorant white people out there, we all are not classified as one. I hope you do not view us that way because I think you are an amazing person with amazing talents and you are truly blessed and so you should be. Your plays or movies are the first things my kids and I watch when we just want to have a night of laughter. My youngest daughter is almost 10 and has been a fan since she was 3...lol. Im not sure if she should have been watching Madea at the age of 3 but there is no stopping her now. She loves Madea and Uncle Joe. Tyler we know we are blessed because we serve a God that loves us know matter what the color nor the circumstance....He will always be there for us. Don't let those type of people bring you down. Let's keep on praying for a brighter tomorrow and for God to open the eyes of those who pass judgment. God bless you for the amazing man you are!

  • Johnny Galaviz Flowery Branch GA.

    Apperently it's still 1950s in Florida.

  • Nykiiah Wright Toledo, Ohio

    Selah! My friend this statement is so very correct, so much more has to be done. I understand how you must have felt because I was in a similar situation but at night in a mostly suburban white township. I was so nervous that the officer accused me of being on drugs and put me in the back of her police car. She said she pulled me over because I had a rear tail light out, but she never said anything about the light until I was pulling off 20 minutes later. I have one son and I am constantly worried about his safety. So much more has to be done. I would definitely support a movement that really takes on the issue of racial profiling. Be well.

  • Debbie Minnesota

    I noticed in your join list it ask a question ( which Tyler Perry movies is my favorite) but it only give you one choice... You just can't pick one, I love them All and Good Deed is by far the best one yet, I just had to put that in.. thanks for the Entertainment in this sometimes drab world of ours.

  • Debbie

    I understand where you have been, I also understand that those who don't will have to Go Through IT! before they can get IT, It being Racially Profiled. I live in a small town in Minnesota and when I first moved here, it happened many time and I am female so you can imagine what happened to the male in the community. My main point is you have to go though it sometimes to understand it. I think Terry you put this information in one of your movies, but you just hadn't gone thru this yet... Now that would be a great info movie get to work Tyler Perry.. make people understand what is going on Do It With Your Work, Make the Movie about it..

  • Destiny King

    you need to know God and trust him, use the senses, your voice, your hands your feet your brain, be your own lawyer, policeman, etc like Michael Jackson says, "They don't care about us."

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