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 5)

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  • Darlene Martin Fayetteville, NC

    In reference to the "stand your ground law" in Florida. I do not see how Zimmerman was even allowed to hide behind this law. First of all, he was the one that provoked this incident. He followed this kid after being told not to. Since there is so much going on in the world today, you do not know what to expect and need to always stay on guard. I can imagine that Trayvon Martin was very scared that night. If someone is following you at night, you don't know what they are going to do. Trayvon, I am sure was afraid as I would have been. When he was attacked, he was only trying to defend himself. There use to be a time when you could go to sleep and leave your doors unlocked (Back in the day). My grandmother use to tell me that. You cannot do that today. I have made a habit of locking my door behind me, as soon as I get in my house. I also lock my car door as soon as I get in it, before opening the garage door to leave. You better believe that it is locked at all times, when I am traveling in my car. These are extra things we must do to protect ourselves, because there are some crazy people out there. All I can say is this law should be amended right away. If not, Florida could face many problems in the future. People can stalk their enemies and make sure that no witnesses are around. You can guess the rest. Darlene

  • Shaquita Kansas city

    Tyler its real bad down here!



  • Tia B Covington, GA

    I am ready when you are. This is CRAZY!

  • Xenobia Tenn Toronto,Canada

    Hello Mr.Perry.Thanks for sharing your story.Your courage is empowering!!I have 10 law abiding brothers.All have been AT LEAST harrassed by the police.Youngest,whilst riding his bike delivering seniors' meds (he was 15yrs.old) was dragged off his bike,driven down to the lake & thrown in.Thank God he survived.2yrs. ago my 11yr old autistic son was abducted & molested.He was brought back but when I reported this to police,they laughed & made r***** comments.CPS blamed me.When the trial came up last year,we lost bc there was no police report (?!).The system destroyed our lives.We lost everything! No justice in Canada either.I could go on & on.Black men are an endangered species.In this age of instant info it is incumbent upon all black folks to use the 'free media' to demand change & justice.NOW.I live in fear for my child's life & the lives of all blacks,men in particular. None of this is pretty but we must remember:God don't like ugly.We've come this far by faith & I DO believe we shall (continue to) overcome! Peace & Blessings 2U xx

  • cathy knight chicago

    Hi Tyler, I was sorry to hear this about you being targetted too. i did see the video my heart goes out to those families in Florida. that is just terrible. i have two sons, and my son just got a scholarship to go to N.C. although i am happy for him. I worry he will be walking somewhere and get pulled over by cops. My son does not drive at all. he is 17, and my older Son came to Chicago for college. he is now 27. Since all these black Males, and minorities have come up missing in Florida and now Tulsa. I worry all the time whether I will see My son become a Man. I pray things Get better. and yes the Protest have been getting Press. so thank God for that. thanks for Making us Aware, because if it had not been for your emails I would not have even seen the broadcasts/links. I don't even read the papers anymore. living in chi-town I see young black males pulled over by the cops daily. it is said. I tell my son always have his school i.d. with him God Bless you.

  • Michele Mason Arlington, TX

    Trayvon Martin's case is a catalsyt for change in how we as a people are starting to respond to injustices in our legal systems. It is about time that we pay more attention to our missing and the murders that occur and go unnoticed. I have prayed that the earth regurgitate all of the hidden agendas and injustices that have happened and reveal the wrong doers so that the wronged will see justice done on their behalf. We can no longer sit in the background we must be advocates for what is right and we must support those who are on the front lines making it happen. Trayvon and the others could have been our sons, daughters or loved ones, we need to support each other by keeping up with what is going on in our communities and actively become involved in making it right. We are our brothers keepers, thus sayeth the Lord!

  • Glenda Atlanta

    Tyler, We cannot thank God enough that this situation did not become worse in many aspects. It is not only the ignorance of those whose minds refuse to allow them to believe that these acts of hatred are not only evil, but in my mind "illegal"; it is also the unwillingness of white America to realize times have changed and WE are not EXTINCT like the dinosaurs. We are here, deserve to be here, and deserve to be treated with the same respect as commanded by others. I will agree that although we made significant strides WITH Black America, I am not so sure that we have progressed any further with racial profiling. It is real and it exists in hidden form, which is the reason the African American community must arm themselves with the historical knowledge, education, and resources required to help themselves and others when placed in such situations. Keep doing what you do! And always, much success!

  • Shirley Evans Jax. fl.

    Hello Tyler, my son & I have also been jacked up by the Ga police. we were coming from Atlanta via I -75, we were coming through Valdosta Ga. Coming from a very reliable source, some officers park where their head lights can shine in the car as it pass by, that way they can see the color of the people inside. this officer pulled me over jumped out aimed the shot gun at our vehicle, we were driving a rental vehicle, he was yelling & screaming telling us to open the door and get out. my son was asleep, he woke up and saw what was going on and begin telling me to open the door. this being a rental I didn,t know how. Finally I got the door open.The officer kept the gun on us, he said that I almost caused that 18 wheeler that was nowhere near me to have an accident, he was lying I was nowhere close to that truck. we had just left B.E.T. comic view my son,s debut. had a great time, now this, my law enforce badge was next to my drivers license. you know the rest. so happens a guy that went to school with this officer, we worked for the same state agency and I just happen to know him. Those people that say there is no problems. tell them I say turn brown for 1 week. I wish that all our stories could go nationwide. love you Shirley Evans

  • SHARON cypress,tx

    Tyler I JUST SAW THE VIDEO YOU SENT OUT FROM CNN. this cop in Florida i bet any money he had those to guys do sexually things to him and then when they resisted arrest that when he kill them and dump there body some where in Florida i bet. these type of cases are out there and since they are COPS they think they can get away with EVERYTHING. HUMMMMM.this just my view on this case.

  • Bale Malee Bloemfontein, South Africa

    This is an issue beyond borders, Tyler. The only difference is that Africa is a continent with smaller countries within it. It is not easy for Law Enforcement. We should applaud whatever good and effort they do. I have personally been a victim of crime, which is why, I have created the "Creative Student Invasion" Motivational Tour around my country, and hopefully, around Africa. We need to influence these kids' perception from a young age. Somebody gotta take the podium and say something, whilst cohesively, we gotta step our feet down and do something about this criminal outrages.

  • Miss P USA

    Hello Tyler: I understand you having problems with reporters, etc. following you around trying to find out your business...you are famous..I didn't say I agreed with it though...I just don't understand whats going on with me...I'm not famous...just a working woman who is trying to survive while improving my life..I'm getting very strange feelings I'm being followed...a foreign man was just sitting in the lot near where I parked just today looking very strange...I got my eyes open now...brain fog is fading slowly...God is blessing me with his promises..I am conforted by this alone...well love you and have a nice day.

    • William Minix Grand Prairie, Texas 75054 #1670785

      We need to boycott Florida!

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