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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 6)

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  • Mary Louise Smith Philadelphia, Pa

    There will not be a real investigation in Florida. This has been going on for years and and the powers that be will not investigate no more than they have to. It is a d*** shame but it will take the people to say they want more action.

    Reply
  • Elke Canada

    This is outrageous ... i know there are cops out there just looking to put someone in jail or harasse ... its happening up here in Canada too ... my son has been and is a victum of it .. and i know so many stories now ... that i want to do something about it ... i'm in the process of making a documentary .... to shine light on how some people make a difference in the world ... maybe the postive role models of these people will somehow get through ... if i shine a light on the negitive actions i think more negitve will emerge so i'm going the other route ... i could be wrong but we need more role models in our society to step up ..... my heart goes out to these people"s families ... and my love and energy i send to all .... greater is he that in me than he that is in the world .... p.s. i wrote a minute ago but saw all my mistakes so corrected them ..this version is easier to read .... smilin ...

    Reply
  • Elke Canada

    This is outrageous ... i know there are cops out there just looking to put someone in jail or harasse ... its happening up here in Canada too ... my son has been and is a victum of it .. and i know so many stories now ... that i'm want to do something about it ... i'm in the process of making a documentary .... to shine light on how some people make a difference in the world ... maybe the postive role models of these people with somehow get through ... if i shine a light on the negitive actions i think more negitve will emerge so i'm going the other route ... i could be wrong but me need more role models in our society to step up ..... my heart goes out these peoples families ... and my love and energy i send to all .... greater is he that in me than he that is in the world ....

    Reply
  • Yvette Naples Florida

    Tyler Thank You, for having a ear. Please if you should come inform everyone so we can really be prepared. Our voice here in Naples Florida has been muffled for so long. Also the officials here are all joint at the hip. We've had people who has been fighting for unanswer questions about this case for a lot time. Some has even past away , yet they still fought to the end just to kept the case fresh with the hopes of someone hearing their cry. How can someone be detained by police and then disapear? I have seen my mother(who is 75) and her friends ask official and everyone in the proper channels this question over and over again and they were look at as if they were old people out of wind. Tyler God is real and with his powers we will fine the truth. Our elders don't for get nothing. It's always fresh in there mind.

    Reply
  • Kholofelo Maloma South Africa

    Thank you for sharing this with the world. I am from (and I stay in) South Africa. We still have colours here and there, that show separation between a black man and a white man. It is time to have the line eliminated. There are incidences where you become a victim of racism not by means of use of words but service delivery. Even in education, the same thing happens. Very few whites appreciate the good deeds of a black man, but many whites, would not appreciate it. But just let the same good work be done by a white man, the whole world will know and be shown that it was a white man who did it. I think it has to start from the governance that the line between blacks and white is cut off. If the government is indeed not discriminating, then the same would flow down to the nation through education and through equal services.

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  • DisappearanceofTerranceandFelipe

    Thank you so much Mr Perry for joining the search for Terrance and Felipe. This is the craziest story i've ever heard and justice needs to be served ...We would be glad if you could sign our online petition : We also have a facebook page dedicated to Terrance and Felipe : Have a blessed day.

    Reply
  • Thereze Yamato-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan

    What ever happened to being asked for your "DL & Registration?" As a black mama with black sons I used to be afraid a lot for the safety of my two sons, especially when they became old enough to drive. I thank God daily that my husbands work afforded us the luxury of living in foreign countries and on military bases all of my children's lives; and still today, as they avoided the injustices of racial profiling, for the most part. However, as a black mama with black sons it pains my heart to know that in 2012 so many of US live in fear for the safety of our babies. Tyler, this just proves that no one is exempt; keep your chin up, this too shal pass. T~

    Reply
  • PiKaHsSo

    From one black man to another i feel ya man this kind of thing must stop. PiKaHsSo From Dallas, Tejas

    Reply
    • NA Chicago #1667451

      Yes, this kind of thing must stop. People must stop making illegal left turns from the far right lane of traffic and then cry "race" when they are pulled over for a traffic stop. Thank you for being the voice of reason here.

      Reply
  • GT Atlanta

    Sorry about the typo- Stand Your Ground Rule -judge, jury, executioner without consequence. The brave man in the h*** is Sekou Odinga.

    Reply
  • GT Atlanta

    The stand your grounf rule seems to give power to police or individuals to be judge, jury and executioner. I work with a ministry that supports and prays for Liberty of those (who are unjustly held captive or lost their lives) and encourage their families. There is one still alive after being being beaten into a coma before the trial. This is reminiscent of the Book "How to break an African Slave". His sentence was life though he never killled a human being. His being beaten into a coma was like a life sentence. Too many have been lost. This brave african american man is now in the hole. He has finished the life sentence and has been incarcerated for 31 years. He needs funding for a lawyer (there is a movement and a foundation working on this. It seems however, it is not enough and he may seem to have been forgotten or that this brutality doesn't result in consequences). The Geneva Convention has registered the brutality against him. May our loving Lord God continue to bless and hold you up beautiful brother. I thank God you are safe following the encounter. Mr. Deeds was incredibly open, raw, warm and caring. Your heart seems to shine through your intensions to set an example of positiveness for our people. I thank you. You are very giving and we love your efforts. May God continue to Bless you. I know you are blessed. Most sincerely, GT

    Reply
  • Wanda Wells Cedar Hill, Texas

    I am reminded of a line from the movie, "The Color Purple," when Miss Celie (sp) tells Mister that "until you do right by me, everthing you do gon be bad." Until this country decides that it will finally deal with racism forcefully and with integrity, it will continue to have problems surrounding racism and bigotry. After the Rodney King incident, we had a conversation for a moment about racism. That went on for a split second, then it was forgotten, and we returned to business as usual. Now, here we are again with the Trayvon Martin case. Oh, please, I forgot the the Jenna Six. Black men have had a bullseye on their backs since stepping foot on this soil called America. Right-winged Conservatives are afraid of what I don't know, and Liberals mean well, but they, too, are afraid to really be frank about the problems surrounding race. The media-print and visual- continue to portray blacks in stereotypical ways, thus feeding the myths about black people. In commercials using babies and young children, the advertisers can't even be fair in their portrayals there either. Just heard a report on the local news tonight, (Dallas, Texas) that six blacks were shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma; DC sniper-style. Probably a response to Martin crime. America, until you uphold your promise of "freedom and justice for all" we are going to continue to have these problems with race. Dr. King said in one of his speeches that "we can either learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." The way things are going, I fear that it will be the latter.

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  • Pat Anthony Charlotte, NC

    So many things like this have happened to so many people. How do we decide what is fair? While driving on a windy road that looked like a cow path, we (my passenger and I) were stopped for 'drifting' and not driving fast enough. We were lost and the only car on the road except for the man who chose to stop us. It was amusing after the fact to visualize the office leaning on the back of the Durango I was driving, perhaps trying to see if we were armed. He was quite upset. The person with me was on her cell phone trying to get directions and this may have irritated him. It took a few minutes for him to calm down enough to realize we were just what I said: Lost and calling for directions. I wanted to yell at him that his mother would be annoyed at how he overreacted.

    Reply