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Tyler Perry

Cops Launch Investigation

into Allegedly Racist Traffic Stop

4/5/2012 10:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Tyler Perry presents ... a possibly racist incident with police in Atlanta.
Tyler Perry presents ... a possibly racist incident with police in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Police Department says it's launched an internal investigation .... after Perry publicly accused two officers of racially profiling him during a traffic stop earlier this week.

Perry says he was leaving his ATL studio ... when he made a left turn from the right lane to ensure he wasn't being followed. Tyler explains, "It’s a safety precaution that my security team taught me."

But Tyler was pulled over by police for the illegal turn ... and claims he was harassed by two "hostile" white officers until a black cop arrived to the scene and recognized him.

On his Facebook page, Perry says the black cop "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?"

Tyler then wrote, "RACIAL PROFILING SHOULD BE A HATE CRIME INVESTIGATED BY THE FBI!!!"

For the record -- Tyler Perry did NOT get a ticket.

Reps for the ATL PD say it's looking into "whether any departmental policies or procedures were violated during the stop.”

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319 COMMENTS

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181.

Lauri    

Who did he think was following him? He doesn't mention that.

830 days ago
182.

yaya    

Im so tired of the black community always crying race.
If anyone keeps race as an issue in 2012, it's the black community themselves. Sorry to anyone I may have offended, but it's true.

830 days ago
183.

yaya    

this is stupid! has nothing to do with race! also the whole shooting thing has nothing to do with it!!! if anyone is beeing recisit is the blacks for accusing us.... tp broke the law!!!!

830 days ago
184.

Americentric    

Only problem is . . . you have to read the whole account. This excerpt isn't why he felt that way.

830 days ago
185.

Luv    

i am so disgusted with this site for posting such a small portion of the story so they could get some attention!

830 days ago
186.

Luv    

If TMZ would have posted the entire explanation instead such a small part of the whole story maybe people could understand what happened:

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.

-Tyler

830 days ago
187.

Nicole    

Actually if they had the whole statement he made you would know that he stated the police had been following him for quite some time. However of course only the tail end of his statement would be posted. I guess mainly for them to save space on the page.

830 days ago
188.

Karla    

Irony here would be if in fact they lost their job for not giving him a ticket. What does it matter who is coming to his workplace?????? It has nothing to do with his driving and turning according to the law.

I imagine if someone said they did something illegal becasue they might be followed the next thing to ask is why would someone follow you?????? As to tinted windows I am not sure of the law in Atl. So cannot comment on that part but can understand if one cannot see who else is in the car......but then again most here that have another tale are not LEO and have never been in danger during a traffic stop......

830 days ago
189.

Ashvegas    

So perhaps he should consider that he got away with an illegal turn because he was famous! Us commoners wouldn't be so lucky!

830 days ago
190.

@$$hole    

um, maybe you shouldn't make left turns from the right lane, ass hat.

830 days ago
191.

clazzy    

Oh so I guess its okay that TYLER PERRY neglects the law? But not okay for him to be stopped like ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING? sure... play the pity game RACE CARD! You are all alike... YELL RACE! geez!!

830 days ago
192.

Bri    

Wow… I wish I could claim racial profiling every time I’ve been polled over and had no idea why the cops did it. But in this case it’s clear he broke the law and got special treatment because of his fame and then has the nerve to complain!

830 days ago
193.

Brian     

There were actions by the cops TMZ which lead up to his rant on facebook that yall aren't reporting. The rant is on his facebook people you should read it, and maybe you won't be saying ummm no racism took place here..

830 days ago
194.

Mike     

why is it every time a black person does something illegal and gets caught breaking the law. it has to be a racial thing.

830 days ago
195.

Charlie Sheen's Watch    

There is nothing racist about a traffic violation that YOU ADMIT to. Idiot.

830 days ago
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