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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.

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  • Amber Ohio

    Mr. Perry, I think I may have been sitting and watching the same episode of Disappeared at the same time. A couple years ago I was living in downtown Cleveland with my boyfriend, pregnant, watching ID. It just happened to be an episode that really fueled something within me, and it was the episode about Terrance William and Mr. Santos, and although I loved ID, I never really liked Disappeared. But I was at home, my boyfriend worked late, and I came across this show. When my boyfriend, now husband, came home, he thought 'whatever' about it, I'm white, he's black, I feel he had just accepted the idea of racial profiling existing. Given that we were dealing with the birth of our daughter, I think I had all but forgotten about it. Now we live in a rural town, where I grew up, 2 hours from Cleveland, and I'm in college debating the professionalism of policing and find myself quoting an officer from that documentary. Remember? A Florida State policemen, I believe-or may have it a little wrong, said IT IS INCOMPETENT FOR A POLICE DEPARTMENT TO INVESTIGATE THEIR OWN DEPARTMENT. Either way, the point of my contact is to say that because I quoted this, I looked to see where the case had gone from there, saw you reward, and saw NO CLOSER RESULT TO WHERE THESE MEN MAY BE, or ended up. I did find a youtube video where you stated we should all be outraged, and I AM! As a perceived white American I AM! And the fact that you offered 100K to this case, and still no media attention has been given is ridiculous. You, as a celebrity, and then you offering 100K and still nothing??! How can I help? How can we bring attention? How can we find out where these men are? Do we search ourselves? Obviously this is why so many take the law into their own hands.. But how do we wake up America to Florida? To racial injustice? To things swept under the rug? Whatever the answer is, I'M IN!

    Reply
    • Amber Ohio #1881134

      I apologize for my improper grammar in my post, I hope to not sound illiterate and my points remain important. I simply did not spell-check or proofread my post. But my heart is in it regardless.

      Reply
  • Barbara Broward

    The families of the missing persons need to make sure that their loved ones are entered into the NamUs system which the detective on their cases can do. This system compiles all DNA for comparison.

    Reply
  • cathysmithbrooks library westside speedyway.

    hi tyler perry my is cathysmith-brooks i just got marry last year of august 13 2011 now it has been a year that me and my husband has been marry. but we have been together for about nine years before we got marry. i am loving it cause i never been marry before we haves our ups and downs but we always fits our problems. now we are startin to get along better. i enjoy your new movie that just came out. well i enjoy writing you my time is almost up so gotta be shutten down. thankyou. cathysmithbrooks

    Reply
  • Stephen Fotune North Carolina

    I was raised in NYC, I seen racial profiling since I was a child. Minding my business I've been stopped many of times, frisk and spoken to as though they felt they were better than I was. I also tried not to dress like most in my neighborhood. But it wasn't about how you dressed it was about being people of Color. When I started driving, I was pulled over several times for no reason at all. I always believed that a Police Officer is supposed to carry hisself a certain way. But, when they crossed the line, there no longer a Police Officer in my eyes or the eyes of the Law, because their breaking the Law. Stop and Frisk, should be out lawed! People aren't supposed to be put in these positions for no reasons, they should be free to come and go unless their doing something wrong.PUT AN END TO RACIAL PROFILING ITS ANOTHER TOOL FOR RACISM!

    Reply
  • teresa meyers kountze texas

    god is sitting high and looking low he will always make a way never lose faith or give up hope he is our chief in command and every deed bad or good will recieve award and punishment as he see fit not by mans hands but by his glory and his alone amen amen

    Reply
  • Kennedy Davenport Columbus, GA

    Former Undercover Black Female Police Officer Alicia Davenport was left without cover and discriminated against. She sued the City of Columbus and won! Yet the good old boy system still gave everyone more than her. The evidence of discrimination could not be denied but they still refused to allow compensation to a black female officer. Just google the case Alicia Davenport in Columbus, GA. She is now a Deputy Marshal in Columbus where she stopped a gunman who killed three people at Doctors Hospital. She is a single mother of three girls. She is my hero and I would love for Tyler to know her story and struggles still. What I have watched MY mother endure is movie worthy!

    Reply
  • Dionie Gregg Sandy Bay, Clarendon, Jamaica

    Hi Mr. Perry, i love you and your stuff so much, reading this post made me look into very thing carefully, black people are the most if not the most accomplished people on the face of the earth. I love my small country of Jamaica, it might be rock with violence and poverty but i love my country and i love my ancestors and race. Being Black is good, but until some persons appreciate their skin color and there history then this will not stop. Hopefully one day you will take a trip to my beautiful country, you need to take a trip and you will definitely see your fan base here, continue doing what you are doing, continue making a difference because you have being making one. Nuff respect

    Reply
  • Rickie Summers Okla City,Ok 731

    Mr. Perry I love you so much what ever you make I try to go and see it. I am so proud of you and I know your mother is too. It is bad about both of those young men because you know that child couldn't have beat that man I think his friend help him to make it look like Martin beat him. You keep on going and I wish you the best of luck to you. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Reply
  • Anon Nymous

    TP, You are a -- Faith Leader -- through your form of gifts/talents. Do not feel odd that people have followed you, when cops stopped you and wanted to know what was wrong with you when you felt you were followed. But I have prayed for you and you are prayed for by many prayer warriors. You are safe, regardless of those seeking to harm you. You are protected of God in Heaven. Many people are simply not aware that hateful men still hunt and kill Christians, not just in third world countries, but all over the world and yes, right here in the USA. There are numerous hate groups but there is an international order of men hunter/ killers that the US government nor Interpol has shut down their internet access website. They are: Proud members of the International Order of Heresy Hunters. They call themselves german heretic hunters but we know them as neo nazis, the new socialist party members and also confederates and their entire families all over the us and abroad. Although I am not considered, the best cio, or it geek, I still pray for you and I have been very concerned for you and I am still sending up prayer asking for revelation of those trying to --follow/ stalk/ hunt -- you, other Christians, ministers & men or women of faith. This is the site I found but do not go directly to it: use the 2nd link which opens a google cache page which prevents them from tracking your machine ip address on their direct site. Link #1. (do not click directly ob this link from your machine, use a library or other public access machine so you can not be traced) ( Link #2. (you can visit this one without going directly to the website, but by seeing it on googles cached pages) TP, hire security, a driver and a security team, you trust, to travel with you and to follow you with video, so you can replay and find any further folks trying to follow you. CM

    Reply
  • Sha Year T&T

    Deputy Steve Calkins believes that he has gotten away with the crimes of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos and that he is a free man but the truth is he has not. He just hasn't been caught as yet he thinks that he has gotten away from man but he cannot get away from GOD but the judiciary system will catch up with him eventually, even if it takes forty years.

    Reply
  • PureHeart% Ocala, Florida

    Hi Mr. Perry! I know that had to be very uncomfortable and a bit scary to not knoow the unexpected. I live in Florida and it is a lot of racism here especially in the justice system. And when you are a black person in Florida and you don't have any money to. Fight for yourself you are pretty much screwed. I was 19 when I first was in any trouble and I was convicted of a felony that wasn't even my fault. But its sad because u see in my records I'm not a menace to society never even been in trouble in school and you want to make me a criminal in society eyes before I start my life. What I'm trying to say is Florida see Money & Color and if neither one them not right you will be doomed pretty much screwed just no justice or equality when it comes to the laws and authority in this state called Florida. Sorry for what you had to experience Mr. Perry and to all the other victims of Florida ongoing racism.

    Reply
  • Church member ATL

    TP, If it quacks, has feathers, a bill and people call it duck, its probably a duck. Many have asked numerous federal agencies, especially the FBI to look into such racial matters resulting in deaths or disappearances of minorities. These agencies do not have the best street cred reputation for looking out for the every day unknown faces of minorities. These agencies are being who they are and doing exactly what they were currently designed to do. TP, do not mistake their very public statements of what they are supposed to be, with what they truly are. Have you ever known the FBI to just step in to save the day of honest innocent hard working citizens with no name, no majorly bad reputation? Bad and corrupt agencies worldwide want every day people under attack to be silent instead of being vocal. Why is that? These agencies supposedly have old tricks like pulling the fire alarm in the hotels or phoning in harmful words to cause evacuation to get everyone out of the building so they can get everyone outside to see which room they go back to to rest. What honest open protect & serve agency needs to do that? Why would your mother warn you to be careful around those who are supposed to protect, serve and defend you? Your mothers voice was a moment of your "Rose of Sharon" in your desert moment. Your mom is not here, but God always looks out for His, even with the memory of the helpful words of the one whom loved you the most. Thank God for you, Church Member

    Reply
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