The Atlanta police department is launching an internal investigation after a Facebook post by actor and producer Tyler Perry has sparked controversy. He is claiming that two white officers racially profiled him during a traffic stop last week.
Perry, who is African American, posted that he had been driving through Atlanta from his studio, when he decided to make a left-hand turn from the extreme right-hand lane. He explained that it was a tactic taught to him by his manager to escape anyone who may be following, such as paparazzi.
Two white officers pulled the actor over for the traffic violation. Perry says the officers did not recognize who he was, and as one officer questioned him on why he made the illegal turn the other officer banged on his passenger window, dissatisfied which the darkness of the window tint.
Perry tried to explain why he made the turn and the officer asked him, “Why do you think someone would be following you?”
Perry said he felt uncomfortable with the way the officers were interrogating him saying they were being overly “hostile,” and recalled some advice given to him by his mother on how to deal with police as a black man.
“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,'” he said.
Perry went on to say that a second cruiser pulled up a few moments later with a black officer who knew Perry. He wrote that the officer had ‘the oh no look’ on his face when he approached.
Perry goes on to explain that the officer pulled the two original white officers aside and after a moment Perry said, “After that, one of the officers stayed near his car while one came back, very apologetic.”
Perry says after that he was let go.