Tyler Perry’s Run In with the Law

This post on Tyler Perry‘s – movie star, director and more – Facebook page was posted to my wall by a friend and though I tend to disagree with Tyler’s view on the stand your ground law (I don’t think you need a law to state you have a right to defend yourself, just as you don’t need law to tell you the difference between defense and murder – all you need are facts, something the police seem to get in the way of alot), I appreciate him speaking about these issues to his fans.

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.


  • Jeff

    You didn’t find it. I sent it to you…

  • Rita

    Here it comes again — “There are many great officers out there.” Really, Tyler? Name one. Point one out. That Black officer didn’t stand up for you as a fellow Black man; he stood up for you because he recognized you as a celebrity.

  • Jamal Weaver

    How is it that this incident is racial profiling? Perry admittedly made a left hand turn from the right hand lane. Incredibly dangerous; and then he gives the answer “to make sure that I am not being followed.” Who would give that kind of answer? Someone Paranoid, on drugs, just committed a crime etc etc.. So the police now have on their hands an unknown individual who made a wildly erratic and dangerous maneuver and responded with a paranoid answer; what are they supposed to think.

    The Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine do not just protect you from prosecution; they protect you from the civil liability that you may incur from eliminating a threat to your well being. Here in California; someone breaks into my home; at least 2 shots center mass; because if they don’t die, I may have violated their civil rights and they can sue. Nevermind that they were in my home; unlawfully to do who knows what.

  • Centurion

    I agree with Rita, It shouldnt be put into law because we already have a right to st our ground. As far as Tyler goes he just like the rest of African American Stars who hate white people and push a racial agenda. We can stand our ground right now if we wanted. IT IS THE LAW.

  • wow

    I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, but how is Perry’s stop racially motivated? He made an illegal turn. The cop even said, “your windows are tinted”, so how do they know what color he is? I hate it when a legitimate action becomes racial, just because the subject of such action is a minority.

  • Centurion

    In that state in there defense when you run a plate the race comes up first before the name . But I agree every time white people do anything to a minority its a hate crime or racially motivated. Celebrities do what they want half the time. But in his defense they have better things in FL. to do than to stop peaple for driving infractions on a street thats governed by us not them . They do not have authority to stop you search you ask questions or detain you unless a victim is involved. Thats the Constitution. I AM CENTURION.

  • Speezo

    This happens to people of all races. Cops think they are MacGruber sometimes and want some action all the time. They look for green lights to victimize people. That is the unfortunate truth.

  • Zapeee

    it’s unfortunate that the police prey upon people of all colors to improve their “arrest record.” Collars for dollars, anyone?

  • Mike T

    My wife was nearly killed last week by a driver who pulled a stunt like this. She was literally about 3 seconds away from getting crushed by a truck driver who pulled this move with his rig. When I went back and realized I missed this illegal move, I lost all sympathy for Perry. It also doesn’t help that all he had to do to assuage their concerns is to calmly tell them he’s a celebrity and often has to deal with aggressive stalkers outside of airports.

  • Speezo

    @Mike T

    I think nobody would debate that his driving was poor but we are instead examing in the bahvior of the police.

    The way it sounds to me is that the police were going through their routine harassment of individuals looking for an opening to escalate the situation and maybe find justification for a search or other crimes, etc. Only upon finding out that this man would have a serious platform to expose their misconduct is when they ceased the misconduct.

    To me the real issue that I am interested in is what would have happened to the man if he wasn’t a celebrity? How badly could this situation have gone if the police thought they could get away with it?

  • Common Sense

    “It was so hostile. I was so confused. It was happening so fast..”

    Yes, so scary. No punches, no taser, no racial slurs, no pepper spray, no clubbing…and no ticket. Certainly must not been too bad, he didn’t file a citizen’s complaint. Non incident.

    Deputy Steve Calkins?

    “…Hunter eventually fired Calkins, saying that the deputy became uncooperative and that one of the three polygraph tests he took indicated some deception…”

    “…The former sheriff noted that both men would have had some reason to disappear — Santos was in the country illegally, and Williams was due back in court in Tennessee, where he was facing jail time for failure to pay child support…”

    Nationally, 2000+ people disappear each day in the US.

    What was the cops motive? Well obviously he was a racist right? JonBenet was killed in her own home, a body, evidence and no arrests.

    You better bring a touch more to the table than coincidence for a murder charge.

  • Mike T


    Perry’s behavior justified the harassment he got from the police. If they did anything wrong, it was not applying a dose of “noblesse oblige” to him by hitting him with every traffic violation he could be reasonably charged with specifically because he’s part of the upper class of society. They should have made an example out of him in a way they wouldn’t even have considered on John Q. Citizen due to his wealth and status in society. Position obligates.

  • certain

    He also claimed that he “dropped them off” both of them, in one instance saying that the person arrested had turned out to be a nice guy so he let him go at a liquor store. At least tell the whole story. And the most likely motive is he’s a serial killer with a badge. Coincidence. You really are just a troll looking for any response you can get, aren’t you.