Police in Atlanta are investigating Tyler Perry’s claims that he was racially profiled during a recent traffic stop.
The filmmaker was leaving his southwest Atlanta studios last month when he made an illegal left-hand turn from the right lane -- a move he claims is “a safety precaution” taught by his security team to ensure that no one was following his car.
Perry was then pulled over by two Caucasian police officers and alleges that he was unjustly “badgered,” until a third -- and black -- officer arrived and recognized him.
In a post on his Facebook page, Perry wrote: “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?’”
The statement continues to recall a second officer “banging” on his passenger-side window, asking Perry why windows were tinted and saying, “What is wrong with you?” Read the full statement here.
The police department has since issued a statement on the matter, announcing an internal investigation. “The Atlanta Police Department has confirmed that two officers recently encountered Mr. Tyler Perry during a traffic stop,” the statement reads. “Mr. Perry’s concerns, as recently expressed by him publicly, will be the basis for referral of the matter to the department’s Office of Professional Standards.”
Perry did not file a formal complaint with the APD, but his Facebook post has received more than 21,000 comments and 12,000 shares as of Thursday. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the officers in question remain on duty.