A US police force is investigating two of its officers after Tyler Perry accused them of racial profiling for stopping him in his car and questioning him in a “hostile” manner, a spokesman said.
The African-American writer-director made the allegations regarding an incident in Atlanta, Georgia, in which he performed an illegal turn as a precaution to evade someone possibly tailing him.
In a statement alluding to a high-profile case in Florida fueling debate over racism nationwide, Perry described how he was pulled over by two white officers after turning left from the right lane, while driving home from work.
After he stopped, an officer told him he had made an illegal turn. He told the officer he did it because he had to be sure he was not being followed. The policeman asked him why he thought someone would follow him.
A “tense” moment then ensued when Perry went to get a key from a cup holder, only to realize they might think he was reaching for something else — at which he recalled his mother’s advice when stopped by a white policeman.
He decided to step out of the car, at which point another car, with a black officer, pulled up.
The Atlanta Police Department said it was looking into the alleged incident. “Mr. Perry’s concerns… will be the basis for referral of the matter to the department’s Office of Professional Standards,” a spokesman said by email.