- (Photo: Reuters / Eric Thayer)
Atlanta Police have launched an internal investigation following recent claims by Tyler Perry that he was the victim of racial profiling after being unlawfully harassed by two white police officers.
Perry, who has become somewhat of an advocate against race hate crimes in recent months, says that he was racially profiled while driving in Atlanta and that he was only let go when police discovered that he is a celebrity, which has lead to an internal probe, according to TMZ.
"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," Perry wrote on his Facebook page.
The 42-year-old screenwriter, who is renowned for creating highly successful African-American films, claims that the harassment took as he was leaving his Atlanta based studio.
Perry says that he made a left turn from the right lane to ensure that he wasn't being followed, which he insists is a simple "safety precaution," and when police pulled him over they were unnecessarily rude and "hostile."
"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," Perry wrote.
The film maker also criticized Florida's "stand your ground law," which many critics say promotes racial profiling and unjust killings.
Perry's racial profiling claims come shortly after unarmed teen, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by self appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, in what critics say was a race hate attack.
"It is an unbelievable burden, and hard to articulate, that you're born automatically a suspect, and you have to operate and behave in a way that does not exacerbate or incite someone's paranoia," Rev. Al Sharpton recently told The Huffington Post.
"We have come so far in this country that we can put a black man in the White House, but we can't walk a black child down the neighborhood street to get a bag of Skittles," he added.