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Posted at 03:33 PM ET, 04/06/2012

Tyler Perry accuses cops of racial profiling

The news that Tyler Perry accused the Atlanta Police Department of racial profiling after being stopped by two white officers last week has gone viral.

Tyler Perry. (Stuart Ramson - AP)
This is what we know: Perry said he was leaving his southwest Atlanta studio and as a precaution made an illegal left turn to ensure he could shake anyone who might be following him. The police immediately pulled him over.

On his Facebook page he said the officers were overly “hostile” asking him, “Why do you think someone is following you? What is wrong with you?”

He even says their behavior made him remember his mother’s warnings about how to deal with police as a black man: never resist or make any quick moves.

The case does appear to raise difficult questions. Perry admitted to making an illegal turn. But in light of the outrage about the Trayvon Martin killing, which has sparked a national debate over the racial profiling of black men, some may forgive Perry for being a little jumpy. And then there’s eyewitness testimony that makes the issue more complex.

Malik Kadeem, who said he witnessed the incident, told TMZ that the officers were giving Perry a “hard time.” He added that the officers appeared to be suspicious of Perry until an African-American officer arrived to the scene, recognized Perry and let the director go.

Although the Atlanta Police Department is conducting an investigation a spokesperson has elaborated on why Perry was stopped: A car had just been stolen that “fit that description” and the illegal turn forced the officers to stop him.

In the end, Perry left the scene without a ticket, but was still upset about what happened. He has yet to file an official complaint.

Read more on The Root DC

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By Lauren McEwen  |  03:33 PM ET, 04/06/2012

Categories:  The Root DC Live

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