Actor/director Tyler Perry has called for federal agents to take racial profiling seriously as a potential hate crime after a terrifying recent encounter with two white cops.
The Diary of a Mad Black Woman star took to Facebook.com to recount the experience, and stated that more work needs to be done to prevent a repeat of the death of black teen Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed in Florida in February (12) by a Neighbourhood Watch volunteer.
Perry alleges he was pulled over in Los Angeles late one night for making an illegal turn, and reprimanded for having tinted windows - and, as he attempted to explain himself, he realised he was in big trouble.
He writes, "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.' It wasn't until after I heard her voice that I realized that both of these officers were white... I didn't feel safe at all.
"At this point, I told him (officer) that I wanted to get out of the car. I wanted the passersby to see what was happening."
However, once a black officer pulled up at the scene and recognised Perry, the officials apologised and let him go.
But the incident has stayed with the director, and opened his eyes to what type of treatment he may have endured if it wasn't for his celebrity status.
He continues, "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'.
"Racial Profiling Should Be A Hate Crime Investigated By The Fbi (Federal Bureau of Investigation)!!! That way local government can't make the decision on whether or not these people get punished."