Tyler Perry sat down with TMZ Live on Tuesday to discuss the missing-person cases of Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos. The two men went missing in Naples, Florida after being pulled over by Collier County Sheriff corporal Steven Calkins within four months of each other in 2003 and 2004.
According to USA Today, Perry and Benjamin Crump, a prominent lawyer, filed a lawsuit alleging that Calkins is responsible for the disappearance of both men. “It was time to press the civil matter in hopes that this lawsuit would bring out some sort of evidence that would lead to criminal convictions,” the filmmaker said.
Perry believes that Calkins and people close to him know what happened to Williams and Santos. He alleged that the former cop thought he could get away with the disappearances because both men are minorities. “It is wrong for this man to put both of these people in his car in 2004… It’s like a jim crow lynching,” he asserted. “I can’t believe this is happening in America.”
The Hollywood mogul got involved with the cases in 2013 and initially offered a $100,000 reward for information to help find Williams and Santos. By doubling the reward and filing a lawsuit, Perry hopes to get a hold of records or information that may not have been made public in the past 15 years.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.