Two Hollywood stars claim they were harassed by a police officer--all because of their race. Cherie Johnson and her boyfriend Dennis White were driving through South Carolina on their way to Myrtle Beach for a romantic getaway when they were pulled over for allegedly speeding. A little while later, the couple got on the highway and passed some cotton fields and decided to stop and get a better look. They took some photos in the field and returned to their car to find a cop parking behind it. That's when things took an ugly turn. Cherie and Dennis claim that the officer grabbed his gun and told Cherie to get in the car.
The couple claims the officer proceeded to interrogate them about drugs and even searched their car. They say he pulled a tea bag out of Dennis’ bag and alleged that it was marijuana, but then realized his error. At one point, they claim he told Cherie that there was a warrant out for her arrest, but later admitted that there was no warrant. Both Cherie and Dennis were handcuffed, though they weren’t arrested.
Marion County Sheriff Mark Richardson issued a statement on Monday in regard to the actors' claims: "Discrimination in any form, including racial profiling, is strictly prohibited by this department and as Sheriff of Marion County SC, I can assure you I will take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the allegations of racial profiling made by Mr. White and Ms. Johnson. This matter will be dealt with by an internal investigation within the department and I will also ask the State Law Enforcement Division to review the allegation made against Deputy Barfield."
Both actors have starred in movies and television and were in the south because they had been teaching acting workshops there. Cherie starred on “Family Matters” and “Punky Brewster,” and Dennis was featured in the film “Notorious.”
Jane speaks to Cherie and Dennis about their harrowing experience.