General News

Cherie Johnson and Dennis White accuse South Carolina cop of racial profiling

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Sep 30, 2013 | 4:37pm EDT

Actors Cherie Johnson and Dennis White have accused a police officer in South Carolina of racial profiling after they were stopped and handcuffed during a weekend getaway in the state. The Punky Brewster star and her boyfriend, Notorious actor White, claim they were questioned by a cop for no reason on 22 September (13) and allegedly treated so roughly, they were seriously worried for their safety. She revealed the couple had been on its way to Myrtle Beach for a romantic vacation when the actors turned off a rural highway and parked by a cotton field to take a picture. Upon returning to their car, they noticed a police vehicle parked behind theirs and they were quickly approached by a white officer named Shad Barfield, who quizzed them about drugs and handcuffed them as he searched their car. In an interview with CNN on Sunday (29Sep13), Johnson said, "I've been stopped by the police before, but I've never been fearful for my life. They need some kind of sensitivity training." Authorities in Marion County have since launched an investigation into Johnson and White's accusations, and a statement issued on Monday (30Sep13) by Sheriff Mark Richardson reads: "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."

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