Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

2013 Shows

 
Dr. Phil takes on the hot-button topic of racial profiling -- is it a necessary safety measure? First, 22-year-old Kayla made headlines after she claimed that four undercover officers detained her outside a high-end department store in New York City and questioned her about a $2,500 handbag purchase. Was she targeted because of the color of her skin, or was it just a misunderstanding? Then, former child star Cherie Johnson and her actor boyfriend, Dennis White, say their romantic getaway to South Carolina turned into a nightmare when they were allegedly harassed and handcuffed by a police officer while taking pictures of a cotton field. Hear their story -- and why they say the officer went too far. And, 28-year-old former minor league baseball player Robbie Tolan says his dreams of making the major leagues, like his father, Bobby Tolan, were ruined five years ago, after he was shot point-blank in the chest by a police officer who approached him in his parents’ driveway. Robbie -- who still has a bullet lodged in his liver -- believes he was racially profiled and says he will continue to fight for justice, despite losing two court battles against the police department. Why does Robbie say he was targeted? Plus, hear from experts on both sides of the debate. Tune in and decide where you stand on this controversial issue.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: imaginedragons on Aug 23, 2014, 10:17PM
I think the response from the general public as seen from Twitter is something that is very shocking, yet not surprising - it just shows that people are so quick to make excuses for people that are obviously doing something illegal and not being prosecuted accordingly for it. As a man on the front row in the audience said loosely something along the lines of "It's 2013, racial profiling does not exist" well just because you don't see it or refuse to acknowledge it, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. And I'm glad people are starting to notice something finally.

The thing about white privilege is that unfortunately, not a lot of white people are aware they have it. Basically for those that do not know, it is the benefits you get for being white - such as not being shot in the chest intentionally by a police officer with no reason at all. And you think this is a 'one off' case? I could probably do a quick Google search for you a present hundreds, possibly even thousands of cases were boys as young as 12 are being killed by police officers for 'looking like thugs' well really it was just a 12 year old crossing the street in a hoodie. Do people not see this? Because if you're not then you need to open your eyes a little wider.

It's ironic because the majority of the people you see who say "racial profiling doesn't exist" are generally white. Usually because they're apathetic to the situation and are racially profiling themselves. I watched this episode on Youtube and the majority of the comments said something along the lines of "what do black people expect?" or "act like dogs get treated like one." And it seems that this is a popular opinion and I could say it's shocking, but why say that when these are perfect examples of racial profiling that exists in the world.

I congratulate these people for being so calm and collected because if I was in that situation, I definitely would not be. I also thank Dr. Phil for bringing the spotlight onto this issue because it's a rare thing you see being discussed on T.V. 
 
Replied By: cupid2011 on Dec 20, 2013, 4:11PM - In reply to mestiza1
I'm sorry you had to go through this. I wish there was a way to change our skin color so we didn't stick out. Seems easier than to expect people not to descriminate. I'm happy he didn't end up getting killed. Fortunately for Oscar it was caught on video and the cop was held responsible. Take care and may you and your husband make peace with your experience.
 
Replied By: mestiza1 on Dec 18, 2013, 3:55PM
This show brought back a lot of memories for me.  Around 2005 or so my husband, who is black, myself (eurasian) & our daughter went out shopping on Black Fri. for the first time ever.  And never again. It was in a small mall in northern CA.  We had been in a store looking around & then my daughter & I went to a shoe store next door.  My husband, like a lot of others, was tired of shopping & standing around outside with other husbands & dads.  I guess the mgr. of the store we had been in had called the police about my husband.  They came & asked him what he was doing, asked him for an ID.  He was just standing there waiting for us to come out. If he had shown ID, maybe it wouldn't have gone any further. I had the car keys, if he had them, maybe it wouldn't  have gone any further. If I had come out of the store, maybe it wouldn't have gone any further. But it did. He asked why & they ended up tazing him, saying he was resisting arrest, & arresting him.  When I came out of the store minutes later, someone I knew told me he'd been arrested. He had no stolen merchandise on him. Going through the court system was basically our lawyer & the judge telling my husband that he could pursue it & might end up going to jail or just plead no contest & everything would be dropped & he would only pay $250.  I was outraged. He had nothing wrong, but he would have to pay? I had to let him make his decision, which took a lot of courage for him, to walk away, let it go, so he would have a clean record & go on with his life, instead of a lot of uncertainty. I felt so guilty that I wasn't there, it would have made a difference. The one witness we had backed out & no one else wanted to step forward & say what they saw, although many said it was wrong.  This impacted him, me, my daughter, our future.  There was no reason to approach  my husband like he had done something wrong already, there was no reason to taze him, humiliate him.  This goes on every day.  Thank you for exposing it.  Oscar Grant happened the next year after this happened & we marched for him in peace.  Many like my husband never get the satisfaction of being heard, but it helps to see others stories.
 
Replied By: citymouse40 on Dec 13, 2013, 1:56PM - In reply to tuxedocat111
I like the point that one girl made about how society views a race because that race is showing themselves to be criminals and it basically gives the rest a bad name. She was a black girl and she made this point. 


On that note, there are more black and hispanic people in prison, more black and hispanic people in low income neighborhoods where crime is higher. So is it racial profiling when the majority of that area is black or hispanic and their is a lot of trouble in those areas? In a way, the cops have no choice.


BUT that doesn't make it okay for somein to judge a person based on their skin color or race.  I do beleive racial profiling happens, I just don't beleive it's every time. Sterotypes are there for a reason and yeah, that sucks but it's a fact. 


The people on the show seemed to have done nothing wrong and the police over reacted much like they did to that mother who had teens in her home drinking, that show was on prior to this one, that was blatent abuse of power and it wasn't race driven. Just more proof that many police are out of control.
 
Replied By: tuxedocat111 on Dec 13, 2013, 11:52AM - In reply to ladyrob



I had replied to your posts days ago, and both got lost somewhere in cyberspace.  

I, too, was surprised by the audience poll results...If the nature of the show was known ahead of time, perhaps there were some white power s in the audience, which would have affected the outcome.  

I was really impressed with the female police officer, and what she had to say, because she has seen both sides - as a law enforcement professional, and as a black American.  

One would think that in 2013, law enforcement would be more advanced.  It must be the people training police officers who are the root of the problem - teaching reaction but not teaching rational thinking.  

 
 
Replied By: tuxedocat111 on Dec 13, 2013, 10:41AM - In reply to citymouse40



No one is denying that many people or dogs get mistreated by the police, at various times for various reasons.

BUT, prejudging a person as to what he or she is going to do, based on the hue of their skin, is racial profiling, and happens to black Americans much more frequently than to causasians.  
 
Replied By: tuxedocat111 on Dec 13, 2013, 10:36AM - In reply to travelinmama



I know it's in vogue to blame the victims first, but I don't know how much clearer the victims interviewed could have been.  The first young lady was clearly stopped because she was young and black, and they assumed that she couldn't possibly have afforded the handbag that she had just paid for.  I'm not sure what happened to asking to see a receipt, but whatever.   The couple that was vacationing was clearly questioned with no probable cause.  I live in a tourist area, and the idea is generally to make people want to return?  Stepping off the side of the road to get a picture of some cotton may be technically trespassing, but common sense says that the farmer would have been horrified if he or she had known that the vacationers were treated in such a despicable way.  Is Georgia a police state?  The young baseball player who was almost fatally shot because of a *misunderstanding* ?  I'm sorry, but good cops have the experience and wisdom to let backtalk roll off.  Even if the young man had threatened the cop (which he didn't) doesn't give the officer the right to shoot to kill.  All he asked the cop to do was to stop dissing his mother.  


 

 
Replied By: cupid2011 on Dec 13, 2013, 9:05AM - In reply to citymouse40


You can bet that black people receive a lot more descrimination than other races. 


I believe that as long as black people get racially profiled, you can bet that all races are getting the same treatment just not as bad. 


The less black people get profiled, the less other races will get the same treatment. 

I totally agree that cops abuse their power in just exactly the way you wrote. 

During hard economic times when the number of police officers is down, they still manage to congretate in large groups in one place when someone calls 911 for some reason.   


Just this past summer, I woke up to find a huge number of police cars right in front of my front door.  The person they were dealing with was a small caucasion woman with her little dog.  I don't know why it was necessary to use so much police resources against one small woman with a little dog.


Also, this past summer, I again saw a huge number of police cars  not only right in front of my front door but the entire street was completely covered with car cops and two of those car cops were blocking the ends of the streets.  I happen to see one of them walking over to my next door neighbor's house, and I noticed that several of them were holding a gun on a caucasion young man.    After they left, my neighbor told me he was an escaped prisoner.   Like an escaped prisoner is going to be holding a gun and was a real threat to police.  He had nothing but the prison clothes he was wearing.  Someone holding one gun would have been enough.  The police dog could have also been enough to replace some of those cops. 


Yesterday, I again saw a similiar seen.  I kept seeing one car cop after another cop car after another cop car passing me.   It is obvious they are so power hungry and a waste of financiall resources. 


Enjoyed reading your post.  
 
Replied By: citymouse40 on Dec 13, 2013, 3:57AM
While I believe racial profiling does exist, especially in areas that are high crime areas and the majority of people living there are black or hispanic, police see a lot of crime commited by those races and unfortunately it creates sterotypes.  I don't believe that all police racially profile though, what about black cops, have they never harasses an inoccent citizen? and if they do, it's not called racial profiling, why is that? 


I think the cops are more and more out of control these days, I've seen them over react towards white people as well, wrongfully accusing, handcuffing and sometimes arresting people with no cause, i've witnessed it in person. I've seen store personal watching teens, is that profiling if they aren't black teens? 


Police across the country have shot dogs for similar reasons, assuming a dog is dangerous based on how it looks, even if it's on a leash! I've read story after story about this and it's sickening. They have shot family pets in front of small children, putting those children in harms way. I think maybe they need better training on how to handle a situation, how to handle their weapons and more. 


In TX there was a story a few months ago of a cop shooting a family pet, there was a 911 call about a possible domestic dispute, the cop showed up at the wrong address, when the man who lived there (a white man) came around from the back of his house after just getting home and bringing his dog back there, the cop pointed his gun at him, telling him to freeze...the man was simply walking..because of this the gate was left open as the man had his hands up, so the dog comes trotting out of the backyard, happy as any well behaved family pet and the cop turns his gun on the dog and fires 5 times, klling the dog. Does the cop get into trouble? of course not, and it has happened time and time again to all breeds, and almost every single time, the cops excuse is that they thought it was a pit bull, as if that's an excuse??? what if it was?? All dogs will come to the door to see who is there, most family pets do not bite or attack, yet the cops panic and shoot and then claim they were in danger...ever heard of mace? at the very least the dog wouldn't die. I've seen them make that claim after shooting a dashund....how do you mistake a short long dog for pitbull?  As for pitbulls, they are not vicous, they do not lock their jaws and they do not go around attacking people, as a matter fact, small dogs are more likely to bite you..but that's a story for another day, one that should be talked about more. 


I think that aside from people who may very well have been racially profiled, there are many who have not yet being black is always considered the excuse for what has happened, it must be a race thing. It's not always a race thing, if a black cops does this to a white person, no one calls it racial profiling but it certainly happens. Cops abuse their power everyday whether they are prejudice or not, black, white or hispanic.  


There have been many new stories of a group of black teens attacking white couples, you don't see anyone standing up and screaming racism, it often barely makes the news and Obama certainly isn't making speaches about it. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/10/21/police-say-white-couple-beaten-by-black-teens-in-racially-motivated-brooklyn-attack/  anyone hear about this? most probably haven't. 
 
Replied By: cupid2011 on Dec 11, 2013, 10:48PM - In reply to travelinmama
They were harassed for being on the side of the road.  Plain and simple. 


Did they get taken to jail for breaking the law?  NO


Did they get a court hearing?  NO




It cannot be illegal to park along side the road as I'm sure many people do to throw up or stretch their legs when traveling a solitude road.   Usually some part of the SIDE of a road belongs to the government so it is public road.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 410 Comments