Dennis White, best known for playing Damion "D-Roc" Butler in the Biggie biopic Notorious
, claims that he and his girlfriend, actress Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster
, Family Matters
), were unjustifiably harassed by South Carolina police on September 22nd.
The couple was initially stopped for speeding during a road trip to Myrtle Beach. Later they pulled over to take pictures next to a cotton field when another officer, Shad Barfield, approached them. The Marion County sheriff deputy began asking them questions and claimed that there was an arrest warrant issued for Johnson. Reportedly, Barfield later admitted there was no warrant.
Johnson recalls asking the officer if he was doing this because they were black, and the deputy just walked away without answering. The officer then handcuffed White, accused the couple of possessing illegal drugs, and searched their vehicle.
"I said what was your probable cause?" Johnson told The Today Show. "He told me there could be a dead body in the trunk. That was the only probable cause he gave."
Johnson and White were released when no drugs were found. The 37-year-old actress says the incident caused her to fear for their lives. White adds there was nothing they could have done to prevent the situation.
Marion County Sheriff Mark Richardson issued a statement saying that racial profiling is "strictly prohibited" in their department and an investigation into the matter will take place.
[ALSO READ: Questlove Discusses “Stop & Frisk”, Hip Hop’s Forefathers, & Biggie Being Upset At The Roots]
Watch the Today Show's report below.