Eight years ago two Florida men, Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos, vanished. Although they didn’t know each other and went missing weeks apart, they had one thing in common: they were both last seen in the back of Collier County police officer Steven Calkins’ police car.
After taking both men into custody, Steven Calkins claims he dropped them off at a local convenience store before they went missing, but according to an investigation, Official Calkins failed a polygraph test that asked about the men’s whereabouts. In spite of being the last one seen with the men and failing a lie detector test, he was cleared by police officials of any wrongdoing in both cases.
Despite pleas from their families, the men have never been found and their families haven’t gotten many answers from Collier County police officials.
Now, Tyler Perry is lending his name and star power to the search for these missing men.
After hearing about the case on a TV show, Perry says he was moved to act.
“I was just watching television, and I never watch it because I’m always busy,” Perry explained to Sharpton. “But I was watching this story on ‘Investigation Discovery,’ and I was just blown away because the last person to see him alive is this deputy, Steven Calkins, from what I understand. And as I’m watching the show, the story goes on that there was another man, Felipe Santos, who disappeared a few months before Terrance did. The last person to see him alive is the same sheriff. There’s a lot of conflicting stories and I’m just trying to help his mother find some justice.”
This is yet another case of the mainstream media overlooking the countless black and brown folks who go missing each year. And for Perry, it reminds him of the bad old days of the segregated South when black men would often go missing after run-ins with police.
“We all should be outraged. This is the kind of stuff that would happen in the 60’s and earlier where black people would disappear and just be disregarded and never heard from again. And there is somebody that knows something about it…He has children that miss him. This is his mother who misses and love him. Felipe Santos, he has family and is from Mexico. And I just think it’s unfair. I just want to see justice be done and be served here. We got to do something to he help her.”