Writer, producer, actor and director Tyler Perry knows how to create drama on screen, but the talented Perry’s own personal life has had some heartbreaking twists and turns of its own. In fact, Perry hired pathologist Michael Baden to perform a second autopsy on his nephew, Gavin Porter, who died in a Louisiana prison this past week.
Porter, 26, was found about 8:30 p.m. CST last Tuesday at Farmerville, Louisiana’s Union Parish Detention Center, after apparently hanging himself in a cell with a bedsheet, Union Parish Sheriff Dusty Gates told the Monroe, Louisiana News-Star. Porter had been placed in the cell Saturday after a fight involving several inmates, the sheriff said, stating that no foul play was suspected.
Porter was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his father.
Perry said in an emotional Instagram post Thursday that he wanted to look further into the death of his nephew.
“Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison,” Perry wrote. “I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong.”
Perry could be referring to the many high profile police brutality deaths that have happened over the years like Sandra Bland. Bland died three days after her arrest from her car at the Waller county jail. It was ruled a suicide after she was found hanging in her cell.
The Bland family lawyer, Cannon Lambert, who settled a lawsuit against authorities implicated during the incident for $1.9m, said he had not seen the footage until it was obtained by local news. But the Texas department of public safety stated the footage had been…released as a part of the legal discovery process during litigation.
Texas state representative Garnet Coleman, a Democrat, said: “It is troubling that a crucial piece of evidence was withheld from Sandra Bland’s family and legal team in their pursuit of justice.”
“The video makes it abundantly clear there was nothing [Sandra] was doing in that car that put him at risk at all,” Lambert said.
Perry found out and posted that the investigation turned out to be 98% sure that there was no foul play in his nephew’s death.
Perry explained that his sister’s son was imprisoned for the “heinous” crime that resulted from a “senseless argument” and that the “murder shook our entire family to the core.”
“Despite this horrible act, before he went to prison, I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was most important to all of us. including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he had committed,” Perry wrote.