Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The chief of the USC Department of Public Safety said Tuesday he was “deeply disturbed” to hear allegations that the son of actress Taraji P. Henson was racially profiled by police at the campus, prompting him to attend a different college.

Henson, who stars in the hit series “Empire,” said in an interview with Uptown magazine that her son Marcel, 20, was hoping to attend USC. But while on campus, he was stopped by police because he had his hands in his pockets, Henson said.

USC police Chief John Thomas said he did not know if any of his officers were involved in the alleged stop, but he planned to investigate.

“I was deeply disturbed to read about a prospective student who felt profiled on or near campus because of his race,” Thomas said. “I would like to look into this matter further and better understand who was involved and what took place. As someone who personally experienced racial profiling as a teenager, I have a stake in learning more about this incident and doing all I can to reach a just resolution.”

Henson said her son will be attending her alma mater, Howard University, instead of USC. She told the magazine she did not want to pay $50,000 in tuition to USC and lose sleep wondering, “Is this the night my son is getting racially profiled on campus?”

City News Service

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