U.S. Justice Department clears deputy who stopped two Hollywood actors

The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its civil rights investigation of Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Shad Barfield following racial profiling accusations during a traffic stop back in September involving two Hollywood actors, according to Barfield's attorney Rosemary Parham.

Barfield reported back to work January 1.

Cherie Johnson and Dennis White said they were on their way to Myrtle Beach when they stopped in Marion County to take pictures of a cotton field on September 22.

The couple said Deputy Barfield pulled up and questioned them, put them in handcuffs and searched their car for drugs.

Deputy Barfield and his attorney are pleased that the investigation has been closed.

Parham stated, "Shad's actions were not motivated by any prejudice or bias. We knew at the outset he was merely following police procedure and had done nothing wrong. Had Shad wanted to, he would have been legally justified in charging and arresting the two for driving over the farmer's cotton field and taking the farmer's cotton. What was so frustrating in reading and watching actors' media accounts of that day is that they never mentioned to the media that they had driven over the farmer's cotton field, taken the farmer's cotton, or been stopped forty-five minutes earlier in Latta. Their Twitter pages document these facts and even contain photographs of them with the cotton in their hands. Shad's fifteen minute detention of the two had nothing to do with the color of their skin. Shad took an oath to protect and defend the citizens of Marion County and that was exactly what he was doing that day - his job."