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      Charlotte lawyer to represent Hollywood couple in racial profiling claims

      Attorney Ken Harris of Charlotte says he will be representing Dennis White and Cherie Johnson, the actors who are accusing a Marion County Sheriff's deputy of racially profiling them while on vacation in South Carolina in September.

      White and Johnson say they were on their way to Myrtle Beach when they stopped in Marion County to take pictures of a cotton field.

      The couple says a deputy pulled up and questioned them. The couple says the deputy put them in handcuffs, questioned them about drugs and searched their car.

      Harris issued this statement regarding the incident:

      "We have initiated an investigation concerning the incident. At the conclusion of our investigation, we will determine any potential legal course of action related to the Federal and State statutes. Dennis and Cherie remain committed to seeing this matter through to the benefit of others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I would encourage anyone who has information about the incident or any one who was involved to contact our office," said Harris.

      The deputy is being represented by Florence attorney Rosemary Parham. She issued the following statement on behalf of the deputy saying, "The incident has nothing to do with race and everything to do with an officer following routine procedure and doing his job. We are confident that anyone who takes a look at what actually occurred in Marion County will reach the same conclusion."

      Marion County Sheriff Mark Richardson says the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is assisting the FBI in an investigation into the couple's allegations.

      Richardson says the deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.