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Taraji P. Henson and son Marcel. (Instagram)

“Empire” star Taraji P. Henson made headlines this week by announcing that her 20-year-old son, Marcel would be transferring to Howard University and not the University of Southern California after he was racially profiled by police, according to Uptown magazine.

In an interview published last month in the magazine, Henson said her son was racially profiled twice: once while driving and another time for having his hands in his pockets.

“My child has been racially profiled. He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for,” she reportedly said. “Then he’s at University of Southern California, the school that I was going to transfer him to, when police stopped him for having his hands in his pockets.”

Henson said she wasn’t going spend $50,000 in tuition at USC to worry about whether her son was being profiled. Instead, she would transfer him to her alma mater – the actress attended Howard in the mid-1990s – because she feels that there would be fewer chances of him being profiled at a historically Black institution.

After Henson’s claim, USC responded, saying there will be an investigation.

“I was deeply disturbed to read news reports about a prospective student who felt profiled on or near campus because of his race,” said John Thomas, executive director of USC Chief of Public Safety, in a statement. “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.”

jhunter@afro.com

Twitter: @hunter_jonathan