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The Beverly Hills Police Department is currently under federal investigation for allegedly targeting minorities for traffic stops and arrests. According to the news, the officers allegedly used racial stereotypes to profile minorities.
(CBSLA) — BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — The city of Beverly Hills is being sued for racially targeting blacks, according to a new complaint.
Salehe Bembury, a fashion executive, is a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit accusing the city of racial profiling. Officers stopped Bembury for allegedly jaywalking and harassed him because he is Black, he claimed.
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In October 2020, a video of Sahele Bembury being stopped by Beverly Hills Police Officers for allegedly jaywalking went viral. The fashion executive is now a plaintiff in the city’s class-action lawsuit.
Beverly Hills Police quickly released the officer’s body-cam footage after his video went viral to demonstrate what they claim is an officer following protocol. The officer is seen in the video requesting Bembury’s identity before asking for permission to search him for weapons.
Beverly Hills used a task force called “Operation Safe Street and Rodeo Drive Task Force” to target individuals of color, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family.
“The Beverly Hills Police Department has been in hot water for a long time,” said Alexandria Kazarian, a constitutional rights attorney.
According to the lawsuit, the task force detained 106 individuals, 105 of them were African Americans and one Latino, according to the most current department statistics.
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“I mean, that’s inexcusable,” Kazarian added. “There is no way the city of Beverly Hills will be able to claim that those arrests were made on some sort of non-racially motivated basis.”
People were stopped for things like rollerskating, riding a scooter, and jaywalking, according to the complaint. It goes on to state that due to a lack of cause and proof, a lot of those instances ended in no charges being filed.
“They’re all small problems, and if they’re simply targeting individuals who do those sorts of things on the sidewalk, they should be targeting a broad variety of people,” Kazarian said.
Beverly Hills Police Chief Dominick Rivetti stated in a statement that a Rodeo Drive Team was formed to response to a substantial surge in requests for assistance in the business sector during the pandemic and months after social disturbances. In only five weeks, the newly formed squad seized 13 loaded guns from individuals on Rodeo Drive, a feat Rivetti claims is unparalleled in Beverly Hills history. The agency also found extensive fraudulent usage of California unemployment benefits, seizing more than a quarter-million dollars in cash and $3 million in fake EDD cards.
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In part, Rivetti’s statement stated, “The men and women of BHPD take an oath to defend human life and uphold the law – regardless of color.” “Any breach of this commitment is incompatible with the department’s principles. We take any complaints about our officers’ behavior extremely seriously.”
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