Salehe Bembury was stopped and frisked by the police officers in Beverly Hills
Salehe Bembury, Versace vice president of sneakers and men’s footwear was stopped and frisked by police officers in Beverly Hills for “shopping while Black.”
Bembury’s recent shopping excursion on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills turned into a frightening encounter with police. The entire confrontation can be seen via recently released bodycam footage.
Bembury says he was racially profiled when the police stopped and frisked him after he was jaywalking.
Via his Instagram story, the New York resident who was visiting the Los Angeles area said he did not specifically remember jaywalking, but conceded that it was possible, noting, “I’m from New York. I’m used to jaywalking.”
He said the usual procedure for jaywalking is for police to dole out a fine – not conduct a search.
Visibly shaken during his encounter with the officers, Bembury was following police commands to produce identification when the same cop that asked for his ID suddenly asked if Bembury had a weapon.
The footwear designer speculated that the oversized Versace bag he was carrying was to blame for him appearing suspicious to the officers. “I’m getting searched for shopping at the store I work for,” Bembury complained in an Instagram post.
A post shared by Salehe Bembury (@salehebembury) on Oct 1, 2020 at 5:16pm PDT
Donatella Versace responded to the incident by posting on her own Instagram page. “I am appalled this happened to Salehe Bembury today,” she wrote.
“He has been a consultant at Versace for a long time and the behavior he experienced is totally unacceptable. He was stopped on the street solely for the color of his skin. Stay strong @salehebembury. Sending you love and support.”
VP of Versace or your average joe.. no one should be profiled based solely on the color of their skin
— Marty Byrde (@LongLiveDrama_) October 2, 2020
Although The Beverly Hills police have not addressed this specific incident, a press release posted to the BHPD website on Sept. 16 seems to suggest the department has been on high alert for people using ill-gotten EDD unemployment benefits to shop in the neighborhood’s many luxury boutiques.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
The post Versace footwear designer accuses cops of racial profiling appeared first on TheGrio.