BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — An executive for luxury fashion company Versace said he was targeted by Beverly Hills Police Department officers because he is Black, which officers deny.
The encounter between officers and Salehe Bembury, the company’s vice president of sneakers and men’s footwear, was caught on body-worn camera on Thursday.
Police released the video, showing their conversation after stopping Bembury for jaywalking and walking in a bus lane near Camden Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, and Bembury also shared part of the encounter on Instagram.
“You can see the entire stop and not just his recollection of the stop,” said Beverly Hills Police Lt. Max Subin.
Adding why the officers stopped the man, Lt. Subin cited safety concerns due to heavy traffic in the area, adding that “Beverly Hills, unfortunately, has a lot of pedestrian accidents and traffic violations.”
“What did I do? I’m like a little startled right now,” Bembury said at the beginning of the encounter. “Oh, I jaywalked I guess,” he responded.
Bembury explained that he was on his phone’s GPS when he crossed the street with a solid red-hand sign.
An officer asked Bembury, who was holding a Versace shopping bag at the time, for permission to search him for any weapons, which they said he did not possess.
“What’s unfortunate is I literally designed the shoes that are in this bag, and I’m getting (expletive) searched for it,” Bembury was heard saying.
An officer said in the video that Bembury took during the incident, “now what you’re doing is making it different than what we just talked about,” regarding Bembury’s admission of jaywalking and then saying he was racially profiled.
Bembury was detained for about 3 1/2 minutes before officers returned his ID and sent him on his way.
“Beverly Hills while Black. I’m OK, my spirit is not,” Bembury wrote on Instagram about the video he took of the encounter.
No citations were issued against him.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)