Beverly Hills

Versace VP Says Beverly Hills Police Stopped and Searched Him For Being Black

"Beverly Hills while Black. I'm OK, my spirit is not,'' Salehe Bembury wrote on Instagram.

Police Friday released bodycam footage of officers interacting with a Versace executive who says he was stopped and searched in Beverly Hills for being Black.

The Beverly Hills Police Department said Salehe Bembury was stopped for jaywalking while walking near Camden Drive and Wilshire Boulevard on Thursday.

The body-worn camera footage released by the Beverly Hills Police Department shows officers approach Bembury, who was holding a Versace shopping bag, and ask him why he jaywalked.

"What did I do? I'm a little startled right now,'' Bembury responds when officers approach him. He soon says, "Oh, I jaywalked, I guess.''

Bembury's detention lasted about 3 1/2 minutes, during which officers searched him for weapons and verified his identification. He was not issued a citation.

"What's unfortunate is I literally designed the shoes that are in this bag, and I'm getting (expletive) searched for it,'' Bembury, who is Versace's vice president of sneakers and men's footwear, can be heard saying soon after an officer looked inside his bag.

Bembury asks if he can pick up his phone and record the interaction because he is nervous.

He subsequently posted the video on Instagram.

"I'm in Beverly Hills right now and I'm getting (expletive) searched for shopping at the store I work for and just being Black,'' Bembury says as he holds up the Versace shopping bag.

One of the officers alleges in the video that Bembury is changing the story, but the officers give him his identification back and one says "you're good to go, sir,'' before Bembury stops filming.

"Beverly Hills while Black. I'm OK, my spirit is not,'' Bembury wrote on Instagram.

Donatella Versace later posted an Instagram condemning the stop.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us