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Morning Brief: Alleged Racial Profiling In Beverly Hills, LAX Traffic, And Rotisserie Chicken

A white, elaborate storefront is shown on the corner of a street in Beverly Hills. A crosswalk is in the forefront and a white police pick-up truck is parked to the right.
Rodeo Drive was closed for pedestrian and vehicular traffic for possible unrest on the night of 2020 election.
(Emma McIntyre
Getty Images)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s September 2.

The Beverly Hills Police Department is facing a lawsuit alleging that its officers target Black people for arrest and harassment.

The suit, filed by two individuals who were arrested and later had the charges against them dropped, names the city of Beverly Hills, Captain Scott Dowling and two sergeants. BHPD has faced allegations of racial discrimination for years, and the suit cites a stark statistic to back up its claims: all but one of 106 people arrested by the department’s Rodeo Drive Task Force over a period of 16 months were Black.

In one incident, according to the suit, a Black woman was pulled over at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. She says she complied, yet five BHPD officers allegedly drew their guns and requested air support. The woman was ultimately released.

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The suit also points to an incident that took place in October of 2020, in which officers stopped and frisked Salehe Bembury, a vice president for Versace, as he was leaving his company’s store. Bembury posted the video to his nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram, where his feed includes photos of him styling celebrities and socializing with Seth Rogen and Jaden Smith.

Bembury captioned the video of his interaction “BEVERLY HILLS WHILE BLACK.”

Jasmine Williams and Khalil White, who are named in the suit as plaintiffs, are represented by Benjamin Crump. He is a high-profile attorney who frequently represents people alleging racial discrimination, including the families of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • Federal unemployment benefits run out Sept. 4, and that spells serious financial trouble for the hundreds of thousands of people in L.A. County who are still unemployed or are gig workers, freelancers and contractors.
  • After months of waiting, L.A. tenants who’ve been shut out of the city’s rent relief program can once again apply for aid.
  • The L.A. city councilmember who represents the neighborhood where police botched a fireworks detonation wants millions of dollars in relief to help families get back to normal.
  • As people prepare for Labor Day getaways, Los Angeles International Airport officials are asking travelers to plan ahead.

Before You Go ... LA's Best Mexican-Indian Rotisserie Chicken

set against a bright pink background, a brown cardboard food container holds a pile of tortilla chips, meat, pickled onions and white  sauce.
Loaded nachos from Saucy Chick.
(Cesar Hernandez for LAist)

Husband-and-wife team Rhea Patel Michel and Marcel Rene Michel launched Saucy Chick Rotisserie, a virtual restaurant and pop-up, in December 2020. The eatery combines flavors from Rhea’s Indian heritage and Marcel’s Mexican heritage, resulting in flavor choices you likely won't find anywhere else.

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