Lawsuit Alleges Beverly Hills Police Taskforce Targets Black People

By: Alyssa Wilson

A new lawsuit has been filed by civil rights attorney Ben Crump alleging a taskforce for the Beverly Hills police department targeted Black people. 

Crump’s law firm announced the lawsuit against the city of Beverly Hills and Captain Scott Dowling of the Beverly Hills Police Department.  

RELATED: Al Sharpton, Ben Crump Take Up Case of White Teen Killed by Police 

According to the firm, Dowling created the “Rodeo Drive Task Force” and “Operation Safe Street” task force under the Beverly Hills Police Department. Crump and co-counsel Bradley C. Gage and Mark T. Harris say the taskforces “unjustifiably targeted people of color for several years.”  

Crump is a prominent civil rights attorney who represented the family of George Floyd, Daunte Wright and other victims of police violence. “This Beverly Hills task force was created under the guise of safety, but don’t let anyone fool you,” he said. “In reality, these task forces were unjustifiably targeting people of color for things that white residents and visitors do all the time without incident.”  

His firm alleges Dowling and the Beverly Hills Police Department have a lengthy history of racial profiling. Back in 1995, six Black Americans filed a civil rights lawsuit after being harassed by officers with the department. In October 2020, officers stopped and searched Salehe Bembury, who was the Vice President of Men’s Footwear for Versace, for jaywalking outside of his place of work.  

RELATED: Ben Crump Files Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson on Behalf of Black Women  

Crump, Gage and Harris accused the department of stopping and arresting “people of color without probable cause,” saying they used excessive force and created false charges for actions such as roller-skating, riding scooters, jaywalking and driving in the city.  

“This is a police department with a long history of racial profiling,” Gage said. “There should have been more eyes on this department so that these civilians didn’t have to suffer.”  

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here   

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