BEVERLY HILLS—Salehe Bembury, an executive from the fashion line, Versace, was stopped, and patted down at the corner of Camden Drive and Wilshire Blvd, after Beverly Hills police found him jaywalking on the afternoon of Thursday, October 1.
The entire interaction was caught on a police body camera, which showed two officers getting out, stopping Bembury at the corner, asking him why he was jaywalking, asked him for his identification, patted him down for weapons, asked him his name and verified it in their system.
During the interaction, Bembury stated multiple times that he was feeling very nervous and uncomfortable, pointing out how multiple cops were being brought onto the scene, asking, “do you understand the climate we are in?”
This was most likely in reference to the country’s reaction after several cases of police brutality, and especially after the death of George Floyd.
After police patted Bembury down, and verified his identification, he asked if he could pick up his cell phone, and informed the officers that he would begin recording what had occurred. The officer he was speaking to said he’s allowed to do that, but let Bembury know that he was stopped for jaywalking.
Once he began recording, Bembury accused the officers of stopping him for coming out of the Versace store, stating on camera, “I’m in Beverly Hills right now and I’m getting f*****g searched for shopping at the store I work for and just being Black.”
The officer responded, “see now what you’re doing is you’re making it completely different from what we talked about? You’re making it a completely different narrative.” When the officer reiterated his point again, Bembury denied it, and stated, “I know how you guys are.”
After asking the officers if he can go, the same officer told Bembury, “next time don’t change the narrative like that though.”
Following the incident, Bembury posted the video on his Instagram account. Donatella Versace posted it to her account in solidarity. Donatella took over the company after her brother and founder of the fashion line, Gianni Versace, died in 1997. The Italian fashion designer sold the company to Capri Holdings in 2018.
Below is the full police body cam footage (courtesy of Beverly Hills Television on Vimeo):