Attorneys Ben Crump and Bradley C. Gage held a press conference on Oct. 13 to provide updates on the proposed class action lawsuit they filed two years ago against the city of Beverly Hills. The civil rights complaint now pending in federal court alleges that the practices of the Beverly Hills Police Department’s “Rodeo Drive Team” taskforce were racially discriminatory and disproportionately targeted Blacks.
Specifically, the complaint claims that between Aug. 2019 and Aug. 2021, 1088 Black people were arrested by the Beverly Hills Police Department but only two have resulted in convictions. It also claims that 90% of people arrested by the Rodeo Drive Team were Black even though only 1.5% of the Beverly Hills population is Black.
The named plaintiffs in the 2021 lawsuit are Jasmine Williams and Khalil White, a Philadelphia couple who were arrested by Beverly Hills police during a visit in September 2020. The couple were riding a scooter together at the time of the arrest, in violation of a city ordinance. Prosecutors declined to file charges against the pair, the suit states.
At the Oct. 13 press conference, Gage said that two Black LAPD officers have now come forward to allege they were pulled over by the BHPD for no legitimate reason while driving unmarked cars in the city.
In a statement issued by the city of Beverly Hills after the press conference, the city indicated that it “continues to vigorously defend this case and denies the characterizations of the facts and evidence presented today.”
The statement added:
“Beverly Hills is an international destination that welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world. The role of the Beverly Hills Police Department is to enforce the law, regardless of race. The city looks forward to presenting its case in court.”
With City News Service