Civil rights attorneys on Friday announced that they plan to expand a class action lawsuit against the Beverly Hills Police Department alleging racial profiling after two Black Los Angeles Police Department officers said they were also profiled in the city.
Ben Crump and Brad Gage said during a news conference Friday that they will likely expand the complaint to include a second lawsuit based on new statements they’ve gathered.
The initial complaint, announced in 2021, said a disproportionate number of black people were arrested in Beverly hills between March 2020 and July 2021.
Attorneys claim police arrested people for things like jaywalking or riding scooters on the sidewalk, and that the large majority of those arrested were Black. Additionally, they claim most of the cases did not lead to a conviction.
Attorneys also said two Black LAPD officers provided sworn declarations claiming that they were also racially profiled years ago, with one of the incidents dating back to 2013.
The officer said he was in a suit in a Crown Victoria police car when a Beverly Hills police officer approached him. He was let go after showing his ID but he believes he was stopped because of his race.
“In that situation, the female officer allegedly pulled out her gun, pointed it at him, terrified him told him, ‘let me see your hands,’” Gage said during the news conference.
Lakisha Swift said she and her boyfriend where pulled over in Beverly Hills while “driving Black.”
She alleged they were pulled out of their car and she was handcuffed for more than 30 minutes.
“It took so much out of our lives. This racial profiling is not fair, we should have the right to drive anywhere we want to,” Swift said.
In a statement, the city said officials continue to “vigorously” defend the case and deny the “characterizations of the facts and evidence.”
“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,” the statement read.