Beverly Hills police frisked Versace executive Salehe Bembury for holding one of his company's own bags
via Beverly Hills PD and Salehe Bembury / Instagram

Salehe Bembury was understandably outraged after being stopped and frisked by a Beverly Hills police officer on Thursday. He was apprehended by officers for jaywalking after shopping at the Versace store.

"I was in Beverly Hills. I went to go visit my buddy Amiri's store. And I was like, you know what, I'm never in Beverly Hills, let me stop by the Versace store. I grab a few things, and I'm walking back to my car," he said in a video he recorded after the incident.

"All of a sudden, this cop car pulls up on me on the corner, like with the quickness," he said.

Now, jaywalking is illegal in Beverly Hills, so the police weren't wrong to stop him. But the way they treat him during the interaction is why Bembury, and many others, believe he was the victim of racial profiling.


The incident was recorded on the police officer's bodycam and later released to the public.

The story is even more infuriating because Bembury is the Vice President of Sneakers and Men's Footwear at Versace.


In 2015, Kanye West came across Bembury's designs and hired him at Yeezy to handle Men's Footwear. In 2017, he was hired by Donatella Versace as the Head Designer of Sneakers for Versace and Versus.

"What did I do? I'm like a little startled right now," Bembury said at the beginning of the encounter. "Oh, I jaywalked I guess," he responded. Bembury told the police that he was staring at the GPS on his phone when he crossed a solid red-hand sign.

The officer then asked if he could search Bembury for any weapons and for his identification. Bembury agreed to the search and handed his over his wallet.

"What's unfortunate is I literally designed the shoes that are in this bag, and I'm getting fucking searched for it," Bembury was heard saying.

"I'm just walking down the street, this is a little ridiculous," Bembury said. "You hear it in my voice, I'm uncomfortable and nervous?"

VERSACE FOOTWEAR VP ACCUSES BEV HILLS COPS OF PROFILING For Shopping While Black www.youtube.com

The police officers frisked Bembury to see if he had any weapons, but they had little reason to be suspicious. According to LegalZoom, you can only be frisked under certain circumstances, which include:

Potential for an officer or bystanders to be injured

Officer is alone, without backup

Officers are outnumbered by a group that has been stopped

People in the group appear agitated or are behaving strangely

You provide evasive answers to questions

Suspicion that you are armed

Suspicion that you may be about to commit a crime using a weapon

Time of day or geographic area in conjunction with other factors

Considering LegalZoom's criteria, there doesn't appear to be any good reason for Bembury to be searched. So, he assumed it must be because he's a Black man walking through one of the richest neighborhoods on the planet.

Bembury asked for permission to film the police officers and they agreed. "So, I'm in fucking Beverly Hills and being searched for shopping at the store I work for and, uh, just being black," he says to the camera.

Then, then the officer says he's making things, "completely different."

The officers eventually let Bembury go and left him with a warning: "Next time, don't change the narrative like that."

But did he change the narrative? In a world where Black people are treated with greater suspicion by law enforcement, isn't it safe to assume that racial profiling could be why they're performing an unnecessary stop and frisk?

Would a white man in a tie-dyed shirt and a Versace bag suffer the same humiliation?

The Beverly Hills PD released bodycam footage of the incident, citing heavy traffic in the area for the officer's actions, adding that "Beverly Hills, unfortunately, has a lot of pedestrian accidents and traffic violations."

However, that doesn't explain why Bembury was frisked. Protecting someone from being the victim of a traffic accident has nothing to do with assuming they are holding a weapon.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

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Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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