Versace Footwear VP Accuses Beverly Hills Police of Racial Profiling

Salehe Bembury, the vice president of Sneakers and Men’s Footwear at Versace, has accused the Beverly Hills Police Department of racial profiling after they stopped him during a shopping trip.

In an Instagram video posted Thursday, the shoe designer films two police officers who he says “searched” him after he shopped at his own store in Los Angeles.

“So I’m in Beverly Hills right now, and I’m getting ------- searched for shopping at the store I work for and just being Black,” he said in the clip.

After they check his ID and determine that he had a clean record, the two cops let him go. However, one of the officers appears to accuse him of fabricating a narrative that is “completely different” from what the cop believes is happening.

“BEVERLY HILLS WHILE BLACK. I’M OK, MY SPIRIT IS NOT,” Bembury added in the caption.

Later on Instagram Story, Bembury explained that after he shopped at the Versace store and went back to his car, officers pulled up and accused him of jaywalking.

Though Bembury concedes he may have jaywalked, they allegedly told him to turn around and to not put his hands in his pockets. The cops also allegedly patted him down and took his phone.

Noting that he was “scared” in the moment, Bembury asked if he could record the encounter, as he was unsure whether he had the legal right to do so.

While Bembury says he is now “safe” and “good,” he contends that he “was doing nothing wrong” and was simply “casually walking down the street with just a big Versace bag.”

After the incident went viral, Versace’s creative director Donatella Versace posted Bembury’s video on her page, and said she was “appalled” by the situation.

“I am appalled this happened to Salehe Bembury today. He has been a consultant at Versace for a long time and the behavior he experienced is totally unacceptable,” Versace wrote. “He was stopped on the street solely for the color of his skin. Stay strong @salehebembury. Sending you love and support x”


More In Real Talk

Real Talk Monday, April 19

'SNL' Suspends Writer Over Tweet About Trump's Son Involving School Shootings

Guest co-host Joseline Hernandez is back and she’s giving us the inside scoop on “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” castmate Kirk Frost’s alleged affair! Plus, we weigh in on boundaries in comedy. Should mental illness, school shootings, and suicide be off-limits or is there a way to bring awareness to these subjects without offending those affected?

Real Talk Monday, April 19

Part One: Kenan Thompson Says He'd Bring Back This Famous Actor to Join 'SNL'…

Actor and comedian Kenan Thompson is most known for his breakout roles as a child star in Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Kenan and Kel,” but nowadays the Emmy winner holds the title of the longest-running cast member in “Saturday Night Live” history and is the star of his own show, "Kenan." He reveals which past “SNL” cast member he’d bring back to join the show permanently.