Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is leading the charge in a case whereby the BHPD is being sued for its part in a targeted task force that sought out people of color for minor infractions. Among 106 arrests, 105 were Black and the one Latin American, Crump says, could have easily been mistaken as Black.
The plaintiffs — Jasmine Williams and Khalil White — in the case Crump is actively working, were handcuffed and taken into custody for riding scooters on a sidewalk while they were on vacation.
BHDP Captain, Scott Dowling, a defendant in the suit, allegedly ordered his officers “to seize, interrogate, use force, falsely arrest, and maliciously prosecute any African-Americans who traveled on Rodeo Drive” with the sole purpose of “keep[ing] out African-Americans, who were deemed as ‘criminals.'”
Even as the case was dropped by the prosecution and two officers — Dowling and assistant police chief Marc Coopwood — named in the suit have resigned, Crump is moving forward, vowing that the men must be held accountable. Moreover, he stated that this level of unfair and biased treatment against people of color, is exactly what led to the untimely passing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and several others.
Crump said, “Unchecked implicit bias, unchecked racism leads to death for Black people.”
He also made it known to the BHPD and other departments like it across the country that, “…it is not OK to arrest Black people for being Black on Rodeo Drive.”