I have never been to prison. My understanding is that some (many?) of the nation’s worst large state men’s prison systems are or were until very recently informally racially segregated.
Each large racial group has or had its own showers, recreation and exercise areas, phone banks, cafeteria sections, bathrooms, television rooms, and so on.
A man of one racial group couldn’t just walk thru a different group’s area without escort and permission because otherwise he might then be assaulted and set off racial brawls or riots.
Personal interactions between different races are discouraged and/or kept to strictly business. Violations could be punished with stabbings, beatings, or other unpleasantries. There is or was a strong feeling of “This is ours, that is yours. Stay out of ours!” I don’t know if my local penal system has this practice and have no intention upon ever finding out. But there is some grim brutal honesty to this system. Everyone knows just where he stands. That’s prison law.
But that’s not supposed to be the law outside of prison. Legally speaking there aren’t supposed to be “White” areas in which Blacks can’t visit for pain of official harassment or worse. But we know that there are.
Police can make it clear which people are “allowed” in a given area and which people are not. And in Beverly Hills, California local police have apparently/allegedly been doing just that.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Attorneys Ben Crump and Bradley C. Gage held a news conference Wednesday to provide new details about a class-action lawsuit against the City of Beverly Hills for allegations of racial profiling.
As Crump put it, victims were “arrested for being Black in Beverly Hills.” The renowned civil rights attorney said Jasmine Williams and Khalil White alleged they were wrongfully arrested during the “Operation Safe Street” program. The program is also known as the “Rodeo Drive Task Force.”
Attorneys say that 89% of those arrested by the Rodeo Drive Task Force were Black and that the arrests were not justified, adding allegations that 98% of those stopped were Black.
Following the lawsuit filed in September, more victims came forward detailing their experiences in Beverly Hills.
Two of those victims joined Crump and Gage to share how they were allegedly discriminated against while in the area.
Lakisha Swift was visibly distraught recalling what she says happened to her.
Swift says she was driving down Wilshire Boulevard on her way to the beach where she was followed by officers and was stopped at a red light for being three inches over the limit line.
She said she was handcuffed and detained for 20 minutes, which was a traumatizing experience.
“Can you imagine a white woman being put in handcuffs because she was three inches past the limit line at a stoplight?” Crump asked.
Full ArticleNow Beverly Hills is not the Mississippi or Louisiana backwoods or some podunk Indiana town where a stereotypical sheriff will approach any Black newcomers with the question “What you doing round these parts, boy?” Beverly Hills is a place where President Obama held fundraisers and even today still leans slightly towards voting for Democrats. Beverly Hills is also a place where if you are Black the police will apparently do all that they can to make your visit unpleasant enough that you won’t come back. That too is America.
This content was originally published here.