You never know how things are going to turn out when it comes to a DWB — “Driving While Black,” that is — which, although said in jest, is a real-life issue that many African Americans experience daily.
A driver for ABC’s long-running hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy found that out the hard way after he was falsely arrested at gunpoint in front of the whole crew, and now he wants the City of Los Angeles and LAPD to pay up $20 million for his traumatic ordeal.
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Ernest Simon Jr., a Black man making an honest living transporting crew members on the award-winning series, described the March 2021 incident as a racially-motivated traffic stop in the lawsuit filed on Thursday. Per TMZ, he says it happened as he was dropping off the Grey’s crew near a set in Tarzana, CA. To his and everyone else’s surprise, authorities pulled him over with claims that an automated license plate reader paired his vehicle to a stolen BMW sedan. However, the vehicle he was driving was not only a Ford van but a Disney rental at that.
Take a look below for further details in TMZ’s report, which include guns being drawn, an unnecessary amount of officers and even helicopter backup:
“Ernest says the parking lot attendant where he’d pulled over told the cops Ernest was part of the ‘Grey’s’ crew … still, with guns drawn, they made him lie face down on the asphalt, and even called for backup. In the suit, obtained by TMZ, he says no fewer than 7 cop cars raced to the scene … and he claims they also called for helicopter support.
Other crew members recognized what was happening, and Ernest says they tried explaining to cops they had the wrong guy — but in docs, he says cops only yelled at them ‘Get out of the line of fire.’ He says that, combined with the fact he was Black, had him terrified he was about to get shot.
Now handcuffed, while still lying on the ground … Ernest claims the crazy scene went on for about 30 minutes. According to his lawsuit, it only ended when a white male co-worker reiterated to officers they had the wrong guy — which is the same story he claims a Black male co-worker had already told cops, but to no avail.”
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Although Simon’s mishap with the LAPD lasted roughly 30 minutes before handcuffs were removed, to us that sounds like a half hour too long given the details. The $20 million lawsuit points to a violation of his 4th Amendment rights by way of excessive force. We’re rooting for him to get everything he deserves for the inhumane treatment he endured by Los Angeles police. Prayers up, fam.
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