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Black Grey's Anatomy production employee sues the LAPD for $20 million, alleging he was racially profiled with excessive force during an on-location shoot in a white neighborhood

  • In a lawsuit filed Thursday in California federal court, Ernest Simon Jr. says he was driving a van for the ABC drama in the predominantly white Los Angeles suburb of Tarzana when LAPD followed him to the filming location and forced him “to lie prone on an asphalt lot at gunpoint for over 20 minutes, using an overwhelming and unjustified show of force," despite multiple crew members telling them he was an employee of the production. Simon says the LAPD's actions made him "fear that he was going to be shot at his workplace in front of his co-workers for simply being a Black man in the wrong neighborhood." His lawsuit, which also names the city of Los Angeles, accused the LAPD of excessive force and racial profiling. Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes tells The Hollywood Reporter: “What happened to Mr. Simon was beyond unacceptable. It was another example of a broken system that puts valuable lives in danger and damages spirits. Shondaland stands with Mr. Simon and his family in this complaint.” Grey's producer ABC Signature adds: “We filed a formal request then with the LAPD for an immediate investigation into this matter and for the appropriate action to be taken promptly. We were disappointed to learn that no action was taken and support Mr. Simon in his complaint.” Asked to comment, the LAPD said it can't discuss pending litigation.

    TOPICS: Grey's Anatomy, Ernest Simon Jr., Shonda Rhimes, ABC Signature, Black Lives Matter, Legal