‘SNL’ Alum Jay Pharoah LA Police Pulled Guns On Him While He Was Exercising And Kneeled On His Neck – Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah shares video and says he was exercising when multiple LAPD officers approached him with guns drawn, knelt on his neck and handcuffed him.
‘SNL’ Alum Jay Pharoah LA Police Pulled Guns On Him While He Was Exercising And Kneeled On His Neck:
Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharoah is opening up about his own experience with police, in which he says he was recently stopped and handcuffed by Los Angeles police, with one officer kneeling on his neck in a restraint similar to the one that ended in George Floyd’s death.
The comedian described the encounter in an Instagram video posted Friday, sharing security video of the incident, showing that Pharoah walking down a sidewalk when a police officer runs up to him from behind with his gun pointed at him. Another officer on foot joins that officer, also with his gun drawn, as a police cruiser rolls onto the scene. Two officers quickly exit the vehicle, one with his gun pointed.
Jay Pharoah said the incident took place about a week before Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by two white men while jogging in Glynn county, Georgia.
“Coincidentally, when the footage dropped for Ahmaud Arbery, a week prior to that, I was actually on a tour, I was exercising, as I was walking across the street, Corbin and Ventura, I see an an officer to the left of me,” Jay Pharoah said in the video, which included alleged security footage of the incident. “I’m not thinking anything of it because I’m a law-abiding citizen.”
Though Jay Pharoah said he had noise-cancelling headphones on at the time, “I look to my left, I see the officer come in with guns blazing, I see him say ‘get on the ground, put your hands up, like you’re an airplane.’”
Jay Pharoah Shares Video Showing LAPD Officers Kneeled On His Neck And Handcuffed Him:
“As he’s looking at me I’m thinking that he’s making a mistake,” Jay Pharoah said in the post. “I’m looking at him, and I’m looking past me because I’m like, whoever they’re about to get, it’s about to get terrible.”
A cut to the overhead security video makes clear four uniformed officers were closing in on Pharoah specifically.
“No, he was coming to get me,” the comedian said. “Four officers got their guns blazing. They tell me to get on the ground, spread my arms out. They put me in cuffs. The officer took his knee, put it on my neck.”
Pharoah said the knee wasn’t pinning him as long as the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that a Minneapolis officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck before Floyd died May 25, “but, um, I know how that feels.”
“It wasn’t as long as George Floyd, but I know how that feels,” Jay Pharoah continued. “I said, ‘Why are you doing this? What’s wrong?’ They said, ‘You fit the description of a Black man in this area, with gray sweatpants on and a gray shirt.’ I told them, ‘If you Google right now Jay Pharoah, you will see that you made a big mistake.’”
Jay Pharoah said he was released after the officers received a call confirming he was not the person they were looking for.
“Get these f*ing cuffs off of me,” Pharoah said he told the cops.
In the video, Jay Pharoah continues, saying, “I have never been in cuffs before up until that point. I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’m from the ‘burbs, you know? Luckily my parents, what they did was they tried to shelter me and my sister for years. So we never saw that. I didn’t experience first-hand racism in America until this year.”
A spokesperson for the LAPD said the person in the Instagram post “was detained as a possible suspect of a crime.”
“It was determined to be the wrong suspect and he was let go,” the spokesperson added. “The incident is being investigated.”
Pharoah’s video ends with a recreated shot of him on the ground with a knee on his neck as Jay Pharoah speaks directly to the camera: “I literally could have been George Floyd. We as a country can’t breathe anymore, and we are tired. We are sick, and we are tired of it. I can’t breathe.”
“Be in the know,” Jay Pharoah ended his video. “I’m Jay Pharoah, and I’m a black man in America. And my life matters. Black lives always matter.”