Jay Pharoah, a former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, is speaking out about an encounter with police in Los Angeles in which he says an officer put his knee on the actor/comedian’s neck.
Pharoah says a week before footage of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing was released, he was jogging on Ventura Boulevard at Corbin Avenue when police approached him.
Sharing a video of the incident, he said, “I see an officer to the left of me. I’m not thinking anything of it, because I’m a law-abiding citizen, and also keep in mind I have my Bose headphones on… The officer, I see him coming with guns blazing.”
He quickly realizes, “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 and put it on my neck. It wasn’t as long as George Floyd, but I know how that feels… They said, ‘You fit the description of a black man in this area with gray sweatpants on and a gray shirt.’”
Jay told them to Google his name, and “They come back, they say, ‘We’re sorry. We just got a call in that it’s not you…’ I say, ‘Get these f-ing cuffs off of me.’ I had never been in cuffs before... I’m a law-abiding citizen.”
He ends the video saying, “Be in the know. I’m Jay Pharaoh and I’m a black man in America and my life matters. Black lives always matter. They always matter.”
LAPD has not commented on the incident.