Jay Pharoah: LA Police Kneeled on My Neck

Comedian says he could've been a victim
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2020 11:05 AM CDT
Jay Pharoah: LA Police Kneeled on My Neck
Jay Pharoah, shown last year, said police stopped him in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Jay Pharoah is a comedian who used to be in the cast of Saturday Night Live. And during a recent encounter with police, he said, "I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd." Pharoah said he was walking along Ventura Boulevard in Los Angeles when several police officers pulled their guns and stopped him, Variety reports, with one eventually kneeling on his neck. "I was exercising, as I'm walking across the street … I see an officer to the left of me. I'm not thinking anything of it because I’m a law abiding citizen," Pharoah said. "I see him coming with guns blazing, I see him say, 'Get on the ground, put your hands up like you’re an airplane.'" Pharoah told the story and included security video in an Instagram post. He's also scheduled to discuss it Monday on CBS' the Talk, per Deadline.

Pharoah said the officers, who weren't wearing gloves or masks, told him that he fit the description of someone they were looking for: a black man wearing a gray T-shirt and gray sweatpants. He told them to Google him, saying, "You will see that you made a big mistake." After handcuffing him, the officers let him go and apologized when they got a call saying the person they were looking for had been found, Pharoah said. At the end of his video post, he poses with a knee on his neck, saying, "We as a country can’t breathe anymore. We are tired, we are sick, and we are tired of it. I can’t breathe." (More Jay Pharoah stories.)

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