Former ‘SNL’ star Jay Pharoah tells images of being held by police brandishing guns


Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharoah shared surveillance footage of him being held by officers wielding guns and kneeling on his neck while jogging in Los Angeles in late April.The comedian shared the story of his meeting Instagram video posted Friday with the images. He said the incident occurred a few weeks before the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was killed by white residents armed in a Georgia neighborhood while jogging.

“I was exercising,” he said. “Omme I walk across the street … I see an officer to the left of me. I do not think about it because I am a law-abiding citizen.

Pharoah said he was detained and said he matched the description another black man the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was looking for. Officers asked him to lie on the floor and handcuffed him, and an officer put his knee on his neck, the footage shows.

“It wasn’t as long as George Floyd, but I know how it feels,” Pharoah said, referring to the black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

Pharoah said he told the officers that if they googled his name, “you’ll see that you made a big mistake.”

The officers eventually let him go, but Pharaoh said he “could easily have been an Arbery Ahmaud or a George Floyd.”

LAPD spokeswoman Gisselle Espinoza told The Hill that the department is looking into the incident along with several other online videos showing its officers reprimanding or using excessive force on citizens.

Since Floyd’s death, activists have taken to the streets of dozens of U.S. cities and demanded police reform and the defunding of police departments.

Several police departments, including the LAPD, banned chokeholds, as that pharoah was briefly put in.


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