Jay Pharoah says “sorry” LAPD cops who forcibly detained him with guns “not enough”

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Former actor of “Saturday Night Live” Jay Pharoah said he was scared and confused when Los Angeles police arrested him in April. Earlier this week, Pharoah shared a video of the meeting on Instagram.A surveillance video shows LAPD officers running towards him with shotguns. They ordered him on the ground and handcuffed him. Pharoah said that an officer put his knee on his neck.

The police reportedly told him that he matched the description of a suspect. Pharoah, who was released soon after, told Gayle King, co-host of “CBS This Morning”, that he had been a victim of racism.

In a statement to CBS News, the LAPD said, “We are aware of the video and it is under investigation. ”

Learn more about King’s conversation with Pharaoh below.


Pharaoh: I cross the street, then suddenly I hear: “Get down on the floor”. … The cop from the left of me, he comes, he comes, he pulled out his gun. I don’t know what’s going on.

King: But you didn’t think they were talking to you at the start, did you?

Pharaoh: I didn’t do it because Gayle, like I said, I have no contact with the law. I never even got a ticket. … I have never had weapons pointed at me, Gayle. … I was never handcuffed.

King: So they tell you to get down. Do you comply immediately?

Pharaoh: They said they lay on the ground and stretch out their arms like a plane. The officer arrives. He climbs on me, he puts his knee on me, he puts my hands, my arms are back here, he puts the handcuffs. … I’m shocked. I am scared. I do not know why I am detained. I’m just totally confused right now. … So they pull me up, telling me that I match the description.

King: What was the description?

Pharaoh: The description was a black man in gray sweatpants and a gray shirt.

King: You had gray jogging pants and a gray t-shirt.

Pharaoh: Oh yeah, I did. I did.

King: So what should they have done?

Pharaoh: I think the right way to deal with this would have been for the cops to come calmly to me because they see that I have nothing on me. … It should have been like, “Hey man, we have a problem right now. We are asking you if you have your identity card because someone who has just run away has fled a scene from the police and we are looking for him. ”

King: The officer knelt down. Where did he kneel on you?

Pharaoh: The cop put his – he put his pressure, he put it all, this is his – his knee, his leg, right here.

King: Is on your neck

Pharaoh: It was just at the bottom of my neck.

King: This is before the George Floyd case, so at that time, what were you thinking when he had his knee on his neck?

Pharaoh: I just thought why? … Now, I don’t have 8 minutes and 46 seconds of an officer above me like that, obstructing my airways and choking me. I do not have that. … Fortunately, they pulled me out and I got out. But it’s like, why do we have to go to this end? … When I am an innocent spectator. … We should never feel like our lives are in danger when we do regular human activities. I don’t want to have to worry about my life when I go to Whole Foods and have crisps and guac, or pick up a kombucha.

King: This is the assumption that bothers you. It doesn’t seem like you benefited from the doubt, does it?

Pharaoh: That’s it, Gayle. Black people in America in general. Why do we have to feel guilty until our innocence is proven? Where does the other party become innocent until proven guilty? … I saw a video yesterday where there was a gentleman and the cop was trying to apprehend him. … The guy ran towards him. The cop starts to run. … He is running. The suspect then gets into the car, backs up and almost hits the policeman.

King: Were there shots fired?

Pharaoh: No shot fired.

King: When you said you were afraid, were you afraid of losing your life?

Pharaoh: Yes. When I see pistols coming towards me, my natural instinct is, oh, brittle. I could – I could die.

King: You said you comply. Did you say, my name is?

Pharaoh: I said, I don’t have my ID card. on me, but if you Google Jay Pharaoh, you’ll find that you’re making a big mistake. A few minutes later, they came back and said, “Oh, we got a call that you are not the guy. Sorry, my bad. “My bad” is not good enough.

King: Jay, did they say “my bad”? Did they say that?

Pharaoh: They said, “I’m – oh, sorry, sorry. ” It’s not enough. … There must be some practice with these police reforms. … I don’t want to see 20 other blacks being martyrs for no reason.

King: Who was the first person you called after this happened to you?

Pharaoh: I called my mom and told her what had happened. My dad was on the phone too and just, you know, my mom started crying.

King: And it also affects you to see your family cry too.

Pharaoh: It’s a terrible feeling that the consequences of such a terrible situation could have so much impact on the people around you. … I hit Steve Harvey when it happened. He said, “You have a” being black in America “sandwich.” And I said it was exactly that. I ate it and I know what it tastes like.

King: Being black in an American sandwich. Yeah, and it doesn’t taste good.

Pharaoh: Do you know what tastes good? Just be a beautiful black person.

King: Yes, it feels good too.

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