Former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Pharoah was allegedly stopped by LAPD while jogging and one of the police officers knelt over his neck in a restraint similar to the one that killed George Floyd.
In an IGTV video shared on his Instagram account, Pharoah said he was working out when four police officers approached him with guns drawn, handcuffed him and held him to the ground.
The video contains security footage of the incident, which shows the "White Famous" actor walking down a sidewalk when a police officer runs up to him from his left flank with a gun pointed at him.
Pharoah gets down on the ground as another officer joins in, also with his gun drawn. A police cruiser then enters the frame and two more officers step out of the vehicle, one of them aiming his firearm towards the comedian. The footage then shows the officers gathering around Pharoah to handcuff him as he lays spread out on the ground, and one officer putting his knee on Pharoah's neck.
"They tell me to get on the ground, spread my arms out," Pharoah saidin the video. "They put me in cuffs. The officer takes his knee, puts it on my neck. It wasn't as long as George Floyd, but I know how it feels." Floyd was killed last month by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after he pinned him down and suffocated him with his knee over his neck.
Restrained for Fitting the Description of a Black Suspect
A timestamp in the top left corner of the video Pharoah shared indicates the footage was captured on April 26, 2020. Pharoah said the incident took place in the vicinity of Ventura Blvd. and Corbin Avenue, a week before news broke in late April of the February killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
Pharoah pointed out that the officers told him he was held because he fit the description of "a black man in this area, with gray sweatpants on and a gray shirt."
He added in his Instagram video that he told the officers to Google his name and "you will see that you made a big mistake." When the officers were notified that the suspect they were seeking had been apprehended, they apologized and released Pharoah.
Pharoah said he was sharing the story because he could have been another Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd.
"It could have easily turned into another situation if I wasn't who I am. And the point here is being black in America, is just that, being black in America," he said before concluding the video with, "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."
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that they were "aware" of the Instagram post and "are looking into it." Watch the video below: