We’re living in a time when police are being targeted by the masses for incidents like the recent death of George Floyd. As it should be well known by now, George Floyd was killed in an example of police brutality after an officer kneeled on his neck and refused to let up. Now it seems a similar incident had occurred to past Saturday Night Live star Jay Pharoah in February. In fact, Jay Pharoah has now released footage of a police officer kneeling on his neck during a case of mistaken identity.
It seems that Jay Pharoah had been jogging in San Fernando Valley when he was detained by police. It appears that he matched details given for another suspect that police had been searching for. As such, one officer at one point decided to kneel on Jay Pharoah’s neck, and you can see it all captured in the security camera footage released by Pharoah down below.
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The footage shows Pharoah being approached by an officer with his firearm drawn. Soon another officer comes into view and does the same, and then two more officers arrive via their police cruiser. Pharoah is visibly confused and it appears he was targeted only because officers were looking for “a black man with gray sweatpants and a gray shirt.” It only took a moment after they had him cuffed to realize he was a celebrity and let Pharoah go – but not before an officer had the opportunity to kneel on his neck.
It goes to show just how easily Jay Pharoah could’ve ended up dead like George Floyd or even the similarly murdered Ahmaud Arbery – something Pharoah acknowledges, saying “I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd,” in the video.
He also spoke about the incident on The Talk, stating:
“It could have easily turned into another situation if I wasn’t who I am,” Pharoah explained, insisting he only managed to escape by being famous and other black individuals don’t have that luck. “And the point here is being black in America, is just that, being black in America. Other people can’t level with the same fears I have. Leaving the house, we should not have to fear going to the grocery store, going to get some gas, running down the street. It’s called human civility. That’s what it is. It’s about being a human.”
Meanwhile, according to several articles, it seems that the LAPD is currently investigating the situation.