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"SNL" Alum Jay Pharoah Says LAPD Officers Pulled Guns On Him While He Was Walking And Kneeled On His Neck

"I could have easily been Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd."

Posted on June 12, 2020, at 11:10 p.m. ET

Taylor Jewell / AP

Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah said in an Instagram post Friday that he was recently stopped by LAPD officers with guns drawn and cuffed while one of them put a knee to his neck.

Pharoah revealed the encounter along with security video of the incident, showing four officers stopping the comedian and ordering him to the ground with guns drawn.

"As he's looking at me, I'm thinking that he's making a mistake," Pharoah said in the post. "I'm looking at him, and I'm looking past me because I'm like, Whoever they're about to get, it's about to get terrible. No, he was coming to get me."

A spokesperson for the LAPD said the person in the Instagram post "was detained as a possible suspect of a crime."

"It was determined to be the wrong suspect and he was let go," the spokesperson added. "The incident is being investigated."

Pharoah's post, in which he re-creates part of the incident with a knee placed on his neck, comes after days of protests and civil unrest over the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis — who died as a white officer put him in knee chokehold for more than eight minutes — and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and public outrage over the treatment unarmed black people.

As he narrates, Pharoah says the incident happened about a week before the death of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white men while he was out jogging.

"I was walking down the street, Corbin and Ventura, I see an officer to the left of me," he says. "I'm not thinking anything of it, because I'm a law-abiding citizen. Also, keep in mind I've got my Bose headphones on."

Pharoah said officers told him he "fit the description of a Black man in this area with gray sweat pants on and a gray shirt."

He added that one of the officers knelt with his knee on him while he was being cuffed.

"I told them, if you look, google 'Jay Pharoah,' you will see you made a big mistake," he said.

The video addresses the issue of racism in the US and begins with Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

"I could have easily been Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd," he said.

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