Former “Saturday Night Live” star Jay Pharoah is opening up about his own experience with police this year, in which he says officers drew guns on him and knelt on his neck.
The comedian described the encounter in an Instagram video posted Friday, sharing footage that he says captures the incident.
Pharoah says the encounter happened in Los Angeles a week before footage surfaced showing the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was chased down and shot while jogging in Georgia in February.
“I was exercising,” he said. “As I’m walking across the street … I see an officer to the left of me. I’m not thinking anything of it, because I’m a law-abiding citizen.”
Pharoah added he was also wearing noise cancelling headphones when the officers approached him.
“I look to my left,” Pharoah continued. “I see the officer. I see him coming with guns blazing. I see him say, ‘Get on the ground. Put your hands up like you’re an airplane.’ As he’s looking at me, I’m thinking that he’s making a mistake.”
Pharoah said the officers put him in handcuffs. While he was on the ground, he said, an officer “took his knee” and “put it on my neck.”
A time stamp in the top left corner of the video Pharoah shared indicates the footage was captured on April 26.
“It wasn’t as long as George Floyd, but I know how that feels,” Pharoah continued. “I said, ‘Why are you doing this? What’s wrong?’ They said, ‘You fit the description of a Black man in this area, with gray sweatpants on and a gray shirt.’ I told them, ‘If you Google right now Jay Pharoah, you will see that you made a big mistake.’ “