'Saturday Night Live' star recalls brutal encounter with police

Jay Pharoah narrated his ordeal of being a black man in America in an emotional Instagram post

Entertainment Desk June 13, 2020

Comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Jay Pharoah revealed he was recently stopped by multiple LAPD officers with their guns drawn while he was walking in Los Angeles. One of the officers knelt down on his neck, reported Variety.

Pharoah posted security camera footage of the incident –which took place a week before the death of Ahmaud Arbery — in a longer video about racism in America posted to his Instagram.

He also elaborated on what happened during his appearance on an episode of CBS’s The Talk, set to air June 15. “I was actually on Ventura, I was exercising. 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 describes in the Instagram video.

“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.”


The security cam footage shows the event unfolding as Pharoah claims, as multiple police officers approach him with guns out. According to Pharoah, they told him that he “fit the description of a Black man” they were looking for in the area who was also wearing gray sweatpants and a gray t-shirt.

“Google right now Jay Pharoah, you will see that you made a big mistake,” Pharoah says he told the officers as one pinned him to the ground, put a knee on his neck and handcuffed him.

A minute or so later, Pharoah says the officers received a call confirming he was not the person they were looking for, and released him.

“I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd,” Pharoah says in the video.

At the end of the Instagram post, Pharoah recreates part of the incident with a knee placed on his neck, and delivers a message saying that “Black lives always matter.”

“We as a country can’t breathe anymore. We are tired, we are sick, and we are tired of it. I can’t breathe,” he says.

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