“Saturday Night Live” alum Jay Pharoah shared an Instagram video on Friday showing security camera footage of a Los Angeles Police Department officer kneeling on his neck and placing him in handcuffs earlier this year.
“I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd,” Pharoah said in the video.
Pharoah detailed the incident, recalling that officers approached him on the street with guns drawn while he was out for a walk. “I’m not thinking anything of it because I’m a law abiding citizen,” Pharoah said, recalling that he was caught off guard because he was wearing noise-cancelling headphones at the time. “I see him coming with guns blazing, I see him say, ‘Get on the ground, put your hands up like you’re an airplane.'”
According to Pharoah and the timestamp on the video, the incident took place on April 26 of this year — a week before the video of Arbery’s death was made public.
The video shows four officers approaching Pharoah on the street and having him lie face down with his arms outstretched above his head before one officer places a knee on his neck and puts him into handcuffs. Pharoah said the officers informed him that he matched the description of a man they were searching for in the area.
The comedian said he told the officers, “Google right now Jay Pharoah, you will see that you made a big mistake.” He was released shortly after, when the officers received a call informing them that he wasn’t the suspect they were looking for.
“I had never been in cuffs before … I didn’t experience first-hand racism in America until this year,” he said, explaining that he and his sister were sheltered by his parents growing up in the suburbs. Pharoah went on to implore his followers to educate themselves about their rights and “understand what the cops are saying to you so if they try to flip anything on you … we have the knowledge and the power to overthrow that.”
“I’m Jay Pharoah and I’m a black man in America, and my life matters,” he says toward the end of the video. “Black lives always matter. They always matter.”
Representatives for LAPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.