Actor Kendrick Sampson of the HBO comedy “Insecure” was “beaten multiple times with batons and shot seven (7) times with rubber bullets by LAPD while protesting police killings,” a rep for Sampson tells TheWrap on Sunday. “He is safe this morning.”
Sampson posted a series of eight videos to his Instagram account on Saturday showing the scene at a demonstration at Pan Pacific Park in response to the death of George Floyd. In one video, the officers fire rubber bullets at the actor and his fellow protestors. Another video from Sampson’s perspective shows him backing away from police, as he appears to be hit repeatedly by an officer’s baton, footage that was captured from another angle and shown live on CNN.
The actor briefly stops his recording after that incident and returns to say that he was helping a man who the police “beat” to the “point of a bone showing.” Sampson says he and his fellow protester were “being peaceful and they f—ing came at us.”
“The reason I had to stop that recording for a second and jump on those officers that started beating me like that is because three of them ganged up on him. Three of them. They’re f—ing cowards,” Sampson said. “They come out with riot gear, nobody has a f—ing weapon here. They come at us with riot gear and guns, batons, all these different weapons for protesters. F— them. F— them. F— them.”
“You see this?” Sampson said, pointing at his bleeding lip, “Baton.” He then showed injuries on his arm and chest, saying “Rubber bullets.”
“Dude aimed, looked at me in my eye, and aimed straight at me,” he said. “They were shooting them at the ground at first, trying to make them pop up at people. He aimed straight at my chest. That’s how they kill us.”
Sampson said in a statement Sunday: “My non-profit initiative BLD PWR and I, in collaboration with Black Lives Matter LA organized a peaceful demonstration, protesting the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor Tony McDade, Kenneth Ross Jr and 600+ others killed by police in LA County! They had two demands 1) Defund Police and 2) Prosecute Killer Cops. I am safe, but the liberation continues today, and beyond. Defund Police.”
A representative for the LAPD did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The Downtown Los Angeles protests on Friday night and early Saturday morning resulted in more than 500 arrests with charges of looting, vandalism and battery on police officers. As the demonstrations continued Saturday and became increasingly violent between protesters and police, Mayor Eric Garcetti set an 8 p.m.-5:30 a.m. curfew for the entire city of Los Angeles.
The LA demonstrations are among dozens that have broken out this week in Minneapolis, New York and Atlanta, among other cities across the United States, following Floyd’s death while in police custody Monday.
Floyd, a black man, was arrested by Minneapolis police Monday after an employee at a convenience store called authorities to say he suspected Floyd of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.
During Floyd’s arrest, white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, an act that was caught on video by a bystander. In the clip, Floyd can be heard asking officers to let him breathe but is not shown to be resisting. Paramedics were called to the scene, where they found Floyd to be unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead.
Chauvin has since been fired by the Minneapolis police, arrested and charged with third-degree murder in connection to Floyd’s death. The three other officers who were involved in Floyd’s arrest have not been arrested or charged, though they were also fired.
Watch two of Sampson’s videos below.