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‘SNL’ Alum Jay Pharoah Shared Harrowing Footage Of An LAPD Officer Kneeling On His Neck Last Month

Former SNL cast member Jay Pharoah shared a chilling video on Instagram where an Los Angeles police officer kneeled on his neck in an apparent case of mistaken identity strikingly similar to the police actions that killed George Floyd and sparked an international movement against police brutality against Black people.

The video started with images of kneeling police officers and shots of protesters and policemen walking together, which have been widely shared as signs of unity in the last few weeks of widespread protests against police brutality. While the images play, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech can be heard. The video then shows Pharoah, who explains that a week before George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, an extremely similar incident happened to him in Los Angeles.

Pharoah explained as security camera footage showed an officer run up to him, weapon drawn, in daylight in Los Angeles while he was on a run.

“I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd,” he said.

Apparently, officers were looking for a suspect and he fit the description: “a black man with gray sweatpants and a gray shirt.” Four officers approached him with their weapons drawn, and once he was on the ground one officer put his knee on his neck. The video, with Pharoah narrating, is a harrowing look at just how easily someone can be put at gunpoint just for being a Black man on the streets of an American city.

“I’m Jay Pharoah and I’m a Black man in America,” he said. “My life matters. Black lives always matter. They always matter.”