Don Cheadle Recalls Being Stopped By Police "More Times Than I Can Count"

Don Cheadle opened up about his past experiences with racism and the police during a candid interview on The Tonight Show.
By emily belfiore Jun 19, 2020 1:26 PMTags
Don CheadleLeon Bennett/Getty Images

Don Cheadle is reflecting on his past experiences with law enforcement

During his virtual visit to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the House of Lies star spoke out about the discrimination he has encountered with police, recalling being stopped "more times than I can count." 

"I think a lot of Black people have the story of how their parents had cautioned them about how to comport themselves when they come into contact with law enforcement and the rules of how to just make sure that you can come home and be safe and what you had to do," he told host Jimmy Fallon. "So, unfortunately that was something that was put into our minds very early."

As he continued, Cheadle recalled growing up in a "predominately Black neighborhood" in Kansas City, Mo., where he said the police weren't "anything to worry about." He then noted that his outlooked changed once his family moved to the suburbs. 

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"We were the minority there, it was very different," he shared. "That's when I first—that when a lot of bullying started when I was at school and definitely predicated on race."

The Black Monday star added, "And that's when it started to be clear that, yeah, the cops were not on Team Don and there was a different treatment."

Cheadle then described the interactions he'd have with police officers once he moved to Los Angeles.

"We would get stopped—I mean, I got stopped more times than I can count," he said. "Guns put to my head. I always ‘fit the description'...This is something that was happening over and over again."

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"And, you know, I have good friends that were almost killed by the police for nothing," the Avengers: Endgame star continued. "So, this is not something that was new to me once all these videos started coming out; It's things that we knew very well that were happening. They just weren't being filmed."

While discussing the 2020 presidential election, Cheadle urged viewers to make their voices heard in the polls. 

"People are gonna have to remain vigilant," he said. "We're gonna have to really show up in numbers."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.) 

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