Jay Pharoah Says a Police Officer Kneeled on His Neck After Being Stopped While Jogging

Comedian Jay Pharoah shared security footage from a recent incident involving LAPD officers and said, "I literally could have been George Floyd."

By McKenna Aiello Jun 12, 2020 11:04 PMTags
Jay PharoahPhillip Faraone/Getty Images

Jay Pharoah says he "could have easily" met a fate similar to George Floyd's following a recent encounter with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department. 

In a video posted to the comedian's Instagram account on Friday, Pharoah described an alleged incident in which the police stopped him while he was jogging on a L.A. sidewalk because they said he "fit the description" of a man they were attempting to locate. The Saturday Night Live alum said one officer put his knee on his neck, comparing his experience to the fatal police detainment of George Floyd

Included in Pharoah's video, which you can watch below, is footage taken of the incident on a nearby security camera. Pharoah said it took place a week before a video of Ahmaud Arbery's killing, who was shot while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood, surfaced online in April.  

Pharoah said he was running along Ventura Boulevard when he noticed a police officer begin to approach him on his left side. "I'm not thinking anything of it, because I'm a law abiding citizen," he recalled. 

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Three other officers, with their "guns blazing," Pharoah then said, "tell me to get on the ground, spread my arms out. They put me in cuffs. The officer took his knee, put it on my neck. It wasn't as long as George Floyd, but I know how that feels. I said, 'Why are you doing this? What's wrong?'"

Officers allegedly told Pharoah they were looking for a "Black man in this area with gray sweatpants and a gray shirt."

'I told them, ‘Google right now, Jay Pharaoh. You will see that you made a big mistake,'" he said. 

A short time later Pharoah said he was released and the officers apologized. E! News reached out to the LAPD for comment, who said, "We are looking into the incident."

"I didn't experience firsthand racism in America until this year, he then shared in the video. "Black lives always matter. My life matters. I'm still here to tell my story, but I could have easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd. And I'm not, so I can tell my story."

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On Friday, Pharaoh appeared on The Talk to further reflect on the nation's heightened conversation about racism. 

"Other people can't level with the same fears that I have. We should not have to fear going to the grocery store, going to get some gas, running down the street. It's called human civility," he said. 

"That's why everybody is out protesting. Coronavirus put us in the house and George Floyd took us out of it. I love what's happening because it seems like everybody is just tired of it. Coronavirus gave us a chance to pay attention to what was happening and actually put some things in order so we can really get some change happening."