Jun 15, 2020
Jay Pharoah Talks About a Similar Encounter with Police to George Floyd’s
Comedian and SNL alumni Jay Pharoah released a video online where he described an George Floyd-like encounter with the Los Angeles Police Department while jogging, where an officer put a knee on his neck. Read the transcript here.
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Jay Pharoah: (00:01)
We’ve definitely had a couple of recent events, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery. Coincidentally, when the footage wrapped for Ahmaud Arbery, a week prior to that, I was actually on Ventura. I was exercising. As I’m walking across the street, Corbin and Ventura, I see an officer to the left of me. I’m not thinking anything of it because I’m a law-abiding citizen. Also keep in mind, I got my Bose headphones on, noise canceling. I’m in my zone right now. I look to my left. The officer, I see them coming with guns blazing. I see him say, “Get on the ground. Put your hands up like you’re an airplane.” As he’s looking at me, I’m thinking that he’s making a mistake, so I’m looking past where he’s looking. I’m looking at him and I’m looking past me, because I’m like, “Whoever they’re about to get, it’s just about to be terrible.” No, he was coming to get me.
Jay Pharoah: (01:00)
Four officers got their guns blazing. They tell me to get on the ground, spread my arms out. They put me in cuffs. The officer took his knee, he 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? Like what’s wrong?” They said, “You fit the description of a black man in this area with gray sweat pants on and a gray shirt.” I told them, I said, “If you look, Google right now, Jay Pharoah, you will see that you made a big mistake.”
Jay Pharoah: (01:35)
A minute later, after I was detained in cuffs, and keep in mind, they’ve already asked me, “Do you want to sit on the side?” I’m like, “No, I don’t even want to be on the ground.” They come back. They say, “We’re sorry. We just got a call in that it’s not you.” I say, “Yo, get these, excuse my French, get these F’ing cuffs off of me.” I had never been in cuffs before, up until that point. I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’m from the burbs.
Jay Pharoah: (02:01)
Luckily, my parents, what they did was they tried to shelter me and my sister for years. We never saw that. I didn’t experience firsthand racism in America until this year.
Jay Pharoah: (02:15)
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 George Floyd. I’m not, and I can tell my story. I will tell you all, this is what you need to do. Educate yourselves. Educate yourselves on the laws, understand what the cops are saying to you, so if they try to flip anything on you, on our young black men, our black men in general, we have the knowledge and we have the power to overthrow that because we, we’re well-rounded. We know what’s going on. Be in the know.
Jay Pharoah: (02:55)
I’m Jay Pharoah and I’m a black man in America, and my life matters. Black lives always matter. They always matter.
Jay Pharoah: (03:13)
I literally could have been George Floyd. We, as a country, can’t breathe anymore. We are tired. We are sick and we are tired of it. I can’t breathe!