Earlier this week, former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Jay Pharoah shared video he says showed police stopping him and an officer placing a knee on his neck during a case of mistaken identity in April. In an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, Pharoah said the experience made him feel “disgusting.”
“They’re telling me to lay on the ground. It was a bad situation, I just felt disgusting,” he said. “People are driving past looking at me like I’m an animal, a criminal, I did something. But I’m an innocent bystander.”
In a roughly four-minute video posted on Instagram, Pharoah said he had been exercising in Los Angeles when a police officer ordered him to get on the ground. The post includes surveillance video that he says shows four officers surrounding him.
“Four officers got their guns blazing,” he said. “They 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.”
When he asked the officers why they were arresting him, Pharoah claims he was told: “You fit the description of a black man in this area with grey sweatpants on and a grey shirt.”
After he told the officers to Google him, the situation de-escalated, Pharoah said, adding that the officers apologized and let him go. Pharoah said he could have “easily been an Ahmaud Arbery or a George Floyd.”
“That’s the big message,” he told King. “The message is you can be innocent as a black person, not doing anything, totally unassuming. You’re totally innocent and you can still get messed with.”
“We should never have to feel like our lives are in danger when we’re doing regular human activities,” he added. “I don’t want to have to fear for my life when I’m going to Whole Foods, getting some chips and guac and picking up a kombucha. I don’t want to feel like my life is going to be sacrificed when I got to go to the gas station and I’m pumping some gas, standing out there and a cop comes rolling past and I don’t know what he’s going to do. I should not feel this way when I’m trying to do regular human activity.”
The Los Angeles Police Department on Sunday said, “We are aware of the video and its under investigation.”
Watch Gayle King’s interview with Pharoah on Wednesday on “CBS This Morning.”
© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.