In a video posted on Instagram last Friday, the former “Saturday Night Live” actor said he was exercising when four officers “came out with guns” and called him to the ground.
“They put me in cuffs, the officer took his knee and put it on my neck. It’s not as long as George Floyd, but I know what it looks like,” said Farah, whose April 26 surveillance video shows him in an encounter with police.
Pharaoh said authorities had told him that he was taken into custody because it fits the description of “a black man with gray sweat pants and a gray shirt in the area.”
He told authorities that if you look up his name on Google, “you’ll see a big mistake.” Pharaoh was released “a minute later,” and officials apologized.
Pharaoh said this was the first time he had participated in handicrafts. The 32-year-old comedian, who grew up in the suburbs and with parents who tried to shelter him, said he had never experienced direct racism in America until this year.
But now he is urging other black people to educate themselves on the law so that if the police stop them, “we have the knowledge and we have the power to overthrow it.”
Pharaoh said he could “easily be Ahmed Arbury or George Floyd,” but he was “still here to tell my story.”
At the end of his video, Pharaoh recounts the moment the officer knelt on his neck.
“As a country we can no longer breathe. We are tired, we are sick and we are tired of it. I am not shy,” he said.
The LAPD said it was aware of the video and was investigating it.
CNN’s Stella Chan and Ray Sanchez contributed to the report.