Actor Kendrick Sampson, who has appeared on Insecure and The Flash, was hit by LAPD with a baton and rubber bullets during a Los Angeles protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd on Saturday. Sampson was streaming the protest on Instagram Live when the officers began firing rubber bullets at protestors. He was also hit by police multiple times with a baton in a moment that was captured in a CNN live broadcast as well as on his Instagram Live. In the CNN clip, Sampson can be seen wearing a black shirt near the front of the crowd.
Sampson confirmed his injuries on Instagram Live, stating, “They shot me four times already. I already got hurt and I got hit with a baton.” He showed viewers cuts and bruises on his legs and mouth, as well as injuries to his chest. The actor had organized a peaceful gathering with his Build Power initiative along with Black Lives Matter at Pan Pacific Park. In his Instagram video, Sampson emphasized that the gathering was over and he and other attendees were trying to leave when he noticed police clashing with protestors. Sampson said the following about the incident on his Instagram Live:
(The police) don’t belong on our fucking streets. They don’t belong in our communities […] These motherfuckers are only here to terrorize black and brown communities and indigenous folk. To terrorize the most vulnerable. That’s what they’re here for. This was completely peaceful. All these folks started in a park, pouring libations, praying, and talking about what we can do to build up our communities. I was about to go home. I was about to go home.
Y’all ain’t see no police fucking up white folks when they took guns to the statehouse. Y’all didn’t see police attacking white folks, beating em up with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets when they brought guns to fucking state houses. We came up here with no weapons, with masks. And we’re the ones who are not peaceful […] We did an event together, peaceful, powerful, talking about defunding the police, talking about building power in our communities and what that really looks like. That’s what we were doing. We marched to the intersection at Fairfax, we were there for a bit. We closed it out with an Assata Shakur chant […] Then I saw police being aggressive.
Singer Halsey was also at the West Hollywood protest, tweeting that police “fired rubber bullets at us.” Other celebrities at the protest included Ariana Grande, Kehlani, and Michael B. Jordan.
In addition to the Los Angeles protest, celebrities have also attended demonstrations across the country. J. Cole joined protestors in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Jamie Foxx attended a rally at Minneapolis City Hall and gave a speech about his personal experience with police brutality. John Cusack live-tweeted the Chicago protests, sharing a video of a police officer hitting him with a baton and yelling at him. “Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons. Hitting my bike,” he wrote.