Richard Pryor's 1978 police chokehold bit is hauntingly relevant today
Richard Pryor’s humor was clearly ahead of his time.
In 1978, the legendary comedian addressed police using chokeholds onstage in Long Beach, California, during a bit for his first length feature film, Richard Pryor: Live in Concert.
“Police got a chokehold they use out here though, man they choke ni**as to death,” Pryor said. “That mean you be dead when they through… did you know that?”
“Yeah, two grab your legs, one grabs your head, and then ‘oh snap.. he broke,'” Pryor illustrated onstage.
Countless American citizens today are protesting the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both of whom died at the hands of uniformed police officers.
Pryor’s stance on police violence expressed in his vintage performance proves such horrific incidents aren’t new.