‘Insecure’ actor Kendrick Sampson hit by rubber bullets during LA protests
The actor live-streamed the tense standoff with LAPD from his phone.
Insecure actor, Kendrick Sampson, was hit by rubber bullets during tense protests in LA over the murder of George Floyd.
Sampson went live on Instagram to capture the entire incident and could be seen on CNN joined by protesters in a standoff with police.
The Insecure and How to Get Away With Murder actor was attending a rally organized by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and Build Power in Pan Pacific Park. Sampson was one of the event’s featured speakers.
— Tatianna Mott (@TatiannaMott) May 31, 2020
Sampson went live on Instagram throughout the entire event and continued recording as the peaceful protest took to the streets.
“We started in a park pouring libations, praying, and talking about what we can do to improve our communities,” Sampson recalled later in the day. After the event concluded, protesters decided to keep marching and were met by cops as they headed down 3rd St. toward Santa Monica just shy of Beverly Hills.
Sampson had been preparing to leave but decided to stay and record on IG live. Soon after he began broadcasting, he was shot at point-blank range with a rubber bullet.
Initially, protesters resisted by standing their ground peacefully with their hands up. But officers soon began attacking the women on the front lines who had placed themselves in a position to physically shield Sampson and the other Black protesters from the officer’s blows.
After the rally, other protesters continued peacefully marching toward Beverly Hills. As @kendrick38 was leaving, cops arrived & instantly escalated things. He stayed to document, but watching his feed go from such powerful solidarity to this was heartbreaking. #DefundthePolice pic.twitter.com/efgE9QBA4p
— Tatianna Mott (@TatiannaMott) May 31, 2020
“No broken property, no nothing! No reason to do that!” shouted Sampson as cops continued shooting rubber bullets into the crowd.
What was once a peaceful protest, quickly escalated to a heightened retaliation as protesters vandalized nearby patrol cars.
“Imma just let y’all know right now. None of these police cars were touched until they started hurting people,” Sampson said. “See that? That happened because they started f***ing people up. That’s their fault. I condone it. You can quote me on that s***. Y’all saw this mf hit me with a baton. I’m unarmed. And they started attacking girls. Now they’re shooting again.”
As the sound of rubber bullet fire and chaos continued in the background, Sampson spoke to his IG live audience, “It was completely peaceful. Completely peaceful. And they were the f***ing aggressors.”
“I have it all on video,” Sampsonn added. “I started live streaming because they started hitting folks. I was sitting there filming peacefully and he targeted me out of everybody. He started hitting me… because I was recording? I ain’t being violent. And I’m not saying I don’t condone violence. If they’re going to be violent to us, absolutely violence is gonna happen.”
The atmosphere on 3rd St. had officially deviated from the powerful Black Lives Matter rally that was broadcast by Sampson just minutes prior.
LA you outdone yourself today.
LAPD started brutlizing protesters as soon as the crowd was heading to Beverly Hills. #fairfax #BlacklivesMaters #laprotest #GeorgeFloydprotest pic.twitter.com/3D0LmJJKcB
— Reza (@Theorgasmtron) May 30, 2020
“No one is following me,” added Sampson. “I am not leading this. I have not led anybody to this area. If I walk away, the only thing that happens is that people are not seeing this. I’m here to document, okay?”
Soon after, around 3 p.m. PST, officers began forcibly pushing the front line protesters, and Sampson’s live feed began to jam. However, between the pauses in the feed, viewers can clearly see officers pummeling protesters with batons and shooting rubber bullets into the crowd, several of which struck Sampson in the leg.
At that time, CNN also began broadcasting live.
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) May 30, 2020
Shortly, a patrol car that was parked directly in front of the protesters caught fire forcing the crowd to retreat to the nearby Trader Joe’s parking lot.
As CNN’s helicopter and ground footage captured the growing plume of smoke from the burning vehicle, even correspondent Paul Vercammen remarked, “I cannot see any damage or looting of any of the buildings nearby.”
CNN’s cameras stayed focused on the fiery rubble, while Sampson’s live continued to tell a different story.
A police car appears to be on fire in Los Angeles. Police officers are holding back a line of demonstrators to prevent them from getting close to the car. https://t.co/B9s2gmaGal pic.twitter.com/gISAvzpsC1
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 30, 2020
Despite protesters peaceably congregating in a privately-owned parking lot, police once again approached aggressively asserting that it was an unlawful assembly.
Sampson’s How To Get Away With Murder co-star Matt McGorry also happened to be present at the protest and was just mere feet away from Sampson as he too took a rubber bullet to the gut.
View this post on Instagram
This was the moment the LAPD shot a round of some projectile (probably a rubber bullet) and hit me in the stomach (I’m ok). I will post more clips but it was a full day of the kkkops brutalizing protestors for no reason, ESPECIALLY BLACK PEOPLE. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be Black and have to deal with these fucks beating and shooting at people for now reason (let alone the reasons we were there in the first place). Protests because of police brutality met with police brutality. How fitting. #ProsectuteKillerCops #DefundThePolice Follow these accounts. And if you are white, make sure you are uplifting, following, and amplifying Black people!!! @blmlosangeles @bldpwr @kendrick38
Police gave protesters another 10-minute countdown to disperse, but this time, the officers didn’t follow through, and the situation deescalated. Just when it appeared all was once again peaceful, officers began unloading rubber bullets into the crowd, unprovoked.
As protesters kneeled with their hands up, agitators began throwing water bottles at the police, and the man with the bullhorn urged “keep kneeling! If you see anyone throwing stuff, point them out! Those are undercover cops. We are not doing anything! Put the cameras on them!”
Within minutes, officers charged at a man with a bullhorn, tossing him to the ground and arresting him. As another protester attempted to come to his aid, one officer began viciously pummeling him.
At this point, Sampson’s live began to jam once again, and when he returned, tensions were heightened, but protesters were still peacefully kneeling despite the extreme violence that had just taken place.
“They’re telling us to disperse, but they boxed us in,” Sampson alerted his viewers.
With nowhere to go, protesters were at the mercy of the officers who corralled them down an alleyway toward the main street. Once out in the open, trigger-happy officers targeted individual retreating protesters, and the crowd began to disperse.
“I want to reiterate. I’m not here with Black Lives Matter. I’m here on my own,” Sampson said, as his phone battery began to die. “Build Power and Black Lives Matter, we did an event together. It ended. Completely done. Peaceful. Powerful. Talking about #DefundPolice. Talking about building power in our communities and what that really looks like. That’s what we were doing.”
Unfortunately, Sampson had to end the IG live shortly after, but the situation in LA continued to escalate throughout the rest of the evening leading up to the mayor’s imposed 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. PST curfew.
Sampson later said, “Defund the police. Use those funds to prosecute these mfs, and to build up our communities. All this trauma that we’re facing, we need mental healthcare. Take their salaries. Officers that do this s*** don’t belong in our communities. They don’t belong on our streets.”
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