Insecure actor Kendrick Sampson was on the front lines Saturday at a protest in Los Angeles where he was hit by rubber bullets and by police batons, injuring him.
Sampson took to Instagram Live Saturday afternoon to share his thoughts on the protest and to show his injuries, which included a cut to the face along with bruising on his chest, arm and leg.
“They shot me four times already. I already got hurt and I got hit with a baton,” Sampson said.
“Y’all ain’t see no police f-cking White folks [up] when they took guns to the statehouse,” he said, referring to the recent protests over self-isolating due to the novel coronavirus. “Y’all didn’t see police attacking White folks, beating them up with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets when they brought guns to f-cking state houses.”
Protests sprang out across the globe—from Hollywood to Harlem, from London to Berlin—after a White Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin murdered a 46-year-old Black man, George Floyd, in broad daylight as three other responding officers watched on. Although Chavin was charged Friday with third degree murder and manslaughter, protests still raged on.
The racial justice activist, who along with his organization BLD PWR helped organize the protest in collaboration with Black Lives Matter LA, took to Instagram Live to describe the scene in Los Angeles and, as he said to the nearly 7,000 watching at one point, to show “what these motherf-ckers are actually doing to people.”
“I still got blood all over my shit and I’m in pain, I’m not gon’ lie…I wanna go home, but I’m also like are people seeing what’s actually going on and putting it into actual context?” he continued. “I wonder if I go home will people see that shit.”
“They are an unlawful assembly, look,” he said, before turning the camera to show police officers hitting seemingly peaceful protestors with batons.
In a statement to ESSENCE, Sampson added that the “peaceful demonstration” was organized to protest “the brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Kenneth Ross Jr. and 600+ others killed by police in LA County! They had two demands—one, defund police and two, prosecute killer kops. I am safe this morning, but the liberation continues tomorrow and beyond. Defund police.”
Protesters complained about being hit with rubber bullets across the nation yesterday, with one photojournalist and author, Linda Tirado, tweeting that she is now permanently blind in one eye due to being hit by a rubber bullet while covering the Minneapolis protest.
“I took a rubber bullet to the face. It exploded my eyeball, which has now been patched back together but who knows if it’ll need more surgery,” she detailed on Saturday.
Shooting rubber bullets to protestors’ faces is a strategy often used in other countries, including Chile where a 22-year-old student named Gustavo Gatica was left totally blind last November after being shot by rubber bullets, according to Reuters.
Sampson, who recently stopped by ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! podcast, was not the only celebrity to lend their fame to the cause. Tinashe also shared she was protesting in Los Angeles, and J. Cole was spotted at a protest in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where Floyd was born.