Kendrick Sampson has become a victim of police brutality and harassment while in Colombia.
The Insecure actor released an Instagram video revealing his ordeal with the police in the country. In the video, Sampson and another man are stopped by the police. An officer is shown punching Sampson and pulling his gun out on the actor before pulling him along. Sampson wrote that this type of abuse is something Black Colombians deal with all the time.
“Cartegena is AMAZING but this is the 6th time I was stopped in 5 days,” he wrote. “It happens to Black Colombians often. I’m told stopping is policy but what is NOT is they reached down my underwear aggressively, slap my arms 5 times hard, punch me in my jaw and pull his gun on me. He then cuffed me and dragged me through the streets. I did not resist any legal procedure.”
He also thanked his friend, actor Natalia Reyes, for recording the video. In her caption, written in Spanish and English, she wrote about how the police regularly use brutality.
“[I]t’s not normal, the police have the right to ask for your ID but they don’t have the right to punch you, dig in your underwear (as happened before someone started filming) and pull a gun on a person who is not committing any crime or offering any resistance, taking him to a station, not wanting to return his ID and even trying to admonish him?” Reyes wrote. “What if this person wasn’t filming? When is this gonna stop? It’s time to rethink the use of force.”
In a follow-up Instagram story, Sampson wrote about spending hours with different police officers who were taking down his account of what happened “(supposedly) to ‘discipline’ the officers.”
“For anyone asking what you can do from a distance, for now–share the video,” he wrote, as captured by The Shade Room. “This is a violation of human rights that happens every day with no accountability. At the end of the day…that’s my best protection. Visibility. My heart hurts for people here, in the U.S. and worldwide who get abused in the shadows (or in broad daylight with no accountability) and don’t have that protection.”
Kendrick Sampson shares his experience with the police in Cartagena, Colombia. pic.twitter.com/VmhySL1BVv
— TheShadeRoom (@TheShadeRoom) December 16, 2020
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported about the incident, writing that the commander of the Cartegena Metropolitan Police, General Henry Sanabria Cely, stood by his officers’ behavior.
Sampson is one of the most visible actor-activists in Hollywood, being at the forefront on many Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles.