Actor Ving Rhames has revealed that he was held at gunpoint in his own home by cops, after a neighbour called the police reporting a 'large black man breaking into the house'.
The 59-year-old African-American star, who is currently promoting the new sequel Mission Impossible: Fall Out, made the comments on SirusXM's The Clay Cane Show on Friday, after being asked about whether he'd experienced racism.
He explained how earlier this year, he had been relaxing at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, when he heard a noise in his back garden, which he assumed was caused by his two English Bulldog puppies. Instead, he heard a knock on the door.
I open the door and there is a red dot pointed at my face from a 9mm.
They say put up your hands, literally. I just walked and opened up the door… then they said, ‘Open the front screen door.’
They say do it with one hand so then I have to do it with one hand. My hands are up and they have me outside.
When he asked the officers why they were holding him at gunpoint, they said:
A woman called 911, said a large black man was breaking into the house.
The confrontation only ended when the police officer recognised Rhames because their sons played on the same basketball team, and apologised for the mistake. The neighbour who made the call also subsequently denied making it.
Musing on the implications of the altercation, Rhames noted that it could have ended very differently:
My problem is, and I said this to them, what if it was my son and he had a video-game remote or something and you thought it was a gun?
Listen to the whole interview here:
The incident comes after a string of racially motivated incidents in America, which have seen white people call the police on black people for simply going about their day.
In April, two black men were arrested in a Starbucks in Philadelphia for sitting in the coffee shop without buying anything; and in June, a 12-year-old black boy had the police called on him after he mowed someone's lawn for free in a gesture of goodwill.