Outspoken Black Lives Matter activist and actor Kendrick Sampson revealed he was punched by a police officer in Cartagena, Colombia Tuesday.
He posted a video, which contains only a fraction of the full encounter, to his Instagram writing:
“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.”
The latter of which can be seen in the video (below).
The commander of the Cartagena police department told local newspaper El Tiempo his officers engaged in a “legitimate” use of force. General Henry Sanabria Cely argued the 32-year-old had resisted the search and tried to reach into a bag, clarifying their self-described necessary protocols. He also noted he had alerted US officials in Cartagena on the actor’s behalf after he was cited for disrespecting authority and contempt of an officer. Sampson denies accusations he resisted legal procedures.
Natalia Reyes, a Colombian actress best known for her role in Terminator: Dark Fate, first shared the video in hopes of sparking local outcry and support, explaining:
“Today this happened to him here in Cartagena and everything hurts, not only because he is a friend but because that is the day-to-day of many, because we got used to this and that is NOT okay, it’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?”
All this comes just months after Kendrick was struck by a policeman’s baton and hit with rubber bullets during a BLM protest in Los Angeles over the summer. At the time, the activist spoke live on Instagram, pointing out many of the inequalities black Americans have faced under the Trump administration and prior, demanding:
“Y’all ain’t see no police f**king up white folks when they took guns to the statehouse. Y’all didn’t see police attacking white folks, beating ’em up with batons, shooting them with rubber bullets when they brought guns to f**king state houses. We came up here with no weapons, with masks… And we’re the ones who are not peaceful.”
This was the sixth time in five days that the BLD PWR founder had been stopped by police in the Cartagena area. He added:
“It happens to Black Colombians often.”
Wishing Kendrick a speedy recovery and safe travels moving forward. None of this is okay!
[Image via WENN/Avalon]