SANTA MONICA, Calif. — "Mission Impossible" star Ving Rhames says racism was behind cops drawing their guns on him in his own home after a neighbor called them reporting a break-in − an experience he says mirrors other recent incidents with white people calling the cops on innocent black people.
During a recent interview with "The Clay Cane Show," the actor recalled an incident where he was allegedly held at gunpoint at his own home in Santa Monica by cops after he was suspected of burglary.
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He said he was watching ESPN in the afternoon in just his basketball shorts when the cops knocked on his front door.
“I get up, I open the door and there’s a red dot pointed at my face from a 9-millimeter [gun], and they say, ‘Put up your hands.’ Literally,” he said.
There were three officers, a police dog and the captain of police. The latter eventually recognized Rhames and asked the men to stand down. They then explained they were responding to a 911 call about a potential burglary.
“He said to me, ‘A woman called 911 [and] said a large black man was breaking into the house. And so we came,’” Rhames said.
The “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” star said the neighbor, who reportedly made the call, denied it when he confronted her with an officer and the police chief.
“I told them, ‘What if it was my son and he had a video remote or something and you thought it was gun?’” Rhames said. “Trayvon [Martin] had a bag of skittles.”
The Santa Monica Police Department lieutenant confirmed the incident with People and said it occurred in July 2016.
“We got a call from several neighbors indicating that they thought what they were looking at was a burglary in the home and we responded within minutes,” he said. “As soon as we discovered it was Mr. Rhames, we de-escalated immediately and informed him what happened.”
A similar incident occurred months later, and the department has since instituted a citywide program called Meet Your Neighbors, which challenges community members to become acquainted with the people on their blocks through social events.
Cox Media Group