‘Insecure’ Actor Kendrick Sampson Punched by Cop in Colombia

Kendrick SampsonVariety Sundance Studio presented by AT&T, Day 1, Sundance Film Festival, Park City, USA - 24 Jan 2020
John Salangsang/Variety/Shutters

“Insecure” actor Kendrick Sampson was punched by a police officer in Cartagena, Colombia, during an encounter on a street on Tuesday.

Sampson posted a video of his arrest on Instagram. The helmeted officer can be seen punching him in the face, pulling a handgun and appearing to cock it before holstering the weapon and putting Sampson in handcuffs. He then leads Sampson away.

“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,” Sampson wrote. “He then cuffed me and dragged me through the streets.”

Sampson said that he did not “resist any legal procedure.” He also said that it was the sixth time he had been stopped in five days in the city.

“It happens to Black Colombians often,” he wrote.

In a statement provided to El Tiempo, a national newspaper based in Bogotá, the commander of the Cartagena police defended his officers, saying they engaged in a “legitimate” use of force during a search. The commander, General Henry Sanabria Cely, said that Sampson had resisted the search and tried to reach into a bag.

He said that Sampson was cited for disrespecting authority and contempt of an officer, and that the police had alerted U.S. officials in Cartagena.

Natalia Reyes, a Colombian actress who appeared in “Terminator: Dark Fate,” also posted the video on Tuesday, and condemned the police conduct.

“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?” Reyes wrote.

Sampson was active in Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles following the death of George Floyd last summer. At the time, he was seen on video being struck by a policeman’s baton, and posted that he had been hit by rubber bullets.

“Y’all ain’t see no police f—ing up white folks when they took guns to the statehouse,” he said on Instagram Live at the time. “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—ing state houses. We came up here with no weapons, with masks… And we’re the ones who are not peaceful.”

Sampson played Nathan Campbell — Issa Rae’s love interest — on seasons three and four of “Insecure.”