police brutality

Dave Chappelle Says He Was Choked by a Police Officer in New Orleans

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04: Dave Chappelle arrives at the 2014 GQ Men Of The Year Party at Chateau Marmont on December 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty

At a stand-up set in New Orleans last night witnessed by journalists from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dave Chappelle told the crowd he’d been choked by a police officer while working in the city decades earlier. Chappelle was riffing on the death of Eric Garner when he mentioned that he too had been the victim of police violence. The comedian claimed he was stepping off the set of one his first movies — likely 1993’s Undercover Blues, in which he played a mugger — when a police officer came up behind him and immediately put him in a chokehold. Chappelle said the cop only let go after a female crew member intervened. When she told him Chappelle was an actor, the officer reportedly asked her, “Why didn’t he say something?” And here’s the kicker: Chapelle told the audience he wasn’t even surprised by the chokehold. As a black man in America, he said, his only reaction was a resigned acceptance: “Okay, here we go.”

Dave Chappelle Says He Was Choked by the Police