‘Power’ star Omari Hardwick reveals personal experience with police violence

Jeremy Belanger
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

On Wednesday, Omari Hardwick, a star of the hit show Power, opened up about his struggles with police as a black man.

During an interview on The View, Hardwick recalled a time before he was famous, living in Los Angeles: “Early on, Whoopi, when I was in L.A., [I was] freshly cut from the NFL. I fit the description of a murder suspect. So, I’m just walking down the street … and a cop car pulls up and it’s like seven guns, knees in the back, the neck, the whole thing.”

He went on to say that he was let go after another officer said, “He’s about six shades lighter than the suspect. Pick him up.”

Hardwick described another incident about two years ago, following the shooting death of Philando Castile by a police officer. Hardwick, who was by then starring as “Ghost” in the Starz series Power, said, “Right here in Long Island City, a cop had an issue with me for whatever reason. … I went off on him because I thought to myself if I wasn’t me…”

When asked by Whoopi Goldberg what could be done to ease the tensions between police and the communities of color they serve, he offered, “Conversation is key. … The greatest education in life is the education of each other.”

Watch: Valerie Jarrett responds to Roseanne Barr on The View:

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: