(AllHipHop News) "Power" star Omari Hardwick was once targeted by armed police in Los Angeles after he was mistaken for a murder suspect.
The actor revealed he was in his early 20s and in between careers, after his dreams of playing professional American football were dashed, when he had guns drawn on him by a group of overzealous cops.
"Early on..., when I was in L.A., freshly cut from the NFL, I fit the description of a murder suspect," Omari shared on talk show The View. "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 was forced to drop to his knees while he was questioned in the street, until the police chief arrived and ordered the officers to release him.
"It was an Asian cop who actually came in," the 44-year-old recalled. "He was the chief, did the flashlight (shone the light on him) and said, 'He's about six shades lighter than the suspect. Pick him up.'"
The run-in with the police left Omari shaken, and looking back now, he is thankful the incident didn't escalate.
However, it wasn't his only bad experience with law enforcement as he was also hassled by authorities in New York in 2016, before they recognized him from TV.
"Right here in Long Island City, a cop had an issue with me for whatever reason...," he remembered. "I went off on him because I thought to myself, 'If I wasn't me (famous), (what would have happened)...?'"
The brief confrontation occurred shortly after Philando Castile, an African-American resident in Minnesota, was fatally shot during a controversial traffic stop: "That was obviously inside of me and motivating some of my anger...," he said.
Asked by co-host Whoopi Goldberg how tensions between people of color and cops can be eased to avoid further tragic incidents, he insisted, "Conversation is key... The greatest education in life is the education of each other."
Omari's comments emerge days after fellow black actor Ving Rhames revealed he had once been held at gunpoint by police in his own home after a California neighbor reported a "large black man" had broken into his property.