Ving Rhames’ famous face might have saved his life.
During an interview with The Clay Cane Show, Rhames revealed a police officer pointed a gun at him as he stood on his doorstep in Santa Monica, California.
The confession came after Cane asked the Mission Impossible star about his experiences with racism.
“I am sure you hear about all the reports of black men being attacked by police,” Cane asked Rhames. “You are a big star, but how does racism show itself in your life?”
Rhames’ answer proves, despite his stardom, he still deals with the reality of being a black man in America.
“This happened this year. I am in my home, it was around 2:15 p.m. in the afternoon,” Rhames said. “I have a screen door and then I have a wooden door…. I’m in my house, I’m in a pair of basketball shorts only. I have two English bulldog puppies. I hear a noise in my backyard, but I’m thinking the puppies are just running around, and then I get a knock on the front door.”
When he opened the door, Rhames says he was staring down the barrel of a 9mm handgun. The man with the gun pointed at him, a police officer, was supported by several other officers, the chief of police and even a police dog.
“I open the door and there is a red dot pointed at my face from a 9-mm. They say put up your hands, literally. I just walked and opened up the door….Then they said ‘open the front screen door.’ They say do it with one hand so then I have to do it with one hand. My hands are up and they have me outside,” Rhames says.
The chief of police recognized Rhames, and had the officers stand down. The officers revealed a neighbor called 911, telling the operator a “large black man” had broken into a home. When Rhames and the officers visited the person who made the call, that person denied it.
Rhames knows he was lucky, but the situation made him worry about his son.
“My problem is, as I said this to them, what if it was my son and he had a video game remote or something and you thought it was a gun?” Rhames asks.
Rhames isn’t the first public figure to have a frightening run-in with police. In May, NBA star Sterling Brown was seen being brutalized by police in a parking lot. The officer later joked about the incident on Facebook.