English MLS star Nedum Onuoha says he never feels '100% safe' in the US because the police could read him wrong and kill him at any moment

Getty/Alika JennerNedum Onuoha.
  • The English MLS defender Nedum Onuoha says he never feels “100% safe” in the US because the police could read him wrong and kill him at any moment.
  • Onuoha, formerly of the English clubs Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers, joined Real Salt Lake in 2018.
  • “If they read me the wrong way, then my life could be taken,”Onuoha told the BBC. “I feel that every single day.”
  • Onuoha’s remarks come amid mass protests in the US following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on May 25.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The English MLS defender Nedum Onuoha says he never feels “100% safe” in the US because the police could read him wrong and kill him at any moment.

Onuoha, who played in the Premier League for Manchester City, Sunderland, and Queens Park Rangers, joined Real Salt Lake in 2018.

“I am always very wary of how I behave and how it could be viewed by people who have power,” the 33-year-old told the BBC in an interview published Tuesday. “For me personally, overall I don’t like to say it, but I have a fear and distrust towards police.”

Onuoha’s remarks come after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis on May 25 following an arrest in which a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

A video of Floyd’s final moments, in which he can be seen begging for his life, has sparked mass protests across the US against the treatment of black people by the police.

“I have loved living in this country, but there is [another] side of it,” Onuoha added.

“In the UK, I am more comfortable because if something happens, it probably will not be deadly – but over here because of their rights it is more common that altercations become deadly. I am always very aware of that whenever I go around anywhere.

“I am comfortable, but when it comes to any kind of brutality, if it’s from the police, if they read me the wrong way, then my life could be taken. I feel that every single day. It is not just me but everybody else as well.

“I am not trying to be overly critical to the police – there are plenty of good police officers out there, but sometimes I feel like people put police on a pedestal and make them seem superhuman.

“But the fact is over here they are just people from society with a badge and a gun and a lot more power.

“If you worry about the man next door, why would you not worry about the person patrolling the streets who now has more power, more guns but the same views?

“I never go out and feel 100% safe.”

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