Trevor Noah Says "No One Is Winning" Following Breonna Taylor Decision

Trevor Noah on Comedy Central
Courtesy of Comedy Central

Trevor Noah took a moment during Thursday night's The Daily Show to react to the Kentucky grand jury's decision regarding the Breonna Taylor case.

Earlier this week, it was decided that no charges would be brought against Louisville police in the March shooting death of Taylor. The only charges brought forth were wanton endangerment against a fired officer for shooting into a neighbor's home next to Taylor’s. The decision resulted in outcry, anger and frustration, sparking protests demanding justice for the late 26-year-old. Politicians, as well as athletes such as LeBron James and stars including George Clooney and Ava DuVernay blasted the outcome.

The late night host called the decision "disappointing but predictable." Noah went on to admit that after seeing the outcome and anger that followed, he only thought of one thing.

"As I watched what unfolded yesterday, whether it was in the streets of Kentucky or between people interacting online, I found myself asking one question that just couldn't get unstuck from my mind … who is winning in this whole thing?" he asked. Noah said that though the election is approaching, he doesn't believe this will be an issue solved by the election, but rather the focus should be placed "on the ground" with "the lives of people."

"Breonna Taylor's family isn't winning. They lost a loved one. They got no justice and they've been thrust into a political firestorm," Noah said. "Black people definitely aren't winning because they've basically been told that a cop can just barge into your house and shoot you and not only that, they can say that they were defending themselves in your house. If only the criminal justice system valued Black people as much as drywall," he quipped.

He went on to emphasize that Black people are always told the same things on how to best avoid cops, whether by just being a good person, having a job or not committing any crimes. "But what is it now?" Noah asked. "If you told the police to do their job better and not burst into places assuming everyone is a criminal threat, then this wouldn't happen."

He argued that following the deaths of Taylor and George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this year it's conclusive that "Black people aren't winning. … Why doesn't America treat the police as responsible for their own actions?" Noah asked. "They're human beings who should be accountable for what they do."

The host pointed out that the jury's decision exemplifies contradictions with the "story America tells people. A story America tells people that the Second Amendment means you should get a gun to protect yourself, but then that same America tells you that if you use your gun to protect yourself in your home then the cops have a right to kill you, and that sounds like a tyrannical government to me."

Despite a demand for police reform, Noah acknowledged that the police are not winning either, because "they lose the trust of the community they're meant to protect and serve." He also noted that police and their families are now paranoid out of fear that they'll get hurt. "Being a policeman in America is already terrifying," he said.

But nonetheless, Noah says, "a policeman is a policeman" and can be held accountable. "They're part of a structure and when they're not held accountable, only chaos will ensue."

As protests continue following Wednesday's decision, Noah noted that many join protests, not because they necessarily have a desire to, but "because other people can't live their lives."

"Black people are exhausted. Millions of Americans are exhausted. They're tired. Tired of feeling like they're hunted. Tired of protesting in the streets in order to be viewed as equals. They're tired of people telling them how to protest, and trust me when I say Black people would rather be at home taking a nap."

Following the grand jury decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron urged people to keep protests peaceful and, Noah mentions, advised that "mob justice is not justice." Noah countered, "But then what happens when justice is not justice? What part of it is justice? Nobody's winning. As a society, we are all losing right now and until there's real justice, nobody wins."