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Trevor Noah took time during Monday’s episode of The Daily Show to talk about instances of police violence against protesters amid the worldwide demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Noah began the segment by sharing that many people have compared the recent protests to the civil rights movement. “Much like the 1960s, law enforcement officers have met the calls to end police brutality with even more police brutality,” Noah said.
News coverage followed of cops across the country using military-style tactics to fight off protesters.
Noah explained that the cops are using heavy-duty equipment intended to fight off terrorists on protesters. “They’re using it against Americans that are exercising their right to protest,” he said.
While some people have defended cops for going after only violent protesters, Noah noted that “the police’s story never matches the actual footage.”
Over the past week, a number of people have uploaded videos of cops “attacking protesters with no provocation whatsoever.”
“I don’t care who you are. Those images have to be upsetting to watch. Because these images are the antitheses of what America is supposed to stand for,” said Noah. “This is supposed to be the country where you have the freedom to say whatever you want.”
Noah then called out police officers for making “a concerted effort to go after the free press,” which was followed by clips of cops blocking press from covering the protests.
Noah next addressed an incident in Buffalo, New York, that went viral. After two cops pushed a 75-year-old man, he fell down and blood was seen by his head on the ground. Fifty-seven other officers then walked past the injured man.
“I don’t care how many times I see that video. I will never get used to it,” said the host. “It’s bad enough that these cops push an old man who’s walking over to them, but the fact that they walk over him, they walk past him while he’s bleeding out on the sidewalk. Like who are you protecting and serving if not that old man?”
“These were just two that were caught on video,” Noah added. “As usual, when videos like this come out, the excuse is always the same. People always want to defend those police by saying, ‘Those are just a couple of bad apples.'”
“That argument falls apart when you see what happened after they pushed this old man to the ground,” continued Noah.
News clips explained that the cops originally reported that the man injured himself by tripping. When the video was released, the two cops were suspended without pay. Fifty-seven additional officers resigned from the emergency response team to stand in solidarity with the suspended cops.
“Not only did the police department try to cover up what happened, not only did they try to lie about something that we all saw on camera, but once the truth got out and the cops were punished, the entire team resigned to protest those police being held accountable,” recapped Noah. “In fact, they even showed up at the courthouse to cheer them on as they came out. What are you cheering? That Buffalo is finally safe from old men walking around in public?”
The host argued that police officers seem to have the same sense of loyalty as gang members. “Above all, you are loyal to your crew,” he said. “That is a culture that is within every police department, and that’s the heart of this issue. If good police are willing to look the other way or even join in when the bad police abuse their powers, you can make new rules and regulations all you want. But it won’t matter.”
“America’s not going to be able to fix this problem until we have police whose first priority is protecting and serving the people instead of protecting and serving themselves,” Noah concluded.
Watch the full segment below.
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