Powerful show on police brutality

On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver devoted the entire show to the need for police reform in the US and what the options are. It is an excellent show about what needs to be done to deal with the toxic police culture in the US that has led to so much brutality. One of the things he focuses on is the very negative role played by police unions.

I am really glad that so many white, Hispanic, and Asian groups have identified with and joined in the protests. That is a sign of hope because we need a broad multi-racial and multi-ethnic and multi-generational coalition to get real change.

At the very end, he hands the last word to one of the protestors and what she says is very powerful. It is a necessary reminder, if we needed one, of what I have been saying repeatedly, that while those of us who are not black can maybe intellectually appreciate and empathize with the black experience, we cannot really feel the depth of anger that has been simmering for so long in the black community and that has exploded now and to which she gives such eloquent expression. The whole 33-minute show is worth watching but if you do not have the time, go straight to the 31:00 minute mark, just before he hands off to her.


  1. Who Cares says

    At 16:24 just having to file paper work if you pull a gun and the union flipped out? They should visit here and see what happens when a cop actually fires the gun. It will be investigated and it will be a very thorough investigation if the bullet actually hit someone. They are even starting to change the law since cops were getting in financial trouble due to the type of investigation labeling them as risks financially speaking and being under investigation for a year plus to make sure that shooting someone was indeed the only option would result in for example the inability to refinance or get a mortgage during that period.

    And that also kind of answers how we think here about the insanity that qualified immunity is for cops. Especially if the actions taken for doing their job were not only not necessary but also so over the top that they would result in murder charges for anyone else. Yes put in an barrier like those anti-SLAPP laws that are slowly showing up across the US so people won’t sue a cop for stopping them during a traffic stop but flat out immunity since the cop is working should not happen.

    And for the last part where she explains why they are burning and looting. Might want to look further then that in the hopes of getting out of that inaction Oliver spoke about a minute earlier. The problem is that that would most likely start a true civil war when you start to destroy enough assets of the entrenched interests to hurt them instead of tickling/annoying them like is happening now.

  2. Sam N says

    Would it start a civil war? That is an extraordinarily undesirable outcome. For all of us, but especially for the entrenched interests. Maybe they’ve become too fat and lazy to make the compromises they did during the great depression, but I don’t believe they are quite that stupid. They still get to repress and enslave the less wealthy, just not quite so brutally. That is in comparison to a real chance they will be dragged out of their safe paradises and killed. Optimal behavior is start swinging progressive and take a 20% hit on their obscene wealth.

  3. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Getting rid of qualified immunity won’t open an explosion of cases against cops. Cops would still enjoy absolute immunity for lawful and proper actions on the job. We need to remove qualified immunity entirely.

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