Ac­quit­tal of US cop no laugh­ing mat­ter for Noah

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

ON ONE episode of Com­edy Cen­tral’s The Daily Show LAST week, Trevor Noah de­voted the sec­ond half of his mono­logue to his dev­as­ta­tion af­ter see­ing the just-re­leased dash-cam video footage of the Min­nesota po­lice of­fi­cer who fa­tally shot Phi­lando Castile dur­ing a traf­fic stop last year.

“On the show, we spoke about the killing of Phi­lando Castile and the ver­dict that ex­on­er­ated the po­lice of­fi­cer who shot him. And hon­estly, I thought that I felt all I could feel about this story – un­til I got home, and I watched a newly re­leased video,” Noah told his au­di­ence. “And if you have al­ready watched this video, you don’t have to watch it again.

“I wouldn’t say any­one has to watch this video, but if you haven’t seen it, it is graphic, and you prob­a­bly should watch it. And we’re go­ing to play it for you now.”

Af­ter he showed the video, Noah con­tin­ued:

“I won’t lie to you. When I watched this video, it broke me. It just – it broke me. You see so many of these videos, and you start to get numb, but this one? See­ing the child, that lit­tle girl, get­ting out of the car, af­ter watch­ing a man get killed, it broke my heart into lit­tle pieces. Like, I thought of every joke peo­ple make about ‘Oh, the most con­fus­ing day in the hood is Fa­ther’s Day – Peo­ple don’t know where their par­ents are, ha-ha. Black dads’. That’s a black dad that’s gone. That’s a child that grows up not know­ing what it’s like to have some­body in their life.

“You watch that video, and you know what’s the most painful thing? For years, for years, peo­ple said that there’s a sim­ple so­lu­tion to po­lice shoot­ings: ‘Just give the po­lice body cam­eras. Film ev­ery­thing. Then there will be no ques­tion about what hap­pens.’ Yeah. And black peo­ple have al­ready taken that ini­tia­tive, right? Thanks to cell­phones, every black per­son has a body cam now.

“Black peo­ple have been say­ing for years: ‘Just give us an in­dict­ment, just an in­dict­ment. You know, what, just get us in front of a jury, in front of a jury of our peers, of our fel­low cit­i­zens. We’ll show them the video, the ev­i­dence, and then they will see it, and jus­tice will be served.’ And black peo­ple fi­nally get there, and it’s like: ‘Wait, what? Noth­ing?’ You hear the sto­ries, but you watch that, and – for­get race. Are we all watch­ing the same video? The video where a law-abid­ing man fol­lowed the of­fi­cer’s in­struc­tions to the let­ter of the law and was killed re­gard­less.

“Peo­ple watch that video and then voted to ac­quit? And the sad­dest thing is that wasn’t the only video that they watched.”

(Shows footage from Castile’s girl­friend, Di­a­mond Reynolds, whose Face­book Live stream af­ter the shoot­ing went vi­ral last year. She says: ‘You shot four bul­lets into him, sir.’)

“But still, ac­cord­ing to the law, the jury had to make a de­ci­sion… And their opin­ion, hav­ing watched that video, hav­ing lis­tened to that ex­change, they still said, ‘Yes, yes, I can see why that cop was afraid’.

“But why? Let’s be hon­est. Just why? Why would they say he was afraid? Was it be­cause Phi­lando Castile was be­ing po­lite? Was it be­cause he was fol­low­ing the of­fi­cer’s in­struc­tions?

Or was it be­cause Phi­lando Castile was black?

Was it be­cause he was in the car with his fam­ily? Or was it be­cause Phi­lando Castile was black?

“It’s one thing to have the sys­tem against you – the district at­tor­neys, the po­lice unions, the courts – that’s one thing. But when a jury of your peers, your com­mu­nity, sees this ev­i­dence and de­cides that even this is self-de­fence, that is truly depressing. Be­cause what they’re ba­si­cally say­ing is in Amer­ica, it is of­fi­cially rea­son­able to be afraid of a per­son just be­cause they are black.” – The Wash­ing­ton Post

PIC­TURE: AP

NOT SO FUNNY: Trevor Noah on set dur­ing a tap­ing of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in New York.

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