On Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver discussed police brutality and white supremacy in the system after protests rose up all across the country, and the world, following the death of George Floyd. “For much of U.S. history, law enforcement meant enforcing laws that were explicitly designed to subjugate Black people,” Oliver explained, pointing out that Democrats like Bill Clinton played a roll in that, too, with his call for 100,000 more police in America.
Oliver delivered statistics about police brutality. Minneapolis police use force against Black people at seven times the rate of white people and that Black Americans are two and a half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police. On top of that, one in every 1,000 Black men can expect to be killed by police. “If you are Black in America, I can’t even imagine how scared, angry and exhausted you must feel,” Oliver admitted in his segment, which took up the entire episode. “The police are just one part of a larger system of racial inequality.”
He went on to explain the way police avoid accountability, especially with their union, which protects bad cops from being fired or even investigated. On top of that, if cops are sued, the city pays for their defense, and in five years, 10 cities with the largest police departments paid out $1.02 billion in settlements and court judgements. “If you’re spending a over a billion dollars on misconduct settlements you might want to seriously examine what conduct looks like.”
Watch the clip for more.