Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) argument that a cigarette tax led to Eric Garner’s death didn’t hold up for Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Thursday night.
“What the f*ck are you talking about?” Stewart asked after playing footage of Paul’s remarks. “I guess now we know what it takes for a senator from Kentucky to admit cigarettes can kill. I don’t know what to say. I appreciate the purity of your anti-tax dogma, but the cigarette tax is truly the least salient aspect of this case.”
Earlier in the day, Paul blamed the $5.85 state tax on cigarette packs for causing the fatal encounter between Garner and New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo this past July, saying, “Some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so they’ve driven cigarettes underground so as to not make them so expensive.”
But Stewart compared Paul’s reasoning to saying that government parking regulations caused the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
“Honestly, Eric Garner could have been out there with mixtapes or squeegees or a snocone, and the same kind of sh*t could have happened” Stewart argued. “For the second time in 10 days, a grand jury — which at least in federal cases has a 99 percent indictment rate — failed to indict an officer who caused the death of an unarmed citizen.”
Stewart also issued a “correction” on his commentary from Wednesday night.
Instead of saying no one connected to Garner’s death was indicted, he explained, he should have pointed out that 22-year-old Ramsey Orta, who videotaped the encounter, was in fact indicted by a grand jury shortly afterwards.
“Let that be a lesson to you kids out there: photographing crime does not pay,” Stewart said.
Watch Stewart’s commentary, as posted online on Thursday, below.
John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police
John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.
It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."
While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.
WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops
Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.
Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.
"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.