Real Time host Bill Maher denounced police in Pasco, Washington on Friday for their fatal shooting of a man running away from them.
"Tell me why that is not cowardly. Why is that not cowardly?" Maher said. "Yeah, throwing rocks -- not a cool thing. But then he's running away. Even if he was throwing rocks at the time, really? You've gotta shoot him?"
Authorities said 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks at the officers before being shot and killed. The incident was caught on video and, according to USA Today, has spurred not only local protests but criticism from the Mexican government.
"That is just straight-up shooting a guy in the street like a dog," Maher said. "We keep saying most cops are good, and I believe that; I've known a lot of good cops. But there is something systemic wrong here."
Author Baratunde Thurston told Maher that, just as he and other observers insist that moderate Muslims should denounce terrorism committed by extremists claiming to follow Islam, more officers should speak out against excessive use of force by their colleagues.
"To take that analogy a bit further, how much bad sh*t has to happen before people admit it's something systemic in the culture?" Maher responded. "The police culture needs a Page One rewrite. I don't know if it's retraining, rethinking, releadership. But something has to change where they think they can get away with doing it."
Economist Editor-In-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes argued to Maher that the conversation regarding police use of guns had to extend beyond police departments themselves.
"You need to have the conversation about race, and you need to have the conversation about police work, but you also need to have the conversation about guns," she explained. "Because the two together are what make this so difficult."
"Spoken like a true UK resident, where the 'bobbies' don't carry guns in urban areas," Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) told her.
"I submit it's a nicer place, in that sense," Minton Beddoes countered.
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.