The fatal shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina, Real Time host Bill Maher said on Friday, puts the lie on the common argument that most police officers are working to help their communities.
“I guess they are. But that second cop came over, and he was black, and he was helping the guy cover it up,” Maher argued. “If you’re helping to cover up this police culture, they’re not all good. There’s something wrong with the whole barrel. It’s not just a few apples.”
Maher said that, as unsettling as the footage of Scott being shot and killed by North Charleston Officer Thomas Slager was, it was also ugly for him to see how “non-chalant” Slager behaved following the incident.
The footage, captured by witness Feidin Santana, shows Slager firing eight times at Scott. Maher said it shows how the idea of the gun as the “tool of choice” has spread in American culture.
“We see it in movies. We see it in videos,” the host said. “It just seems like the gun is too ready and available. And also, why do guns always have to empty the whole clip?”
“The reason cops are supposed to empty the clip is that, in police training, you’re supposed to shoot to take down the person coming at you,” New York Times columnist Ross Douhat responded. “This is why people say, ‘Cops should be trained to shoot somebody in the ankle’ and so on. That doesn’t work. If you’re actually in a life-or-death situation, you’re supposed to aim for the center.”
“Really? I think that would work on me,” Maher replied. “I think if you get shot in the leg, it works. What bullsh*t is that?”
Roll Call EIC Christina Bellantoni noted that Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has advised residents to keep their cell phones charged at all times, pointing out that the spread of technology has allowed more instances of excessive force by police to be documented.
“It completely changes the conversation of criminal justice, in a way that’s probably scary to a lot of people,” she said. “You think about whatever happened many years ago, we’ll never know.”
“You mean this is not a coincidence?” Maher asked sarcastically. “That cops didn’t start shooting unarmed black people when we got iPhones?”
With police now “armed to the teeth,” CNN host Fareed Zakaria argued, data shows that Americans are now “50 times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist in the United States.”
“It just feels like we’ve gotten away from the Anglo-American system of justice, which was all about the rights of the individual,” Zakaria said. “That was meant to be the heart of what the Anglo-American justice system was about.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
‘Not surprised at all that the president sides with the white nationalists’: Native American Congresswoman
One of the first two Native America women blasted President Donald Trump for siding with white nationalists on Saturday.
Following the fatal "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, Trump claimed there were "fine people" on both sides when he defended the alt-Right and Neo-Nazi event.
Two years later, Trump has gone even further, blaming only the anti-fascist activists confronting far-right marching in Portland, Oregon in a way that reminds many of the invasion of Charlottesville.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) was asked about Trump's tweet by CNN's Ana Cabrera.