‘Daily Show’ Skewers Critics of Police Brutality Protesters


Jon Stewart expertly schools folks who complain about people who speak out about the deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, John Crawford, and Michael Brown.

Tens of thousands of outraged protesters have taken to America’s streets or worn T-shirts demanding justice for Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, and Eric Garner—all unarmed black boys and men who were killed by police officers in recent months. But according to some cable news talking heads and law enforcement advocates, the people marching in the street and the professional athletes wearing shirts with Garner’s last words—“I can’t breathe”—are America’s real problem.

Enter Jon Stewart, who on Wednesday night’s episode of The Daily Show showed just how misguided many critics of the protesters truly are.

Stewart begins his takedown by showing clips that reveal the ridiculousness of some news anchors’ complaints about protesters who have flooded the nation’s streets.

“But when you block traffic, that’s a form of violence,” said Fox News’ John Stossel in one clip.

“How dare these marchers put our streets in some kind of…let’s call it a ‘chokehold’ of traffic,” quipped Stewart, referencing Eric Garner’s death after NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo choked him.

Stewart then epically rakes Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera over the coals. Rivera suggested that LeBron James should wear a T-shirt that said “Be a better father to your son. Raise your children.” Rivera, of course, was implying that black men abandon their children. Stewart’s response revealed exactly how hypocritical Rivera’s words are. He put an image of Rivera next to James and said, “One of these men has five kids in various locations by multiple baby mamas—and the other is LeBron James.”

But Stewart at his best comes at the 3:49 mark, when he takes on the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, whose president, Jeffrey Follmer, demanded this week that Cleveland Browns football player Andrew Hawkins apologize for wearing a “Justice for Tamir Rice and John Crawford III” shirt before the NFL team’s Sunday game against the Indianapolis Colts. Police shot Crawford, 22, to death in August while he held a toy gun he had picked up in a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio, and 12-year-old Rice was shot in November while playing with a toy airsoft gun at his neighborhood park in Cleveland.

Stewart played damning news clips from a Justice Department report about the use of excessive force by Cleveland police.

“I guess the only difference is when football players use excessive force, they get penalized,” said Stewart.

Stewart ended the segment with must-watch footage of Hawkins explaining to the news media why he wouldn’t be saying sorry to law enforcement officers—it’s an explanation that any protester of these police brutality incidents could probably give.

“To me, justice means the innocent should be found innocent; it means those who do wrong should get their due punishment. Ultimately it means fair treatment,” said Hawkins. “So a call for justice shouldn’t offend or disrespect anybody. A call for justice shouldn’t warrant an apology.”

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