Human Rights

Bill Maher Is Sick of Police Brutality, Tells Colbert He Wants Cops to Take a Psychology Test (Video)

Maher said some cops are on the force to make up for a past lack of authority.

Photo Credit: The Late Show/YouTube

On "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert Thursday, Bill Maher, host of "Real Time With Bill Maher" did not mince words when asked about the tragedies of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the Dallas police officers last week. 

Bill Maher began the discussion with Colbert by admitting he's a “bit of a cynic” who believes “civilization is a mile wide and an inch deep.”

“You know the movie The Purge?” Maher asked Colbert. “It’d be that every day without the police."

"There should be a social order and there should be some authority," Colbert agreed. 

“Right, and without it, in two days you would eat my liver...." Maher predicted ominously. "And it would be good for you,” he added.

Maher then got serious.

“Obviously anytime someone shoots a policeman, it’s just abhorrent, and there’s no and, ifs or buts about it, so I don’t condone it. But I understand it. I mean, you can only look at so many videos of shooting unarmed black people. I’m surprised it didn’t actually happen before," Maher said.

Colbert had some wise words from half a century ago. 

“Kennedy said famously, 'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable,'" Colbert remarked. "And the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to raise awareness of the fact that this has been going back a long time and then it passes. There’s something wrong here that has to be addressed," he said.

Maher stressed that he does see both sides, but wants change regardless. 

"So, obviously violence is wrong on both sides, but I’ve been talking about police culture in this country a long time. We all need the police....I don’t think most policemen are bad people, I don’t think most policemen would do the things we see on tape, but there is that thin blue line mentality where they protect their own," Maher told Colbert.

And in Maher's opinion, things aren't getting better, they've just become more apparent through technology. 

“I certainly don’t think it’s any better. We just see it more," Maher said. 

Comparing the priesthood to the police department, Maher had some other interesting views.

“They attract the wrong kinds of people sometimes," he concluded. "I think there’s a lot of people who go into police work because they were the person who, when they were young, they had no authority, they were kind of losers and and now they want to have the ability to lord it over people. The police department cannot be revenge for high school," asserted Maher.

"Are you speaking of a few people or are you painting with a broad brush?” asked Colbert.

Maher isn't sure yet. 

"We don’t know," Maher told the host. "But I’ve seen enough videos to know that there are too many cops that act like that. I mean, any is too many. And yes, I think that’s the type of person that goes into police work. And by the way, you can eliminate that. There are psychology tests that you can take: Why do you want to be policemen?" he said. 

Maher also doesn't buy the "difficult job" excuse that's often used by police officers.

“It is a difficult job... that you volunteered for," Maher pointed out.

Watch:

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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