VIDEO: John Oliver's Brilliant Rant on Why Police Must Have Their Military 'Toys' Taken Away
HBO's John Oliver dove right into events in Ferguson last night, entertaining as he informed his audience about the absurd over-militarization of America's police forces and, of course, the ugly underlying racism of this push. "Police are dressed like they are ready for an assault on Falluja," Oliver said of the now famous photo featured on CNN of multiple camo-clad police officers pointing high-powered rifles at a black man with his hands raised. "Police are not soldiers," Oliver stressed. "Why are they wearing camouflage? If they want to blend in with the surroundings, they should be dressed as Dollar Stores."
The rant is Oliver's usual blend of hilarity, facts and outrage. And he has, as always, done his research helpfully deepening the story of police militarization in America. One New Hampshire town police department got an armored vehicle to protect its pumpkin festival from terrorist threats. Another fun fact: There are 50,000 swat raids per year, 79 percent of which are for low-level drug offenses. "Yes," Oliver counsels, "if you are getting high in your dorm room right now, you are not paranoid. There is a SWAT team waiting outside."
Watch, learn, and you too can be as appalled as Oliver: