John Oliver took the Ferguson police force to task last night on his new HBO show Last Week Tonight.
Oliver devoted much of his show on Sunday night to the situation in Ferguson. He scolded governor Jay Nixon for treating the people of Ferguson like school children, he ripped the officers for being completely tone deaf to the situation, and he pointed out that the militarization of police is not only unnecessary, but it’s also widespread.
After pointing out that the city of Keene, New Hampshire recently requested a Bear Cat to protect their annual pumpkin festival, Oliver said: “Unless you live in downtown Kabul, there is absolutely no need for anything like that in your town.”
The militarization of police is a major problem, according to Oliver, but taking away military grade weapons from local police forces isn’t going to solve the problem.
As Oliver puts it: “So how to we solve the problem? Well, you could demilitarize the police force to make things stop looking like (a war zone). But that only changes the optics. The substance of the problem would still be there. As was embodied by an officer on the streets of Ferguson this week… (Cut to an officer saying) ‘Bring it. Bring you f***ing animals.'”
Here’s John Oliver’s take on the situation in Ferguson from Last Week Tonight.