Last week, 40-year-old Terence Crutcher—who is black—was gunned down after his SUV was stopped on the street in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Several police cameras captured Crutcher, unarmed and with his hands over his head, absorbing a fatal gunshot wound from Officer Betty Shelby while walking back toward his car. The vehicle, according to an affidavit, had already been cleared of any potential threats.
Manslaughter charges were later brought against Officer Shelby for “unlawfully and unnecessarily” shooting Crutcher, according to the criminal complaint.
The shooting death of Crutcher was followed by another officer-involved shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, wherein Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was shot and killed by police after cops claim he waved a gun in their direction—though there have been conflicting accounts of this, and the video footage has yet to be released to the public. The killing of Scott has led to a series of protests in downtown Charlotte that turned violent, resulting in the civilian-on-civilian shooting death of Justin Carr, 26.
On Friday night’s edition of HBO’s Real Time, host Bill Maher addressed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s asinine reaction to the Charlotte protests.
“Of course, Donald Trump is making the situation better—as he always does,” Maher quipped. “He actually said this, he said, ‘If you’re not aware, drugs are a very big factor [in the protests].’ He’s like your 90-year-old aunt: ‘They’re all taking something!’ Yeah, they’re taking something alright: bullets.”
“The other day, Trump said, ‘African-American communities’—because he would know—‘are absolutely in the worst shape they have ever been ever, ever, ever,” added Maher. “Yes, Donald Trump, of all people… Donald Trump knows why the caged bird sings: because it used to live in his hair.”
Later on, during the panel discussion portion of the program, Maher discussed the shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the recent manslaughter charges brought against the shooter—Officer Betty Shelby, a white woman.
“You have to do it better,” said Maher. “The woman cop [in Tulsa] who shot the guy, now she is charged with manslaughter. I mean, she shouldn’t have done that, but I must say: she is also a victim. She’s a victim of bad police training. Police do not train the way they should! If you’re that nervous, you can’t do this job.”
“The Charlotte shooting, which we have some video,” he continued, before playing a portion of the cell-phone footage released Friday that was taken by Scott’s wife, Rakeyia Scott. “OK, we don’t know whether he had a gun, but even if he did, you don’t have to kill every time somebody does something that makes you nervous. We have to train our police to not be that guy who just empties the clip. If I was the police academy, I would say, ‘Wait until later in the encounter before you shoot.’ They seem to be teaching, ‘Shoot first thing in the encounter.’”