Dave Chappelle spoke out against unnecessary police violence and pitched the importance of local politics during a city council meeting in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The meeting was held in response to an incident New Year’s Eve during which police tased two black men, sparking a debate in the predominately white and liberal college town about racism and aggressive police tactics.
In his remarks, Chappelle expressed an appreciation for the Yellow Springs Police Department, noting the occasions where they’ve helped him and his family, but called the New Year’s Eve incident a “huge gaffe.”
Though born and raised in and around Washington D.C., the comedian spent much of his childhood in Yellow Springs, where his father taught at Antioch College. Chappelle noted that the local police department no longer felt comprised of recognizable residents, saying, “Now we are being policed by what feels like an alien force.”
Chappelle expressed concern over the city council hiring new law enforcement officials from a national pool of applicants and urged them to find someone who fit the character and ideals of Yellow Springs. “I would beseech the council to look deeply and a little hard because this is a golden opportunity – literally we could kill the game – in this Trump era, this is an opportunity to show everybody that local politics reigns supreme. We can make our corner of the world outstanding.”
Outside of participating in local politics, Chappelle remains busy with stand-up. Along with a handful of upcoming live dates, the comedian will release two new specials on Netflix March 21st. The Age of Spin was filmed at the Hollywood Palladium in March 2016, while Deep in the Heart of Texas was filmed April 2015 in Austin. Chappelle is also expected to release a third special of all new material on Netflix this year.