Trevor Noah examined the police shooting of Jacob Blake — as well as the non-violent arrest of a gunman accused of shooting protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin — on Wednesday’s The Daily Show.
“Why do some people get shot seven times in the back, while other people are treated like human beings and reasoned with and taken into custody with no bullets in their bodies?” Noah asked. “How come Jacob Blake was seen as a deadly threat for a theoretical gun that he might have and might try to commit a crime with, but this gunman who was armed and had already shot people who had shown he was already a threat was arrested the next day, given full due process of the law and generally treated like a human being whose life matters? How did Dylann Roof shoot up a church, James Holmes shoot up a movie theater and both lived to tell about it?”
Noah first recapped the shooting of Blake, a reportedly unarmed black man who was shot by a police officer seven times in the back in front of his own children. Blake was trying to break up a domestic incident when police arrived on the scene.
“No matter how many times I watch these videos, I’ll never get used to how quickly police go from issuing commands to using deadly force,” Noah said. “Whatever happened to warning shots or tackling a suspect? Are we really meant to believe that the only two options a cop had were to do nothing or shoot somebody in the back seven times?”
Noah added, “What purpose do bullets 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 serve?”
The Blake shooting sparked protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere, which in turn resulted in an increased law enforcement presence as well as gun-toting men flocking into the area to protect businesses from protesters.
“Once again, the pattern repeats itself: An unarmed black person is shot by the cops. In response, people go into the streets. More law enforcement is sent in, and the chaos only continues to build,” Noah said. “No one drives into a city with guns because they love someone else’s business that much. That’s some bullshit. No one ever thought, ‘That’s my solemn duty to pick up a rifle and protect that T.J. Maxx.’ They do it because they’re hoping to shoot someone.”
Noah continued: “Not only have black people been mistreated for generations by the police, but, because there is almost never any police accountability, these incidents remain an open wound, and the pain and anger just builds and builds with no closure or relief. Black people are tired of hearing ‘I’m sorry’ and then nothing happening, because essentially what they’re really hearing is ‘I’m sorry this is happening, and that it’s going to happen again.'”