Following the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling at the hands of two white police officers on Tuesday, Larry Wilmore spoke out about the pervasive issue of racially charged police brutality. On Wednesday's Nightly Show, Wilmore expressed anger at a system that allows such behavior from law enforcement but gratefulness for the widespread utilization of smartphones, without which such incidents might never make headlines.
"Thank god for fucking cell phones," Wilmore said Wednesday, on the same night another shooting death of a black citizen by police was captured on Facebook Live. "We would never even hear about incidents like this this otherwise. In fact, part of what makes people in the black community so enraged about this is, for years, we never had evidence of these things."
Referencing the officers' claims that their body cameras "fell off" during the encounter, Wilmore minced no words. "Fell off?" Wilmore said. "Things don't just fall off unless you're talking about Sisqó and the face of the fucking earth!" The recent host of Obama's final White House Correspondents' Dinner, who's sadly had to speak on issues of police brutality many times before, then ripped media outlets and law enforcement agencies who use such situations to attack the character of the deceased.
"Martha Stewart has a criminal record," Wilmore noted. "I don't remember her being executed in a convenience store parking lot. Maybe I missed it, but it feels like that would have made the Huffington Post, at least. No matter what his crimes were, Alton Sterling did not deserve to be executed for them." As Wilmore explained, even if someone resists arrest, that resistance shouldn't end in their death.
"The punishment for resisting arrest shouldn't be death," Wilmore said. "The punishment for selling bootleg CDs shouldn't be death. The punishment for having a gun in an open-carry state shouldn't be death. The punishment for being a black man shouldn't be death."