Real Time host Bill Maher accused the Tea Party, who has been concerned with a massive expansion of government and America’s collapse into tyranny since the black guy was elected President, of ignoring actual tyranny: the militarization of America’s police force.
Maher pointed out that violent crime is at a forty year low, but police forces have stopped actually looking like police, and instead appear more like armored, heavily armed paramilitary units.
“I bought a glue gun once, and by the end of the weekend my dog’s face was stuck to the toilet rim,” Maher said. “But in West Springfield, Massachusetts, the police department’s new toy is two grenade launchers. Why? In case Boko Haram takes Connecticut? It’s hard enough keeping the George Zimmermans out of the police academy without including bazookas in the brochure.”
Maher acknowledged that police face new threats every day–like open carriers who advocate for openly threatening cops as a means of reducing police violence (because that’ll work)–but feels that there is no excuse for the increasingly strong-arm tactics of police.
“…when I was a kid, there was no such thing as Shia LaBeouf,” he quipped — the deployment of SWAT teams, which used to happen a few thousand times a year, now seemed to be happening 1,000 times a week,” he said. “Once you start dressing and equipping people like an occupying army, they start acting like one.”
Maher highlighted the California Highway Patrol beating of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock, a homeless woman, for attempting to walk onto the freeway. “Even worse, that’s their training video,” Maher said, drawing groans from the crowd. “This guy has been demoted to desk duty while officials conduct a review, but what’s to review? He’s punching an old lady in the face.”
Maher said that most cops don’t act like this (especially ones who might pull him over and notice the strange, skunky smell emanating from his vehicle). “You’re fine. And handsome,” Maher quipped. “And I rarely say that to a man. Thank you for your service.”
“You know, police, we want to be on your side,” Maher said, “But the words on your car–‘Protect and Serve’–refer to us, not you.” He added, “You know, in the ’90s, conservatives used to warn of jackbooted government thugs coming to take away our freedoms, but where are those conservatives today when we need them?”
“This is the massive expansion of government power that you numbskulls in the Tea Party should be freaking out about,” Maher concluded. “You’re always screaming about the loss of liberty, and how tyranny is coming. Yeah, it’s coming right through the door with a battering ram, no warrant, and a stun grenade. Or to put it in a way you can understand, I’m scared of the cops, and I’m white.”