Terence Crutcher's Police Shooting & Racial Bias in America

September 21, 2016 - Wendy Williams 09/21/2016 Views: 167,952

A cop in Tulsa, OK, guns down Terence Crutcher in yet another police shooting of an unarmed African-American man. (5:47)

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People always ask me, they go,

"Trevor, how do you...how do you laugh

when the news is sad? How do youfind the jokes and everything?"

I tell people it's notthat I find things funny--

it's that my mind uses that asa tool to protect me from pain.

And I always see that come up

whenever there's instancesthat pop up in the news.

And one of those instanceswas in Tulsa.

There was a shooting.

Another shooting.

A man by the nameTerence Crutcher,

an unarmed black man, right,

was killed by the police.

Now, this time, he's ca...

the man's car was strandedin the middle of the road.

And the police saythey pulled up,

and they-they weren't therebecause they thought

he was threatening or anything.They had a call

and they got thereand this man was there

and they said he refusedto listen to their instructions.

It's not... it's notreally clear what happened.

But what we do know is this,after the police released

a statement,they then released a video.

And that videodoesn't look good.

REPORTER: Video from a police chopper shows

40-year-old Terence Crutcher walking toward his SUV,

hands in the air, as officers surrounded him Friday night.

It's difficult to see exactly what happened

as Crutcher approached the driver's side window

of his SUV. But police say he was not cooperating.

Okay, I-I don't get that--not cooperating?

Because, I mean, it sure lookslike cooperation.

His-his hands are up, right?

Unless the cop was like,"Put your hands in the air

and now wave themlike you just don't care."

And he was like,"But I do care."

"Oh, you're not cooperating.You're not cooperating.

We got a guywho do cares over here."

It-it...Look, don't get me wrong,

it looks cut and dry to me.

But the truth is I wasn't there.

None of us were there,none of us were there,

We're never therein those situations.

We don't know what happenedbefore the video.

We don't know what the copexpected when they got there.

We don't know if the guy wason drugs or not on drugs.

What we do know is this,what we do know is this,

it seems extremely easy

to get shot by policein America.

Which is not right.

You know? And now, obviously,in a situation like this,

when a white officershoots a black person,

the first accusation is racism.

And the police officer'sfirst defense is,

"But what about all theblack people I haven't shot?"

Did him being a big black manplay a role

in her perceived danger?

No, him being a large manperceived a role

in-in her being in danger.

She's worked in this partof town for quite some time.

Um, and, you know?

Just the week before,

she was at an all-black highschool homecoming football game.

Oh, yeah, yeah,she was at a football game.

Yeah. You know what?The truth is, I'm actually...

I'm willing to accept that thispolice officer is not racist.

But her lawyer's defensehas introduced us

to one of the bigger problems

that you face in America,you know.

Because in an American city,

there's an all-blackhigh school,

and that's normal,instead of weird? You know?

Living in a societywhere racial divisions

are so deeply bakedinto every part of society

that we don't even notice itanymore?

An all-black high school?

That's a phrase, which, bythe way, is never followed by,

"Oh, you're talking about theone in the nice part of town?

Yeah, I know it. I know it."

Racial divisionsare so normalized in society

that people possess a bias

that they don't even realizethey have.

Just listen.Like, in the video...

In the video of the policemanin the helicopter,

listen to what he says aboutTerence Crutcher, all right?

Listen to himas he's flying over the scene.


I'm sorry. What does that mean?

What exactly about that manlooks bad to you

from all the way up therein your helicopter?

He's not holding a weapon,his hands are up.

He doesn't even havea hoodie on.

I mean, isn't that theinternational sign for bad dude?


You can't tell anythingabout this man

from up in the helicopter,except for one thing.

He's black.

That's the only thingyou can tell.

And you cannot denywe live in a world

where people see a black man,

and they're more likely tothink, "Oh, I might get robbed."

That's what people think.

It's implicit bias.Everyone has it.

I'm even guilty of that.

I walk down the street--and I won't lie to you--

I've never seen a white manwalking down the street,

and thought "Damn,I hope this guy doesn't mug me."

Yeah. I have crossed the street,though, because I'm like,

"Oh, I better keep this dudeaway from my pension fund."

Does you know this...this banker-looking (bleep)?

-(laughter, applause & cheering)-I do cross the street.

But you can't denythat there's a bias.

And people are going aroundon Twitter,

and people saying thingson the news where they're like,

"Oh, these black peopleneed to calm down.

Why are they rioting?Why are they saying this?"

Just ask yourself this question.

If the only timeyou encounter black people

is whenthey're policing crime...

Think about it.If police...

The only timeyou encounter black people

is when you're policing crime,

then your only experienceof black people

is that they're criminals.

-(applause) -That's your onlyexperience of them.

It's the same way as if the onlytime you see a Muslim man

is when he's on the newsfor blowing something up.

Then in your head,all Muslims are terrorists.

But if you live in the city,like New York, for instance,

that's full with Muslims,you see that guy on the news,

and then you bitchabout terrorism

to the guywho's making your kebab,

-who's also Muslim.-(laughter, applause)

You'll be like,

"Oh, this terrorism'sgetting crazy, Habib.

It's getting crazy."

"I know, Jeremy. These Sunnis.

-What are you gonna doabout it, huh?" -(laughter)

And the truth is, you can'tfix racial bias overnight.

You genuinely can't, all right?

The one thing you can do is notthink black people are crazy

for feeling oppressed

when every time they see a videoof themselves being engaged

by the police,it ends with them getting shot.

(cheers and applause)