Bill Maher: America Gets the ‘Abusive Part of Policing but Without the Law-and-Order Part’

Phil Owen

Bill Maher returned with a new episode of “Real Time” on HBO Friday night, and he largely dealt with the same topic that just about everyone in the country has focused on all week: the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and the resulting nationwide protests against police violence.

In the “New Rules” segment that ends the show, the comedian focused on how police forces around the country really need to police themselves. “I mean, forever we’ve been talking about bad cops, you know, bad apples. And then the vast majority of cops — good cops. But the real new rule is you can’t anymore get away with, ‘This is a bad cop, and any cops who aren’t actually committing the crime are good.’ The ones who watch and do crowd control for atrocities, they’re not good either,” Maher said. “That has to be the new standard. And it goes for all out-of-line behavior. If your partner is doing something horrendous, you can’t just watch and do nothing like the husband in a cuck video.

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“There’s a meme that says, ‘Nobody hates bad cops worse than good cops.’ OK, if you hate them so much, turn them in. Because let’s be real. If there wasn’t video of that murder, how do you think those other cops would have described that encounter? It would be, ‘We found Mr. Floyd unresponsive so we administered CPR…’ blah blah blah lie lie lie. ‘If you see something, say something’ has to apply to police too. You can’t get away with crimes on account of being the people who are supposed to stop crimes. “

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Maher also found it interesting that cops allowed so much looting during the protests, considering how ever-present and confrontational they were with protesters.

“And speaking of stopping crimes, we were a little slow to get to that in L.A. this week. I mean, sometimes I feel like we’re getting the worst of both worlds: the abusive part of policing but without the law-and-order part,” he quipped. “I’ve said many times in discussing the police, civilization is a mile wide and an inch deep. So when people say, ‘Cops are all that stands between civilization and chaos,’ absolutely, I agree. Cops are the badasses who deal with the dregs in an ugly business. But if cops want us to give them a little extra room to be tough because they’ve got a bad, dangerous job, then they got to do the bad, dangerous job. Which they have also done plenty of this week, to be fair. This is tough stuff now.”

Then he noted the irony of regular people having to defend businesses because the cops didn’t help.

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“But it was frustrating watching it on TV last Sunday. Car 54, where were you? It looked like Black Friday, but without cash registers. I did see a guy in Santa Monica turning away looters but it wasn’t a cop. Just a guy invoking a citizen doorman,” Maher said, as a couple videos played showing regular folks having to defend business without a cop in sight — including one particular young woman.

“One thing America does not lack for is police forces. Local cops, state, county, highway, sheriff’s department, federal marshalls, ATF, DEA, FBI, TSA, we got cops. But this lady had to step up,” he went on. “I try to understand as much as I can without being a cop. But it’s not like the jobs most people have, and it’s not. When a voice on the radio says, ‘Man with machete on 15th and Main,’ you have to go to 15th and Main. And I’m guessing cops rarely get called out to a redneck’s front porch because the guy wants to tell you how well the marriage is going.

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After making the allowance that, sure, police officers have a tough job, he said the issue here is just as much that they’re letting all the wrong people become cops.

“It’s a dangerous job, yeah, but I think we lose our battle with police misconduct when before a bad cop hits the streets because there’s not enough vetting about who becomes a cop in the first place. I swear to God, I think the root of the problem with bad cops isn’t always racism — it’s high school,” Maher said, echoing a common refrain seen on social media.

“‘How much of high school did you spend inside a locker?’ should be question number one on the psych evaluation. I’ve known quite a few cops in my day, and others I’ve met for briefer encounters on the side of the road. And they are mostly not that guy. But that guy is who we have to weed out. Instead of LAPD making the psych eval the last step in joining the force, make it the first. So meatheads with a chip on their shoulder aren’t given the license to perform urban executions.

“Tough guys have to do tough things. Right now it’s easy to spot the toughest police officers — they’re the ones telling their fellow cops, ‘You gotta stop this s—.’ A crack has been made in the blue wall of silence. Please, let it break down even further, altogether, or else we’re going to be in the streets again and again all the time. And in LA, that doesn’t work because, you know, we’re not really a walking town.”

Read original story Bill Maher: America Gets the ‘Abusive Part of Policing but Without the Law-and-Order Part’ (Video) At TheWrap