Watch Stephen Colbert brilliantly take down police militarization

The Department of Defense's "Take-a-Tank, Leave-a-Tank" program has done wonders for public safety VIDEO

Topics: Video, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, police militarization, Ferguson, , , ,

Watch Stephen Colbert brilliantly take down police militarization (Credit: Comedy Central)

On Tuesday evening’s “Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert turned his attention to the militarization of U.S. police departments after noting that people don’t feel secure anywhere anymore. The segment came in response to the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, last month after unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot numerous times by white cop Darren Wilson. The protests that followed were met with Ferguson and St. Louis County police forces in full riot gear, operating military vehicles and wielding tear gas canisters, leading some to compare the scene in Ferguson to one in a war zone.

“The cops don’t need armored personnel carriers because there is no violence! There’s no violence because the cops have armored personnel carriers. Same reason I don’t need to have sex because I’m carrying a condom,” he said.

“9/11 showed us just how vulnerable we are to violent attacks,” he continued. “That’s why today I live in a gated community with a fence no terrorist could possibly breach — unless they somehow acquire stool technology. So it’s no surprise that the same state-of-the-art security cameras that protect Times Square also protect Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska, population 15,039. Sorry al-Qaida, but the historic Lake Minatare Lighthouse will never stop shining. What’s that? It’s not a functional lighthouse? You win this round, bin Laden!”

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Colbert then “praises” the Department of Defense Excess Property Program, which he describes as the DoD’s “Take-a-Tank, Leave-a-Tank” program. “It has done wonders for little towns like Keene, New Hampshire, which obtained a surplus $286,000 BearCat armored vehicle, which they said is needed because the ‘threat is far reaching and often unforeseen … Keene currently hosts several large public functions to include … an annual Pumpkin Festival.’”

Watch the clip below.

Joanna Rothkopf
Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email jrothkopf@salon.com.

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