The comedian made the comment in reference to the US president’s widely criticised photo op in a Washington church, which took place shortly after police used tear gas on nearby protesters.
Speaking on his topical HBO series Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver discussed the possibility of police reform by consent decree, amid mass protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while being arrested by Minneapolis police.
Oliver said: “One good way to attempt to get reforms past a union’s resistance is if the Federal Government steps in – which it actually can. It has the power to investigate police departments for a pattern of civil rights violations.
“Enter what is called a consent decree, in which the police department agrees to make institutional changes which are then overseen by a federal court. That can be a powerful tool to force change.”
He continued: “The problem is: how or even whether the government does that depends on who’s running it, and right now, it’s this wildly unsuccessful bible salesman. And he clearly has no interest in police reform.”
These comments were followed by footage from 2017 of Trump addressing an audience of police officers, telling them: “don’t be too nice.”
Said the president: “When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over, like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”
In Bristol, protests that stemmed from Floyd’s death yesterday (7 June) led to a statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston being pulled down and rolled into a river.
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