Comedian Dave Chappelle addressed the village council on Monday night in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, to give his thoughts about the search for a new police chief in the context of enhanced police-community relations.
The incumbent police chief resigned earlier this year after a controversy involving a scuffle between cops and a black suspect on New Year’s Eve in the town with a population of about 3,500.
The incident/scandal made national headlines after the New York Times published an account of what happened, which appears to be very much in dispute.
“What the police saw as a justified arrest, many witnesses considered unnecessary police escalation,” the Times noted.
“Chappelle made his appearance during a council review of a report on the tactics the police officers used that night,” CNN explained about the comedian’s trip to the public microphone which was met with resounding applause. See clip embedded below.
Yellow Springs is a liberal enclave near Antioch College, Deadline Hollywood detailed. “The village’s left-leaning, activist culture and generally peaceful, woodsy setting made the New Year’s Eve tackling and arrest of an African American man during an annual outdoor holiday celebration all the more newsworthy.”
Stepping up to the podium, Chappelle began his remarks by praising the police based on his own interactions with them.
“I gotta be honest. For me, personally, the police have been actually sensitive to my situation. I know on at least two occasions where they protected my own well-being, my personal well-being, unsolicited from me, so I appreciate that.”
He went on to characterize the New Year’s Eve encounter in the southwestern Ohio community as a “huge gaffe” by cops, but added that “in all fairness, the crowd was drunk,” and noting that he left the celebration early “because nobody felt completely right.”
Traditionally, police officers were part of the fabric of the Yellow Springs community, Chappelle recalled. Things have changed over time, and now most of the cops live elsewhere in the area. “Now we are being policed by what feels like an alien force,” Dave Chappelle claimed.
Chappelle said that in making a careful selection of a new police chief, the Yellow Springs village council is presented with a golden opportunity to take the lead in what he called progressive law enforcement.
“I would beseech the council to look deeply and look hard…In this Trump era, here’s an opportunity to show everybody that local politics reigns supreme. We could make our corner of the world outstanding. So I’m just begging you to find a candidate that matches the culture of this town, which is incredibly unique, which is renowned for being incredibly unique.”
Dave Chappelle moved back with his family to Yellow Springs, his childhood home, after exiting the Comedy Central hit Chappelle’s Show in 2006; he apparently ordinarily keeps a low profile in town.
Facilitating his comedy comeback, Netflix is paying Dave Chappelle a reported $60 million for three specials, the Inquisitr previously reported, two of which drop on March 21. Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy specials will be the first such content that he has released in 12 years.
Two of the specials are coming from Dave’s archive, while the third will be produced by Netflix. This is a huge deal, both for Chappelle, who has remained off the comedy radar for years, and for Netflix. The two previously recorded standups include one from Austin City Limits circa April 2015 and another from the Hollywood Palladium recorded in March 2016. He will be touring this month as well. Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live in November 2016 as part of his reentry into the entertainment circuit.
[Featured Image by Scott Roth/Invision/AP Images]