Larry Wilmore took on the topic of the Sandra Bland arrest — an incident raising major civil liberties and mental health concerns — on “The Nightly Show” Thursday night and could not not believe his eyes and ears at what he saw and heard on Fox News. And given Wilmore’s scathing opinions of Fox News and its coverage of major issues, it would take a lot to shock him. But shock him the Fox News Channel did. But that wasn’t all…
Raw Story reported July 24 that Larry Wilmore, on the Thursday night episode of the “The Nightly Show,” an entire show given over to the arrest and subsequent death (ruled a suicide) of 28-year-old Sandra Bland, found himself — shockingly — in agreement with Fox News. Historically, much like his Comedy Central colleagues Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, Wilmore has chastised, mocked, and even cursed the news stylings of the conservative-leaning news organization. In the segment, “Mess Within Texas,” He first lamented CNN’s coverage of the Sandra Bland arrest in Waller County, Texas, on July 10 and her subsequently being found in her jail cell three days. Wilmore noted that CNN effectively blamed Bland for escalating the incident leading up to her arrest.
Wilmore then turned to Fox News, which he had every expectation would be worse — far worse, given their usual script of ridiculing minorities defying authority. “I’m not sure if I can watch,” Wilmore said with a shake of his head. But what he saw instead were two Fox legal analysts condemning Bland’s arrest and imprisonment.
“Wow,” Wilmore responded, looking somewhat unsure of what he had witnessed. He went on, using a bit more colorful language: “This is how you know how f***ing crazy a situation is: when I totally agree with white people who are talking about race on Fox! That’s how crazy this is.”
Then he was hit with another surprise — even Donald Trump condemned the arrest. He showed a video clip of presidential candidate Trump telling Anderson Cooper during and interview on CNN that although he usually was a major supporter of police in general, the officer, he said, was “terribly aggressive.”
Wilmore was doubly shocked. “You’ve got to be s****ing me,” Wilmore laughed “Even Trump agrees! OK, we have lost cabin pressure, you guys,” he said. “Something ain’t right! Put on your mask!”
Here’s the craziness: Sandra Bland, who was moving from Illinois to Texas for a new job, was arrested on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, for an improper lane change. Actually, it was a minor traffic stop which, as Larry Wilmore explained earlier in the segment, escalated needlessly into a confrontation where the police officer threatened to taser Bland and would arrest her for non-compliance (although, again, Wilmore would demonstrate that Bland actually did — with a bit of attitude — comply with the officer’s requests). She would be found dead in her jail cell three days later, her death ruled a suicide by both a preliminary medical examiner and an official autopsy report.
The Bland family have publicly voiced their suspicions of the Waller County Sheriff’s Office (the institution the arresting officer belonged to), a released dash cam video of the arrest (shown in part on “The Nightly Show”), and the findings of the reports. They have ordered an independent autopsy.