Many Hollywood stars have chosen to remain silent as more and more Black people are shot and killed by police authorities each day. However, comedienne Sheryl Underwood recently used her position as a host on the daytime CBS show The Talk to explain why more needs to be done to address the unjust killings of Black people across the country.
Last Wednesday, Underwood was participating in a panel discussion about the recent highly publicized deaths of Black people, namely Terence Crutcher. He was killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma when his car stalled on the highway. The dash cam footage of the shooting, committed by Officer Betty Shelby who has since been convicted of manslaughter, has raised many questions about excessive force and proper methods for responding to citizen’s concerns for safety.
Underwood had some hard hitting comments on the issue.
In response to being asked how authorities should deal with shootings of unarmed citizens, especially people of color, Underwood said, “The first thing you’ve got to do. You’ve got to make it a hate crime.”
“You’ve got to put people in jail,” she said. “When you shoot somebody under the cover of authority, you need to lose your job and you need you need to lose your license and you need to lose your freedom like every other American loses their freedom.”
“Remember, there are good police officers out there,” Underwood said to resounding support from the audience and her peers. “And the ones that are not, they need to go to jail.” While this “bad apples” language has been roundly rejected by most organizers whose work centers around police and prison abolition, Underwood’s comments were still courageous given her station and position.
Underwood became very emotional as she finished her comments.
“They need to go to jail, and don’t tell me this ‘We got to train,’” she went on. “Y’all are White,” she told her co-hosts. “Y’all get to drive all the time and nothing happens to y’all. And we’re Black, and I’m afraid to drive my damn car because if they don’t know who I am, I could be shot.”
“And until y’all feel that,” she said while pointing out into the audience, “ain’t none of this gonna stop. Until you all, that are not Black feel us and stand with us, this is not going to stop.”
Watch the video below:
Photo: YouTube Screenshot