During Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver took a deep dive into the growing issue of police brutality and accountability, attempting to cut away the B.S. excuses and look at real solutions to the issue.

Oliver showed clip after clip of conservative cop-defenders who claim that those who murder innocents in cold blood are so-called “bad apples,” which are present in every occupation. But as Oliver points out, a “bad apple” in the cake decorating business misspells a word on a special dessert, while a “bad apple” cop ends lives.

“The police will also argue that what they have is less an institutional problem than it is an individual one.”

Oliver said that referring to cops who kill as bad apples is an overly reductive view of a complex situation. Rather than searching out the real sources of these behaviors, many are keen to dismiss the acts as anomaly in an otherwise admirable profession – that is just not so.

Oliver also pointed to a disconnect between police officers and the communities they serve, noting that in inner-city schools, students are taught how to interact with police and come out alive.

“That is so f*cking depressing, especially when you realize that’s probably the only class where nobody will raise their hand and say, ‘When are we ever going to use this?’”


Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com