Political talk show host Bill Maher discussed Sunday’s fatal shooting of Stephon Clark by Sacramento police in an interview Friday with author and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
The discussion, on Friday’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, was centered on police training and gun violence.
Maher refers to the Clark shooting as just the latest example of what he views as unnecessary force by police.
“We saw in Sacramento —Maher begins; Landrieu interjects: “That was a terrible episode.”
“A terrible episode we've seen many times before,” Maher says, as helicopter video of the shooting is shown onscreen. “... It seems like this emptying the whole clip, 20 shots into somebody who you're not sure of what they did, what they have, is crazy.”
Landrieu has been New Orleans’ mayor since 2010. Before that he was lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 2004 to 2010. Both he and Maher are Democrats.
“They (police) seem to have this idea that, ‘If I feel my life is threatened in any way, I have the right to just take you out,’” Maher says. “This guy was a thief. I don't think he deserved to be executed.”
Landrieu responds: “Most police chiefs in America would tell you that that is wrong.” He adds that New Orleans has incorporated mandatory body cameras and re-training officers regarding use of force.
Clark was fatally shot Sunday night by two Sacramento police officers, who fired a combined 20 shots. He was unarmed, holding just a cell phone. Body camera and helicopter footage of the shooting were released to the public Wednesday. Outrage followed, as Black Lives Matters activists and others sparked protests Thursday and Friday that halted freeway traffic and blocked entrance to a Kings game at Golden 1 Center.
Landrieu supports the Second Amendment but is in favor of “reasonable gun restrictions,” he tells Maher.
“Not every American needs any kind of gun at any time to do whatever they want,” Landrieu says, prompting applause from the studio audience.