Dave Chappelle said “the streets are talking for themselves” following the death of George Floyd, in a surprise special entitled 8.46, the length of time a white police officer knelt on the neck of the unarmed black man.
The US comedian delivered an emotional and impassioned monologue about racism in America and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests during an outdoor show in front of a socially-distanced crowd who wore masks and had temperature checks before entering.
Discussing Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, who has been charged with second-degree murder, as well as fellow officers J Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting, Chappelle said: “This man kneeled on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, can you imagine that?
“This kid thought he was going to die, he knew he was going to die. He called for his mother, he called for his dead mother. I’ve only seen that once before in my life, my father on his deathbed called for his grandmother.
“When I watched that tape I understood this man knew he was going to die. People watched it, people filmed it and for some reason that I still don’t understand, all these f***ing police had their hands in their pockets.
“Who are you talking to? What are you signifying? That you can kneel on a man’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God? That is what is happening right now.”
During the monologue, which was filmed on June 6 as part of the show Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines, Chappelle also addressed the deaths of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Philando Castile, as well as John Crawford, who was shot by the same officer who pulled over Chappelle the day before.
The comedian took issue with CNN broadcaster Don Lemon criticising celebrities for not saying or doing more, saying that his voice is not needed.
He said: “This is the streets talking for themselves. They don’t need me right now.”
He added: “We’re not desperate for heroes in the black community. Any n***** that survives this nightmare is my goddamn hero.”
The video was shared on Netflix’s comedy YouTube channel accompanied by a message from Chappelle reading: “Normally I wouldn’t show you something so unrefined, I hope you understand.”