The comedian spoke a town hall in Yellow Springs, Ohio
He called on city officials to recruit a progressive police chief
Comedian Dave Chappelle made a rare public appearance at a village council meeting in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on Monday, where he reflected on his own experiences with law enforcement and urged officials to choose a progressive police chief.
“I would beseech the council to look deeply and to look hard, because this is a golden opportunity,” said Chappelle, who lives in the town. “Literally you could kill the game. In this Trump era, there’s an opportunity to show everybody that local politics reigns supreme. We can make our corner of the world outstanding.”
The local police chief, Dave Hale, resigned in January after police attempts to disperse a partying New Year’s Eve crowd created chaos and caused distress for many residents. According to reports, police fired a taser at one reveler, missing the man but raising concerns that the darts could have hit bystanders.
Chappelle made his appearance during a council review of a report on the tactics the police officers used that night.
The comedian said he has had positive experiences with police there, who “protected my own well-being” on various occasions, but described the New Year’s Eve incident as a “huge gaffe.”
“Now we’re being policed by what seems like an alien force,” said Chappelle, who had been out celebrating with his family that night, but left prior to the incident. “Huge gaffe on New Year’s Eve,”
The actor and stand-up comedian rose to the national spotlight in the late 1990s after starring in movies like “Half Baked” and “You’ve Got Mail,” but he is most known for his comedy sketch show, “Chappelle’s Show,” which ran from 2003-2006 on Comedy Central and tackled issues ranging from racism to politics.
During the show’s third season, Chappelle said he was concerned that for some viewers, his show perpetuated stereotypes rather than critiquing them, and he began to fear that some of his sketches were “socially irresponsible.”
He left the show in 2006 and moved to Yellow Springs with his family, where has remained largely out of the public eye.