Trevor Noah Opens Up About His Experience Being Stopped By Police

In light of recent court rulings, it was some timely behind-the-scenes footage.

Behind the scenes of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah took some time to share his experience driving while Black in America.

Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on all charges last week after fatally shooting school cafeteria supervisor Philando Castile on July 6, 2016 during a routine traffic stop. As many outlets have pointed out, people of color are far more likely to be stopped by police — and, as, Noah revealed, he has experienced more than his fair share of them. The talk show host said he had been stopped by "eight to 10 times."

"I've only lived in the United States six years on and off," Noah said. "In that time, I shit you not, I have been stopped by police maybe, I would say going on at least eight to 10 times I've been stopped by the police, which always blows white peoples' minds, which I didn't know was a thing."

Prior to being shot, Castile had been pulled over 52 times, according to the Associated Press — an astounding figure. 

"I've been stopped in a Tesla," Noah said of his own experience. "Whenever I get pulled over, the first thing I do is I throw my arms out the window. And it looks so stupid when you see me... But I would rather have the cop go, 'You are weird.'"


In the wake of the acquittal, video footage was release showing Castile being shot within seconds of informing Officer Yanez that he was carrying a firearm. The dash cam footage showed that Castile immediately informed the officer he had a weapon, and Yanez responded by telling him "don't reach for it then." Castile then said repeatedly he's not reaching for the weapon before the officer opened fire on him. 

"When I watched this video, it broke me," Noah said during his show. "You see so many of these videos and you start to get numb. But this one, seeing the child, that little girl, getting out of the car after watching a man get killed, it broke my heart into little pieces."

After the decision, police estimate more than 1,500 people showed up to march in protest of the verdict at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. While local protesters continue to demonstrate, the ruling has once again lit a fire under national organizations who say they're fighting for a more just judicial system. 

Organizations like Black Lives Matter have become well-known for their criticism of police officers involved in shootings, especially those of Black Americans. Other organizations, like the National Police Accountability Project, are doing their best to shape police interactions with civilians through the courts. 

"The National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) needs your help to end police misconduct!" the project's website says. "Police abuse of authority continues to be a major civil liberties and human rights problem in the United States, particularly in poor communities and communities of color."

The project has recently helped reach settlements for the family of an unarmed 19-year-old killed by police and a 28-year-old man who was killed by Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies. While their work isn't focused solely on people of color who are victims of police violence, their efforts overall will help to hold police responsible for their actions.

Meanwhile, it's encouraging to see people like Trevor Noah — who have a large public platform — continue to talk about issues affecting communities across the country.


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