Right off the bat on Friday’s episode of “Real Time,” Bill Maher and his panel guests talked about the horrific Uvalde, Texas elementary school massacre of 19 children and 2 teachers by a gunman with an AR-15. And of course they had to touch on the astonishing cowardice displayed by local cops, who Maher said “should have trouble sleeping.”
You can watch the whole discussion above.
By now you know what happened, but just so no one forgets: After the massacre, law enforcement officials and the Governor of Texas spun stories of bravery and heroism. It turns out all of that was lies.
Since the massacre, police have changed their account at least 13 times, and every new excuse they’ve trotted out has later been proven false. But what is clear is that for more than an hour, Uvalde police refused to confront the shooter, detained and harassed parents who begged them to save their kids, and supposedly, prevented federal law enforcement officers from going in.
Worse, they appear to have later gathered outside of the classroom where the shooter was holed up, doing nothing. All the while, for almost an hour, children still alive and in the room with the shooter were desperately, and repeatedly, calling 911 begging for help — a fact that officers on the scene are documented to have known. It’s almost certain now that their refusal to act likely increased the number of dead children — at least half of the class taken hostage by the shooter was still alive when 911 calls started.
Horrible stuff, and Maher had nothing but contempt for the cops of Uvalde as a result.
His remarks began when, early during the conversation, panel guest Michael Shellenberger said, “I think there was this initial reaction that these police officers were cowardly. I don’t think we know that”
“Really?” Maher asked.
“I have to expect that many of those police officers are having a hard time sleeping at night after what’s occured,” Shellenberger continued.
“Oh, I feel bad for them,” Maher snarked. “They should have a hard time sleeping. That’s, this, what the f—?”
Shellenberger tried to defend the Uvalde cops by eliding what happened, saying, “When our institutions fail us, we are so quick to want to shut down the institutions, want to demonize the people in those institutions. Yes they got trained, the training didn’t work. The answer to it is gonna be more training, is gonna be to get better at it. We focus on when things go wrong, but things mostly don’t go wrong, we need to learn from these mistakes…”
“It’s not institutions, it’s people. This is not institutions who didn’t run into the building, it’s people. People didn’t do it. That’s not an institution,” Maher said.
“By the way, this is part of the problem with police training. Their training is all about how to preserve their life. Now, of course, we want them to be as safe as they can, but it is a job that entails danger. Somewhere, they got it into their heads, the cops, that ‘it’s better that I just preserve my health.’ But you’re there to protect and serve us. That’s the deal,” Maher continued.
“You get to, you know, walk tall all the time, everybody kisses your ass, everybody has to comply with you. And then once in a while, you just have to ball up and do the job. [And] it’s dangerous,” Maher added.
You can watch the entire discussion of Uvalde, which also includes some remarks about gun control, in the video above.