Comedian Dave Chappelle was among those who spoke out Monday evening when Yellow Springs, Ohio held a town hall meeting to address lingering concerns about a New Year’s Eve incident in which police tazed two attendees of the city’s official celebration.
Chappelle, who is among the town’s longtime residents, spoke at the meeting to “beseech” the Yellow Springs City Council “to look deeply, and to look hard” at what he called “A golden opportunity.”
Chappelle began his comments in friendly spirits by noting that local police have helped him personally on multiple occasions — but then called the incident a “huge gaffe.” After noting that the story appeared in the New York Times, he pointed out that the paper’s travel editor is someone he went to school with in Yellow Springs, and then recalled the police officers and their families that he personally knew growing up in the community.
“And now we’re being policed by what feels like an alien force,” Chappelle added.
Chappelle attended the New Year’s event, he said, and he told the city council that he left early because “nobody felt completely right… so I am trying to be balanced and fair.”
“I would beseech the council to look deeply, and to look hard, because this is a golden opportunity — literally could kill the game. In this Trump era, it’s an opportunity to show everybody that local politics reigns supreme. We can make our corner of the world outstanding.”
Chappelle was born in Washington, D.C. but, after his father became a professor at Antioch College, spent much of his formative years in Yellow Springs. He returned to the town in the early 2000s and has lived there since.
Watch the full video, first posted by The Fader, above.