Dave Chappelle, the popular comedian who calls Yellow Springs, Ohio home, has become more than just a celebrity fixture in the small town. Speaking at city council meeting to select a new police chief, Chappelle made an appeal to the council and other residents that the department’s next top cop should be carefully selected.
The meeting took place early last week and a clip of Chappelle speaking to the council opened with him thanking the Yellow Springs Police Department for assisting him on a couple of occasions. However, he did levy criticism for how police handled a series of situations on New Year’s Eve that made headlines.
A ball drop celebration in the progressive town got tense when police aggressively told crowds to disperse which lead to the department making changes in training. A 29-year-old Black man was among those who were tasered, with some saying it was an unnecessary tactic. Chappelle then challenged the council to select a police chief that mirrors the spirit of the town.
“The council has a tremendous opportunity to be a leader in progressive law enforcement,” said Chappelle. “One of the reasons why we were on the front pages of the New York Times was because one of their travel editors [is] someone I went to school with here in Yellow Springs.
Chappelle continued with saying other residents who grew up in the town knew their officers because they came from the same communities and quipped, “it feels like we’re being policed by an alien force.”
Amid the chuckles, Chappelle’s larger point was made that while the crowd during the celebration was drunk, the police overreacted but offered a solution in hiring the right chief. Chappelle said that the council has an opportunity to show that politicians and citizens can come together in what he called the “Trump Era.”
“Here’s an opportunity to show everybody that local politics reigns supreme. We can make our corner of the world outstanding,” said Chappelle.
YSPD’s former chief resigned on January 3.
[props to Crooks and Liars]