John Oliver Pulls Keene, N.H. Into Police Militarization Debate

On Sunday night, John Oliver, a comedian and the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, addressed the issue of police militarization, particularly in Ferguson, Missouri. But a small town in New Hampshire and its mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle did not escape criticism.

Oliver spent 15 minutes addressing the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Missouri. But during that stretch, he took 60 seconds to address the fact that, amid the United States’ police militarization, the local law enforcement in Keene, New Hampshire is now in possession of a military-grade armored personnel vehicle known as a Bearcat.

Of course, Oliver says it’s laughable that a small town in New Hampshire would need such a high-powered vehicle, and the reason they requested it might shed some light on why he thinks it’s so funny. Oliver says that in their application for the vehicle, Keene cited a need to protect their annual pumpkin festival from “the terrorism threat” described as “far-reaching and often unforeseen.”

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Jump to the 7-minute mark in the video below to see Oliver’s comments on Keene (warning: some language in the video may be considered inappropriate).