In the wake of the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager by a white police officer in Austin, Texas, a number of commentators have suggested that the tragedy was instigated by racism.
On Wednesday, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who has been outspoken in his support for Black Lives Matter, weighed in on the issue, arguing that the incident could have been prevented if there were more police on the street.
“I don’t think we should let [the shooter] get away with it,” Noah said.
“If there were cops on the streets, I would not be sitting here with you right now.”
In a post on Twitter, the actor’s brother, Aaron, said that the shooting was a result of the “white man’s rage,” and argued that racism is a problem that is endemic in the US.
“It’s not just a Black problem, it’s a white man’s problem,” he wrote.
“They don’t understand the systemic violence that happens on our streets.”
The shooting in Austin began when two police officers were called to investigate reports of a burglary at a home on Saturday.
When they arrived, they found the teen, Aaron Johnson, and his 15-year-old cousin, Robert Lewis, dead in the living room.
Johnson was shot five times in the chest and killed by police.
After initially calling 911, the police began shooting after a “mock hostage situation” broke out.
“The first officer, who’s not identified by name, said, ‘I’m on my way to the scene,’ and went out on foot,” said Johnson’s brother.
“That’s when a police car pulls up to them, and the officer starts shooting and the teenager runs away, running to the back of the police car.
And he’s just shot in the head, right at the top of his head, and there’s blood all over the top.”
Police officials later told CNN that they had “identified a person of interest,” but that there was “no indication” he was involved in the burglary.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday, Johnson’s family and other witnesses told the news channel that the officer who opened fire on them was a “white male.”
A week earlier, an officer from another Texas town had been suspended for using excessive force against a black man, but his conviction was overturned after the public outcry.
In addition to the recent shooting, a shooting in Georgia last week has raised questions about the way the country views police.
The shooting of a man who was in his early 20s in a parking garage by a police officer sparked outrage after footage showed the officer pulling out his gun and firing five shots in less than two seconds.
The officer was later acquitted of wrongdoing.
“This officer was acting in accordance with protocol when he opened fire,” the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
“We believe that he acted appropriately.”
According to a Washington Post investigation, the Georgia officer who fired the shots was later reassigned, and that investigation is ongoing.
In a statement, the Justice Department said it “rejects any suggestion that the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers is justified in a situation where a person is acting in self-defense.”
The FBI said it was “aware of and taking appropriate action to review the Georgia case” and added that the bureau is “investigating any potential civil rights violations.”
“The Justice Department’s civil rights division will take appropriate actions as warranted,” the statement added.