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Dave Chappelle reflects on George Floyd in new special, '8:46'

Lester Cohen/Netflix

Dave Chappelle surprised fans Friday with a blistering stand-up set reflecting on police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

In a video shared to Chappelle’s Instagram page and Netflix’s YouTube account, the comedian got emotional as he discussed watching the video of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

“What are you signifying that you can kneel on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn’t get the wrath of God?” Chappelle asked. “That’s what is happening right now. It’s not for a single cop, it’s for all of it. F****** all of it. I don’t mean to get heavy, but we gotta say something.”

Chappelle, who hadn’t performed in nearly three months, titled his set “8:46,” a reminder of how long Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. For the comedian, the number holds a special significance.

“I can’t get that number out of my head because it was the time of my birth on my birth certificate,” he said. “I was born at 8:46 in the morning and they killed this [man] in 8 minutes, 46 seconds.”

Throughout the wide-ranging June 6 performance, which Chappelle delivered outdoors in Yellow Springs, Ohio, to an audience who’d submitted to temperature checks and observed physical distancing guidelines, he reflected on the deaths of Trayvon MartinEric GarnerJohn Crawford IIIMichael Brown and Philando Castile, and slammed conservative pundits Laura IngrahamCandace Owens and the National Rifle Association.

The issues the nation is addressing, he added, are nothing new.

“These streets will speak for themselves whether I am alive or dead,” he closed. “I trust you guys. I love you guys.”

By Andrea Tuccillo
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