The anti-police rhetoric perpetuated throughout society the past year has often bordered on hysteria. However, film director Quentin Tarantino took it to a new and completely unacceptable level this past weekend.
During an anti-police march in New York, Tarantino flatly referred to police as murderers. It is worth noting that he made these remarks just four days after New York Police Officer Randolph Holder was murdered when a gunman opened fire on him and his partner. Furthermore, NYPD officers cleared a path for the demonstrators and stood their posts while Tarantino vilified them. We suspect he appreciated the uniformed presence in New York, as he does when officers—many times LAPD officers—provide security during the filming of his movies in and around Los Angeles.
His unconscionable comments prompted New York police and union leaders to immediately call Tarantino out. Commissioner Bill Bratton, noting the timing of Tarantino’s hateful remarks, said there were “no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.” Union President Patrick Lynch said it’s time to “send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy” by boycotting his films.
We fully agree with both Bratton and Lynch and support this boycott.
There is no excuse for police brutality or mistreatment of the citizens. We’re sworn to protect and serve.
The laser-like focus over the past year on isolated cases of perceived police wrongdoing, and utterly irresponsible rhetoric by individuals such as Tarantino, threaten the safety of police and citizens alike.
It’s well accepted that dehumanizing a specific group of people, as Tarantino did, encourages attacks against them. Indeed, FBI statistics show ambush attacks are accounting for an increasing number of police officer murders. Of the 36 such attacks over the past decade, seven occurred in 2014 alone, including the double ambush of two NYPD officers in December.
There is also increasing evidence that the cacophony of police criticism has helped spark a surge in violent crime in cities nationwide. Officers have reported that they have avoided getting out of their patrol cars and making stops because of the “Ferguson effect”—a fear that their legitimate actions will be recorded and misrepresented on social media to make them appear to be out-of-control thugs. FBI Director James Comey, in a speech last week, stated that “a chill wind (has been) blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior.”
Calling cops murderers might help a privileged member of Hollywood’s elite assuage his liberal guilt, and even get some like-minded people to go see his violence-drenched movies. But if you stand on the side of decency, law and order—and value law enforcement officers who risk their lives while performing their daily duties—please join us in boycotting Tarantino’s films.
We fully support constructive dialogue about how law enforcement officers interact with citizens. But there is no place for hateful and inflammatory rhetoric that makes police officers even bigger targets that they already are—and threatens public safety at the same time.
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