According to a Washington Post analysis, at least 385 people were killed by police throughout the first five months of 2015. That’s more than two killings per day. A national debate has since been raging about police use of deadly force, especially against minorities.
In the latest controversy, Academy-Award winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, best known for films such as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction, joined demonstrators in a New York City protest last week, organized by RiseUpOctober. The rally called for justice for people killed by the police in shootings across the U.S., and came just four days after a New York police officer, Randolph Holder, was shot to death while chasing a bicycle thief.
“I’m a human being with a conscience. And if you believe there’s murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I’m here to say I’m on the side of the murdered,” said Tarantino at the rally.
After Tarantino appeared at the protest, president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, called for a boycott of his films.
“It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too. The police officers that Quentin Tarantino calls “murderers” aren’t living in one of his depraved big screen fantasies — they’re risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect communities from real crime and mayhem,” said Lynch in a statement. “New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city to peddle his slanderous ‘Cop Fiction.’ It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.”
The New York Times reports that William J. Bratton, the New York City police commissioner, joined in criticism against Tarantino.
“Shame on him, particularly at this time when we are grieving the murder of a New York City police officer,” Mr. Bratton said on Monday, Oct. 26, in an interview with John Gambling on WNYM-AM. “There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments at this particular time.”
Since then, backlash against Tarantino has been endorsed by police organizations in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and, most recently, the National Association of Police Organizations—an organization that represents more than 1,000 police units and at least 241,000 law enforcement officers. The boycott focuses on Weinstein Company’s coming film The Hateful Eight, directed by Tarantino, which, perhaps until now, was anticipated to be an Oscar bet and box office hit.
“Mr. Tarantino has made a good living through his films, projecting into society at large violence and respect for criminals; he it turns out also hates cops,” said president of the Philadelphia police union, John McNesby. In response, Carl Dix, one of the organizers of RiseUpOctober, said that the police backlash “…is aimed at sending a message, not just to Tarantino, but to anyone whose voice carries great weight in society. If you speak out, we will come after you, threaten your livelihood and attempt to scare you back into silence.”
Additionally, Tarantino’s estranged father, Tony Tarantino, believes his son is “dead wrong” and his passion for his career has blinded him to reality.
“I love my son and have great respect for him as an artist but he is dead wrong in calling police officers, particularly in New York City where I grew up, murderers,” he said through a Policemen’s Benevolent Association statement. “He is a passionate man and that comes out in his art but sometimes he lets his passion blind him to the facts and to reality. I believe that is what happened when he joined in those anti-cop protests.”
[Featured image via AP]