When Quentin Tarantino stood with police brutality protestors during a Rise Up October event in Manhattan, the backlash from various police unions and right-wing media outlets was predictably immediate. However, instead of the usual tomfoolery, many were quick to call Tarantino a "cop hater," with many more implying that simply bringing an even greater spotlight to the dire issue of police brutality in America somehow placed officers’ lives in increased danger. Effectively squashing rumors that he was planning to issue a misguided apology, Tarantino spoke with the Los Angeles Times to expound on his stance against the prevalence of police brutality.
"All cops are not murderers," Tarantino tells the Times’ Glenn Whipp. "I never said that. I never even implied that. I do believe that the cops who killed Eric Garner are murderers. I do believe that when Walter Scott was shot in the back in the park eight times by a cop, he was murdered. I do believe Tamir Rice was murdered." When asked about the highly publicized calls for a boycott of the Tarantino cinematic canon from various police unions, Tarantino breaks down their tactics as little more than an attempt at intimidation, of both Tarantino himself and anyone else who dares speak out:
What they're doing is pretty obvious. Instead of dealing with the incidents of police brutality that those people were bringing up, instead of examining the problem of police brutality in this country, better they single me out. And their message is very clear. It's to shut me down. It's to discredit me. It is to intimidate me. It is to shut my mouth, and even more important than that, it is to send a message out to any other prominent person that might feel the need to join that side of the argument.
I'm not being intimidated. Frankly, it feels lousy to have a bunch of police mouthpieces call me a cop hater. I'm not a cop hater. That is a misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel.
As with the so-called "Ferguson Effect" and the repeatedly debunked "War on Cops," some are choosing to dangerously distort a message of police reform by slandering anyone who attempts to bring it into the mainstream conversation. "The people who are screaming against me are the mouthpieces for the police," Tarantino says when asked whether he’s concerned about the calls for a boycott. "They can call for a boycott. That doesn’t mean that cops are going to respond. Because I actually have a whole lot of fans that are police officers. They can read what I said." Thankfully, Tarantino appears to be taking his pal Jamie Foxx’s advice by not buckling to the pressure. Keep speaking that truth, Quentin.