​quentin tarantino has defended his comments on police brutality

The film director faced a backlash from US police organisations after describing instances of police brutality that led to the deaths of black people as murder.

by Charlotte Gush
09 November 2015, 4:30am

Quentin Tarantino has appeared on American TV to clarify his position on police forces after a speech he gave at an anti-police-brutality protest engendered a huge backlash, with police unions and organisations in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston and LA, as well as the National Association of Police Forces calling for a boycott of the director's films.

At a #RiseUpOctober march that had close links to the Black Lives Matter movement, Tarantino spoke in front of images of people, mostly black, who have died in dealings with the American police. "This is not being dealt with in any way at all. That's why we are out here. If it was being dealt with, then these murdering cops would be in jail or at least be facing charges," Tarantino told the crowd, adding, "I'm a human being with a conscience. When I see murders, I do not stand by; I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers".

Responding to Tarantino's speech, President of the NYPD Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, called for New Yorkers to boycott Tarantino's films, describing the claims he made in his speech "Cop Fiction" and calling him a "purveyor of degeneracy".

Having told the LA Times, "All cops are not murderers. I never said that. I never even implied that. I'm not a cop-hater. That is misrepresentation. That is slanderous. That is not how I feel," Tarantino appeared on MSNBC to clarify his position further.

"We were at a rally that was dealing with the unarmed people, mostly black and brown, who have been shot and killed, or beaten or strangled, and I was obviously referring to the people in those type of situations. I was referring to Eric [Garner]... Sam duBose… Antonio Guzman Lopez... Tamir Rice. That's what I was referring to," Tarantino told the host, who then asks, "So you were referring to specific cases in which a police use of force has taken a life of someone in a way that you feel was murder?," "Yeah," the director agrees, "I believe that in those case in particular that we're talking about, I actually do believe that they were murder".

Asked whether he is shocked at the level of vitriol in the responses to his speech, Tarantino says, "Yeah, I was surprised! I was under the impression that I was an American, and that I had First Amendment rights and there was no problem with me going to an anti-police-brutality protest and speaking my mind," adding, "Just because I was at an anti-police-brutality protest doesn't mean I'm anti-police".

"There were a lot of people at that rally and we were all crying for — we were crying for a lot of things, but there was one thing in particular, which was: stop shooting unarmed people," Tarantino adds. "We want justice, but stop shooting unarmed people," he reiterates, lamenting, "But they don't want to deal with that; they would rather start arguments with celebrities than examine the concerns put before them by a citizenry that has lost trust in them".


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography screenshot via MSNBC

police brutality
Black Lives Matter
Quentin Tarantino