After Quentin Tarantino took part in a anti-police brutality rally in New York this weekend, the city’s police union is firing back at the director, calling for boycott of his movies.
Tarantino fired up the crowd with a speech, accompanied by images of those who have been killed by police, prominently Justin Smith, who was killed in 1999 while in police custody after spitting on officers.
“I’m a human being with a conscience,” said the “Hateful Eight” director at the rally, according to media reports. “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.”
“This is not being dealt with in anyway at all,” he added. “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.”
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in a statement to the New York Post on Sunday, “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.”
“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,'” he went on. “It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.”
Update, 10/27: Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, has issued a statement in support of the boycott, which reads, “We fully support constructive dialogue about how police interact with citizens. But there is no place for inflammatory rhetoric that makes police officers even bigger targets than we already are. Film director Quentin Tarantino took irresponsibility to a new and completely unacceptable level this past weekend by referring to police as murderers during an anti-police march in New York. He made this statement just four days after a New York police officer was gunned down in the line of duty. New York police and union leaders immediately called out Tarantino for his unconscionable comments, with union head Patrick Lynch advocating a boycott of his films. We fully support this boycott of Quentin Tarantino films. Hateful rhetoric dehumanizes police and encourages attacks on us. And questioning everything we do threatens public safety by discouraging officers from putting themselves in positions where their legitimate actions could be falsely portrayed as thuggery.”
The New York rally first gathered at Washington Square Park and continued two miles down Sixth Avenue.
— Simon Moya-Smith (@SimonMoyaSmith) October 24, 2015
The event was organized by RiseUpOctober, a group that had put on two more protests in New York earlier this month. The latest protest spanned three days.