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Tarantino: Police Brutality Is ‘Ultimately’ ‘A Problem of White Supremacy’

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Director Quentin Tarantino defended his comments that have triggered boycotts from police unions, and argued police brutality “ultimately what I feel is a problem of white supremacy in this country” on Wednesday’s “All In with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC.

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Tarantino explained his statement that triggered the boycott by saying, “Well, we were at a rally that was dealing with unarmed people, mostly black and brown, who have been shot and killed, or beaten, or strangled by the police, and I was obviously referring to the people in those type of situations. I was referring to Eric Garner. I was referring to Sam DuBose. I was referring to Antonio [Lopez Guzman]. I was referring to Tamir Rice. That’s what I was referring to.”

He added, “in those cases in particular that we’re talking about, I actually do believe that they were murder. Now, in the case of Walter Scott, who was the man running in the park and was shot in the back, and the case of Sam DuBose, I believe those were murder, and they were deemed murder. And the reason — and the only reason they were deemed murder is because the incidences were caught on video. However, if they had not been caught on video, they — the murderers would have gotten away with their murder. In the case of Eric Garner, and the case of that Tamir Rice, I believe that those were murders, but they were exonerated.”

When asked about the “vitriol” with which his comments were received, Tarantino answered, “Yeah. I was surprised. I was under the impression I was an american and that I had 1st Amendment rights, and there was no problem with me going to an anti-police brutality protest, and speaking my mind, and just because I was at an anti-police brutality protest doesn’t mean I’m anti-police. And basically, there was 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. We want justice, but stop shooting unarmed people, 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.”

Tarantino was then asked how he ended up attending the march. He answered that the group who put in, #RiseUpOctober, “got in touch with me, because I had made statements in some interviews, you know, along the way, that had suggested that I’m on their side when it comes to this issue of, you know, ultimately what I feel is a problem of white supremacy in this country.”

Tarantino said that the timing of his comments coming within a week of the shooting of NYPD officer Randolph Holder “was very unfortunate. And his death, that officer’s death, is a tragedy. I acknowledge that 100%, and my heart goes out to him, and goes out to his loved ones. However, the point of the rally was to bring these families, we had over 40 families, not 40 people, but 40 different families that this has happened to come out and tell their stories and say their loved one’s name, and that’s what’s not being told — talked about. And so what? Because that happened we’re going to say, ‘Oh no, no. Don’t tell your story. I know we flew you out here. We’re going to fly you back. We’ll do it another time. It’s just not convenient.'”

After seeing a speech against him on the House floor by Representative Ted Poe (R-TX), Tarantino responded that Poe was mischaracterizing what he said, and added, “They’re being inflammatory. They’re slandering me. I’m not a cop hater, but Patrick Lynch — that’s the way they attack me is calling me a cop hater. That’s the way that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D), who is on Fox all the time says that I’m putting police in danger by standing up for the rights of unarmed citizens who have been killed by the police, but at the same time, they say that about anybody who acknowledges that there’s a problem in law enforcement in this country right now, is considered by law enforcement part of the problem, whether that be me, whether that be [New York City Mayor] Bill DeBlasio (D), whether that be President Barack Obama, who, in the case of both [New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President] Patrick Lynch and David Clarke have accused all three of us of this action.”

He continued, “it’s much easier to feign outrage, and start arguments with celebrities than it is to deal with the fact they’ve — the citizenry has lost trust in them. Also, — but there’s also another thing going on, absolutely. There was 300 people in that march. They’re not dealing with the issues that we were talking about, which you would think they’d want to deal with, at least to some degree or another. No, they want to demonize me, they want to slander me, imply that I’m saying things that I didn’t say. And then — but, and for what reason? And the reason is because they want me to shut up, and they want to make sure that no other people like me, prominent citizens, will stand up for that side.”

Tarantino further stated that he hasn’t gotten any pressure from the film industry to apologize, and that he hasn’t spoken to any police officers since his statement, “I’m hoping that that is going to start happening sometime, you know, I’m hoping that’s going to start happening sometime in the next week or so. And I agree with you about these mouthpieces saying what they’re saying. They’re calling for a boycott. And, you know, and maybe that boycott will happen, but maybe it won’t. Because I actually have a whole lot of police officers who are big fans of my work, and they’re not going to take Patrick Lynch’s word on what I said. They’re going to read what I said. They’ll watch this show. They’ll hear what I have to say, and I think that they’ll make up their own mind, and we’ll see what happens.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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