- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Quentin Tarantino said Tuesday that he refuses to be silenced on the issue of police brutality after numerous law enforcement unions called for a boycott against the film director for comments he made at a New York City rally.

“All cops are not murderers,” Mr. Tarantino told The Los Angeles Times in his first public response to the controversy. “I never said that. I never even implied that.

“What they’re doing is pretty obvious,” he said. “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.”

He made the comments amid calls from police unions in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia for a public boycott of Mr. Tarantino’s upcoming movie, “The Hateful Eight.”

But on Monday, those calls explicitly went beyond local departments’ “don’t see the movie” calls to a national organization saying police should refuse to cooperate with any of his projects on matters such as security and traffic control — services that major movies and red-carpet premieres almost always need the police to provide.

“We ask officers to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino’s projects,” the National Association of Police Organizations said in a statement. “We need to send a loud and clear message that such hateful rhetoric against police officers is unacceptable.”

The filmmaker took to the streets of Manhattan last month with hundreds of other demonstrators to protest police brutality, just four days after the on-duty killing of New York Police Department Officer Randolph Holder.

“When I see murders, I do not stand by,” Mr. Tarantino told the crowd at the time. “I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Tarantino stood by his comments.

“I’m not being intimidated,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “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. But you know, that’s their choice to do that to me. What can I do? I’m not taking back what I said. What I said was the truth.”

Patrick J. Lynch, president of New York’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, responded to the “latest Tarantino outburst” in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The damage from Quentin Tarantino’s hateful comments about police officers has already been done,” Mr. Lynch said.

“‘Freedom of expression’ goes both ways,” he said. “If he doesn’t want to face a backlash, he should choose his words more carefully in the future. Meanwhile, police officers will continue to express their own outrage at the box office.”

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