Police Abuse

Police Unions Freak Out Over Quentin Tarantino's Mild Anti-Police Killings Statement

Questioning everything leads to war on cops and more tired old myths.

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Reservoir Dogs

Police union leaders from New York City to Los Angeles blasted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino for daring to show up at an anti-police brutality rally and actually saying something.

Because the police union leaders' responses are so disproportionate to what Tarantino said, here are the entirety of his reported comments first, via AP:

"I'm a human being with a conscience," said Tarantino, who flew in from California for the event. "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."

The "rise up" phrasing was a nod to the event, RiseUpOctober, organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, a group set up by academic Cornel West and Carl Dix, a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.

Cue the outrage.

From Patrick Lynch, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) leader in New York City, via a press release:

"It's no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too. 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." It's time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino's films."

Not a lot to unpack here. There's no indication Tarantino is confusing the worlds he creates in his films from the one he's living in, though Lynch's comment about Tarantino peddling fiction at the rally might mean Lynch has the two confused.

Neither did Tarantino appear to deny that cops risk and sometimes sacrifice their lives on the job. One of the primary goals of the broader police reform movement is merely more transparency and more accountability. Cops risk their lives, but we don't live in a Quentin Tarantino movie and the job of a police officer is getting less dangerous than it's ever been before.

Lynch got support from around the country.

Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police joined the boycott, as did the Los Angeles Police Protective League (PPL).  The statement from Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles PPL, via a press release:

"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."

More to unpack here. The LA union leader says he supports constructive dialogue on police interactions with citizens, but then pivots to calling Tarantino's fairly reasonable statement "inflammatory rhetoric" and twisting it from a statement about people Tarantino believes were murdered by cops to a statement about police being murderers.

Not every unjustified and criminal killing may rise up to the requirements of premeditation for murder, but several cops have been charged with murder in recent months, and many more have been involved in questionable killings.

Tarantino focused on the victims, the murdered. He didn't even refer to their specific killers explicitly as murderers, let alone police in general. Expressing concern about victims of police brutality and police killings shouldn't be labeled "completely unacceptable" speech by the organizations that represent the people entrusted to use violence against us to maintain compliance with the law.

Lynch avoided using the tragic killing of a police officer in New York City to bolster his case against Tarantino. After all, no one has publicly supported the killing of that officer, or his murderer. The suspect was transferred to police custody after being discharged from the hospital, and has already been charged with first degree murder and appeared in court. No one has publicly supported the suspect or advocated for leniency. The families of victims of police violence don't have those kinds of experiences.

But Lally didn't avoid trying to use the tragic death of a New York City police officer to score political points , going further to call Tarantino's statement "hateful rhetoric" that "dehumanizes police" and "encourages attacks" on them. A statement that started off in support of "constructive dialogue" ends with a gross mischaracterization of one prominent person's comments about victims of police violence.

Then Lally brings up the tired old canard of "everything" police do being questioned and how that "threatens public safety by discouraging officers from putting themselves in positions where their legitimate actions could be falsely portrayed as thuggery."

This is, of course, far from the truth. There are a lot of people concerned with police reform, and a wide range of movements and proposals about it. Most of them concern transparency and accountability. Most importantly, in many places, like New York City and Los Angeles, police officers have strong job protections that prevent transparency and accountability. These kinds of rules help produce bad actors.

If, in that protective environment, Lally claims mere public discourse about police action discourages them from performing their duties, that seems to be a powerful case to get rid of those actual protections—the kinds of contract rules that help keep cops involved in misconduct but not criminally convicted employed by their police departments—that contribute to so much of the tension and need for dialogue about police interaction with citizens in the first place. Even if cops?socialism, they're part of democratic institutions. And democratic institutions require transparency and accountability, the kind that free speech encourages and permitting agents of the state to organize for their own self-interest doesn't.

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109 responses to “Police Unions Freak Out Over Quentin Tarantino's Mild Anti-Police Killings Statement

  1. the problem is he, like BLM, is calling all police murderers. Even Reason writers know thats not true.

    1. I don’t get that from his comments at all. He seems to be calling police that unjustifiably shoot and kill people murderers. And that doesn’t sound all that unreasonable.

      1. He doesn’t actually seem to have called anyone a murderer.

        1. 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.

          Kind of hard for there to be murdered people with murderers. He didn’t explicitly call out police but given the context it seems pretty clear he was referring to recent killings.

          1. Of course. But not ever using the word “murderer” makes it that much more BS on the part of Ron, Lynch (not you), and all our cop friends.

          2. He’s certainly suggesting that some police are murderers. Which is pretty clearly true. But I don’t know where Ron gets “calling all police murderers”.

            1. Ron may be slightly retarded.

                  1. You want to join my what?

                    You want to what his team?

      2. Did this Hollywood director call all cops murderers? by Robby Soave

      3. Lynch,

        You can read Tarantino’s comments different ways. It seemed clear to me that he was appearing at a rally for a movement that claims that Police across the country are murdering Blacks, and that counts the Obama administration cleared shooting of Brown in Furguson as one of the murders. So when he says his “murdered and murderers” comment, its not a neutral statement of simply saying “I call a spade a spade, and a hammer a hammer.” It’s in context of the event he’s at, and his statement gets an approving response because it’s impossible to misunderstand it in the context of that moment.

    2. Ed quoted the entirety of Tarantino’s comment above, and nowhere did he make anything even resembling that claim.

    3. English, motherfucker! Do you read it?

      1. English motherfucker” could explain it.

    4. Nope. He is saying he is anti-murder, (at least in the quote above), and that in context he is opposed to cops murdering people:

      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.

      If you think being on the side of people murdered by cops makes you anti-cop, you need to take a good hard look at yourself.

      1. Anything that is not completely pro-cop is completely anti-cop. It’s all or nothing.

        1. This

          Well, I mean, sarcasmic has the right idea

          don’t think anything that is not pro cop is anti

      2. Saying you’re on the side of people murdered by cops is being anti-cop, because you’re suggesting the cops have murdered someone. Cops, by definition, are incapable of murdering anyone since murder is an unlawful act and the very terms ‘lawful’ and ‘unlawful’ do not apply to cops. They are the law, they cannot be bound by the law. Suggesting they murdered someone is suggesting that they are not the law and that they are bound by the law, which is a grievous assault on the very heart and soul of copitude.

        1. Being a cop means you can do anything you want, including murder. Who’s going to stop you? The cops?

        2. +1 Judge Dredd

        3. Being a cop means never having to say you’re sorry.

    5. Right… The bulk of them are just trying to snare harmless people on a daily basis for the purpose of depriving them of liberty. Nbd.

  2. “We fully support constructive dialogue about how police interact with citizens.

    It better be constructive, or else…

    1. Can’t have a constructive dialogue without facing up to reality.

      And the reality is, sometimes cops murder people. Unless you are willing to accept that, there is no constructive dialogue to be had.

  3. Question for Pat Lynch: how can I boycott the police?

    1. Easy: Never violate any law, and the police will have no reason to apprehend you
      If a crime is committed against you, just accept what happens because you can’t expect them to do anything for one who doesn’t want them to exist, though they will, anyway.

  4. There won’t be any inflammatory words when the real wood chipper operators jump in.

    1. But there is no place for inflammatory rhetoric

      The normal structuring of that phrase followed by those sentences is “There is no place for inflammatory rhetoric, but…..” Kinda like “I don’t want to sound like a racist, but….” or “I’m not saying Hitler was a nice guy, but….” You know exactly what’s going to follow the “but”.

      1. You know exactly what’s going to follow the “but”.

        Shite.

  5. “this purveyor of degeneracy”

    SugarFree or Tarantino?

  6. What kind of traitorous scumbag would speak out against murders that are committed by cops? You have no business saying that murder is wrong, Tarantino!

    1. There are lots of people who find Tarantino’s movies offensive. The cops are rallying that support. It’s an argument on the same level as “Obama did it, so it must be bad.”

      1. There are lots of people who find Tarantino’s movies offensive

        All that miscegenation. Fuck those race traitors.

    2. Homicides committed by the King’s Men are, by definition, not murders.

  7. they’re risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect communities from real crime and mayhem.

    Bullshit. All cops do is show up after a crime has been committed, and then pretend to do an investigation. They don’t protect anything except their own asses.

  8. The cops create violence and chaos by enforcing the insane War on Drugs and then cry about it when it bites them in the ass.

  9. There’s some leak going around that Obama is sending special op “advisors” to Syria

    1. Leak? Turn on CNN. We’re going to Raqqa.

      1. You’re the last person I’d expect to say “we.”

        1. Okay I’ll put my realist hat away now.

        2. Your never going to find Nikki somewhere were people conjugate wrongly.

          1. I like conjugating in small groups.

      2. Nice. What glorified druglord have we decided to install and protect in our great munificence?

        1. TBD. You may still be able to interview for the position.

          1. I should be a shoe in as I’ve clocked almost 15 hours into this game.

            1. Do you need a ruthless right hand man to enforce your iron decrees? I mean, I was a really good Brigade XO…

              I will work on my rusty Arabic too.

  10. If they push Tarantino too far, he should just make an explictly-anti-cop movie, about vengeance for a wrongful police killing of somebody’s kid. Only the wrong somebody.

    Kind of like Rambo meets Serpico.

    1. That would be fucking awesome. Hopefully Ennio Morricone would still be alive to do the score.

    2. a wrongful police killing of somebody’s kid.

      And there are any number of such killings that he could film as they actually happened IRL to set up the premise.

  11. “This purveyor of degeneracy.”

    We can all rest assured there are no degenerates in the NYPD.

  12. “Shut up and do as you are told” “If you don’t have anything to hide, why can’t I search your car?” “If you don’t like what is happening in America, then leave.” “Criticizing your leaders emboldens the enemy.” “If these people would just obey lawful orders, then they would not have died.” “My Country, Right or Wrong.”

    Not only to you have these pigs, the DEA,the NSA, the FBI, running amok, there is apparently a very virulent breed of authoritarian in this country that is more than happy to oblige these cocksuckers. It started out with these psycho-patriots openly defending the pigs. Now they seem be advocating the position that simply disagreeing with the pigs is a worthy violation of whatever to deserve a beatdown (see the comments). I guessing that out next stop down the road to totalitarianism is the open advocation of violence against those who critize our dear leaders.

    Oh and fuck Nick’s next Libertarian Moment…. “things have never been better.” It sure is fucking awesome living in this open air prison.

    to

    1. *our next stop.

      I don’t what the deal is with that hanging “to”. I’m sorry Nikki.

      1. It’s okay, Troy.

    2. It is a very nice open air prison.

      1. It sure is. It keeps a very large majority of the sheep satisfied.

    3. 20 years ago nobody was even questioning tuff on crime policies, much less the murderous thugs who enforce them.

      1. 20 years ago nobody was even questioning tuff on crime policies, much less the murderous thugs who enforce them.

        Is that so?

      2. Even if that is true, it is not very reassuring since the there is much more of a state, federal, and local government leviathan alive and kicking.

        1. So you’re done talking about the libertarian moment then?

      3. I don’t know about nobody. Organized opposition to mandatory minimum sentences, for example, has been going on since the early 90s at least. There does seem to be more scrutiny on police violence than there has been in my memory.

    4. I guessing that out next stop down the road to totalitarianism

      I doubt there is a stop. More like an accelerating creep. Most won’t notice it until they get to the camps.

  13. It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films.

    I only own Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction; seems like now’s a good time to update the collection.

    1. Star with Jackie Brown.

      1. I didn’t love Jackie Brown, I’ll be honest.

        1. It’s too fucking long.

          1. Anything with Pam Grier in it cannot be ‘too fucking long’.

    2. I don’t think he’ll ever top Inglourious Basterds.

      1. I think you’re right. I love that one.

      2. That’s a bingo!

  14. It’s a publicity coup for Tarantino, who has been accused of appropriating black culture in so many of his movies.

  15. “It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too. 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.

    By “mayhem”, are we including toddlers sleeping in cribs, someone selling loose cigarettes on the street and teenagers flashing their headlights at you as you drive by?

    1. Tell me how that cop who was killed at a trafffic stop was “protecting his community from real crime and mayhem.”

      Cops love to say how dangerous traffic stops are. But, so many traffic stops are completely unnecessary in this day and age. Most moving violations do not pose an imminent threat to anyone. If the driver isn’t an immediate threat, why get into such a dangerous situation with a stop?

      Get the plate, maybe pull up alongside to get a pic of the driver, mail a ticket.

      1. Get the plate, maybe pull up alongside to get a pic of the driver, mail a ticket.

        Fuck that shit. Can you imagine the number of tickets if they weren’t required to make a “dangerous” stop?

        No, they can do the job they voluntarily contracted to do and they can stop fucking whining about it.

      2. Unnecessary? Look, the government needs the revenue. Besides that, every stop is an opportunity to detect drugs or some other illegal behavior.

        1. Besides that, every stop is an opportunity

          “I got the $10,000 square in the civil forfeiture pool this month Larry and I’m only eighteen hundred bucks away with six days to go! Score!”

      3. But, if you didn’t make traffic stops, you couldn’t find out who has drugs. And, if you don’t catch people with drugs you can’t put them in your county jails. And, if you can’t put them in your jails, how can you sue CO or ask for more money from your county?

  16. As an aside, I cannot wait for when the people who live around me stop wearing NYPD clothing. NYPD soccer, NYPD narcotics, police lives matter, NYPD lives matter, etc in addition to the regular NYPD-themed clothing – it drives me crazy. Stop it. Also, the majority of them are not physically fit, which is no surprise.

    1. Ew. Where do you live?

    2. Jesus Fucking Christ, America is the Annette Scharz of copsucking.

    3. NYPD soccer?

      I don’t get it.

      Soccer demands too much nuance and finesse for this group. They’re better suited for hockey or lacrosse.

      1. Rugby

  17. Very off thread.
    Special ops forces will be sent into Syria.
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us…..al-n454506
    Libertarian moment?

    1. Rep. Mac Thornberry, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said the expected announcement made clear the White House was feeling the pressure of a “failed policy” against ISIS.

      “I’m concerned that the administration is trying to put in place limited measures ? too late ? that are not going to make a difference,” he told NBC News. “I don’t see a strategy towards accomplishing a goal, I see an effort to run out the clock without disaster.”

      This is pretty incredibly outrageous – that some lowly Congressman feels entitled to comment on the Presidents decision to go to war. Where the hell does a Congressman get the stupid idea that Congress has any role – even in an advisory capacity – in deciding where and why and how a President kills people who need killing by our military? Just because Obama’s a black man this racist cracker decides he can open his yap and start spewing his opinion on what our military is doing as if anybody cares what a Congressman thinks of going to war.

    2. But it is only some advisers.

      1. Indeed – I did a little advising in ’08. I don’t think my boots even touched the ground!

      2. Do they have the potential to be kinetic advisors?

    3. Did I miss the Congressional vote on the declaration of war?

      1. You just looked in the wrong place. It’s filed under “Fuck you, that’s why.”

        1. [Checks folder. Gets error message “File exceeds storage capacity.”]

    4. Another land war in Asia? FUCK YES!

  18. This summer a local city police officer was shot and killed by an “at large” criminal. Yes, tragic. But everyone and their mother got these stupid “K27” bumper stickers (officer’s unit number) and they are still EVERYWHERE, on every vehicle, in the window of every shop and store. I do applaud that the community raised money for his family. But the stupid sticker does absolutely nothing for them and I suspect people only do it because they are bootlickers and think that maybe they won’t get pulled over or if they do the pig will go easy on them for being a supporters of police. Makes me sick.

    Maybe I’m too cynical. But F those stickers.

    1. “Mark your lintel with lambs blood that ye may escape punishment.”

      1. + 1 FOP bumper sticker.

    2. If that’s why they keep the stickers, then I can’t really blame them.

  19. War on cops pushed by anti-coppers.

    Narrative set.

  20. “they’re risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect communities from the state while they engage in real crime and cause mayhem in people’s lives. New Yorkers need to send a message to thisese purveyors of degeneracy violence that he has the violent state and its standing army have no business coming to our city to peddle this slanderous “State and Cop Fiction that they serve us and protect our liberty.” It’s time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films the violent state, along with it’s violent coercive monopoly funded through extortion and demand the private production of security.”

  21. OT: It seems like the following story fits best in a Tarantino-inspired post, as it sounds like a part of one of his movies. If this has already been covered here, I apologize.

    That said, I present to you the following picaresque tale of a stripper/Hooters waitress named Zola, her acquaintance Jess, and their trip to Florida.

    “So THE NEXT DAY I get a text like “BITCH LETS GO TO FLORIDA!”

    Enjoy.

    1. Oh, and the entire story is told via tweets.

  22. Waiting for retiredfire to come in and bitch that we are all asholes for not taking that cops’ side

    I’m 3…2…1…..

  23. Waiting for retiredfire to come in and bitch that we are all asholes for not taking that cops’ side

    I’m 3…2…1…..

    1. Damn squirrels

  24. It is a curious situation when Tarantino can refer to deaths as “murder” and have numskull Krayewski claim that “Tarantino focused on the victims, the murdered. He didn’t even refer to their specific killers explicitly as murderers, let alone police in general.” If someone’s death is murder then there must be at least one murderer whether explicitly identified or not. This is akin to John Dickerson last Sunday referring to “murder” of Michael Brown despite the fact that the Obama-Holder DOJ explicitly found that Officer Wilson’s version was the only credible account of Brown’s death in that it agreed with all the credible witnesses and the physical evidence. Thus Michael Brown’s death was not murder, and was so determined by a grand jury. Both Tarantino and Krayewski are far off-base in Tarantino’s claiming murder and Krayewski defending the claim. Murder is a legal concept with explicit and detailed requirements. Until a death has been determined to be murder it is ridiculous to claim it as such.

  25. what’s with the desire to equate an officer’s giving his/her life with coming in on your day off, or some other above and beyond act? it’s part of the job. admirable nonetheless, but if they had gone out of their way to avoid danger to protect themselves, even police unions would look at them as if they misunderstood what they did for a living.

    what do you call a group of individuals who carry weapons, have a great deal of power, and seemingly ever increasing discretion as to how to use them/it, who also find any form of criticism irritating?

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