Tarantino attended a police brutality boycott in New York City's Washington Square Park on Saturday, where he spoke out against the NYPD's killing of nonviolent criminals. Eric Garner died after losing consciousness in a police chokehold in late 2014 after he was stopped for selling loose cigarettes.
“When I see murders, I do not stand by," he said to the crowd of protesters. "I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
TheDjango Unchained director's comments were seen as hypocritical by some, and particularly insensitive due to last week's murder of NYPD officer Randolph Holder, who was shot in the line of duty. His accused killer, Tyrone Howard, has been arrested 28 times since he was 13 years old.
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton was incensed by Tarantino's appearance at the protest. “Shame on him, particularly at this time we are grieving for a New York City police officer,” Bratton told radio host John Gambling on New York's AM 970. “There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments at this particular time."
The New York Police Union is calling for a boycott of Tarantino's films. The President of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said to the New York Post: "It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too. 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."
Tarantino told the Post that he regretted the timing of the protest, but did not apologize for his views.
“It’s like this: It’s unfortunate timing, but we’ve flown in all these families to go and tell their stories," Tarantino said. “That cop that was killed, that’s a tragedy, too.”
Photos by Ernesto Ruscio / Getty Images