Denzel Washington says he has the ‘utmost respect’ for police and that he doesn’t agree with those who criticize them because anti-cop protesters wouldn’t have ‘the freedom to complain’ if it weren’t for officers.
The Academy Award-winning actor’s defense of officers follows calls to defund police over the last year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement across the country.
‘I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, (people) that sacrifice their lives,’ Washington told Yahoo Entertainment in an interview promoting his new film The Little Things in which he plays a disgraced Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective.
‘I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do.’
The 66-year-old’s latest film marks the 13th time the actor has played a law-enforcer on screen. He won an Academy Award for the 2002 film Training Day in which he plays a corrupt LAPD officer.
Washington said that he has seen first-hand the work police do given the research he has done for some of his on-screen roles, including the 1991 film Ricochet in which he plays an officer-turned-prosecutor.
Washington described going out with officer James Craig, who is now the chief of the Detroit Police Department, back in Los Angeles in the 1990s.
‘I went out on call with a sergeant. We got a call of a man outside his house with a rifle that was distraught,’ Washington said of the ride along.
‘We pulled up and did a U-turn past the house and came up short of the house. He told me to sit in the car, which I was gonna do. I wasn’t getting out. He got out. As he got out, another car came screaming up and two young people jumped out screaming. As it turned out, it was their grandfather.
‘This policeman defused the entire situation by just remaining calm. But it showed me in an instant how they can lose their life… He didn’t overreact.
‘He could’ve pulled his gun out and shot the people that came up driving real fast. He could’ve shot the old man that was distraught and a bit confused, I think he was suffering a little bit from dementia.
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Source: Daily Mail