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
‘I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, (people) that sacrifice their lives,’ Washington told
‘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.’
Denzel Washington has defended those in law enforcement following calls to ‘defund police’ in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement across the country
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.
Calls to defund or abolish police departments across the country escalated last summer after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police, sparking huge racial injustice protests.
Minneapolis, which is where Floyd was killed and became a hotspot for violent protests, ended up slashing $8 million from its policing budget.
Other cities, including New York, Seattle and Portland, also ended up slashing department funding last year in the wake of the protests.
In his defense of law enforcement, Washington went on to say 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 said that he has seen first-hand the work police do and described going out with officer James Craig, who is now the chief of the Detroit Police Department, back in Los Angeles in the 1990s
The Academy Award-winning actor defended those in law enforcement following calls to defund police in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement across the country. Pictured above are protesters in New York in August
The 66-year-old has now played a law-enforcer 13 times during his career. He is pictured above in the 1991 film Ricochet
‘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.
‘But in an instant it taught me, and I never forgot it, what our law enforcement people have to deal with moment to moment, second to second.’
In his latest film, The Little Things, Washington plays a disgraced Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective. In addition to law enforcers, Washington has also played military servicemen and veterans.
Craig has since praised Washington for his comments regarding police, telling
He added that he also respected Washington for equally denouncing police violence after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked widespread protests across the country.
‘He talks about George Floyd but he also acknowledges the vast majority of men and women, both military and police, do a phenomenal job,’ Craig said.
‘He remembered that incident when we worked together on that day and he also remembered me telling him to stay in the car and I’m going to handle this and it ended without incident.
‘That touched me and I certainly appreciate him after that.’
In his latest film, The Little Things (above), Washington plays a disgraced Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective