On Saturday, director Quentin Tarantino took part in a New York City rally against police brutality. The event, held by RiseUpOctober in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, aimed to “bring justice” for citizens who are killed by officers. The event arrived only four days after officer Randolph Holder was killed by gunfire during his pursuit of a bicycle thief. Holder’s death has resulted in a suspect in custody on murder and robbery charges.
During the RiseUpOctober event, the NYPD arrested 11 protesters (one for resisting arrest) for disorderly conduct, blocking traffic, and “failing to disperse.” After brandishing signs and meeting with fellow his protesters, Tarantino read victims’ names aloud and spoke to the crowd:
“I’m a human being with a conscience. 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… When I see murders, I do not stand by… I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”
Tarantino’s presence and the attention he brought to the event was not appreciated by the New York police union, known as the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. The union’s president, Patrick Lynch, is quoted by Deadline as calling Tarantino a “depraved” and “slanderous” man:
“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.”
In response, Tarantino stressed that the event was staged several weeks in advance, and the timing was “unfortunate,” for the recent police death was “a tragedy, too.”