This week’s protests over the death of George Floyd escalated on Thursday night in Minneapolis and other U.S. cities. The ongoing situation follows the termination of all four officers involved in Floyd’s death after bystander-filmed footage showed one officer pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee restraint (to Floyd’s neck) that’s been condemned by law enforcement as unwarranted in any situation. That footage continues to circulate during a reported federal investigation into what happened.
Amid these ongoing events, week-old video footage of Malcolm X star Denzel Washington in West Hollywood is going viral. TMZ first posted the clip that shows a masked Denzel acting as a Good Samaritan during a confrontation between a distressed homeless man and two police officers. The clip shows Denzel placing himself in between police and the man (as the actor comforted the man). TMZ reports that Denzel had already helped the man to safety after he’d blocked traffic, and although the man was briefly detained and released by the officers, the incident quickly resolved in a peaceful manner.
On social media, the footage is being reposted, including a tweet from retired NBA player Rex Chapman, who has praised Denzel for his selfless actions. “Denzel Washington saw a commotion in West Hollywood with cops and an unarmed distressed homeless man,” Chapman tweeted. “He got out of his car and served as a barrier between the man and the police — helping to diffuse a tense situation. This man was arrested safely.”
On Twitter, users praised Denzel for his decision to help the man. Journalist Ericka Goodman wrote, “Denzel is a gentleman, scholar and a real one. Continue to give him his roses. This is the right way to help.” And user OzzyMerc tweeted, “I’m proud of Denzel for his quick recognition and call to action, but it bothers me completely that we now have to be hyper vigilant when we see our fellow citizens being detained by police.”