The message was bad enough: Police officers are murderers. But the timing and context in which film director Quentin Tarantino delivered it was perhaps even worse.
Tarantino referred to police as murderers during an anti-cop march last weekend in New York City. He demonstrated an almost unimaginable level of callousness by making this statement just four days after NYPD Officer Randolph Holder was murdered when a gunman shot him in the head. He apparently was oblivious to the irony of the situation: as he vilified police as murderous thugs, NYPD officers were protecting him and his fellow protesters by safely clearing a path for them.
In the wake of Tarantino’s crass and inexcusable comments, police unions in New York and Los Angeles called for a boycott of the director’s films.
The ADDA wholeheartedly supports this call to action. The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech. It does not guarantee the speaker will face no consequences for exercising that right. Let’s make the cop-hating director know there are consequences for irresponsible rhetoric that endangers police safety by fomenting hatred against them. Let’s do it in a way that ensures he will get the message: by hitting him in the pocket book.
The ADDA urges public safety organizations throughout the country to join in the boycott of Tarantino’s violence-infused films, and to encourage their members to spread the word using every means possible. By speaking to co-workers, friends, family and acquaintances. By contacting the media and using social media. By blogging and writing op-eds.
There is always a place for rational discourse about how law enforcement interacts with the citizens they protect. But there is never a place for hate speech that helps incite violence against the brave men and women who keep this nation’s residents – including people who vilify them, like Mr. Tarantino – safe at night.
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The Association of Deputy District Attorneys (ADDA) is the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 deputy district attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles.