Film star Denzel Washington made his support for America’s police and soldiers clear in a recent interview in which he slammed people who “put down” our first responders.
After years of Black Lives Matter protests and a growing Defund the Police movement, the two-time Oscar-winning actor proved less than supportive of some of the harshest criticism against the police.
On Monday, Yahoo Entertainment posted a short interview with the star of The Little Things who said he has the “utmost respect” for the police.
In his latest, Washington, who has portrayed a police officer in 13 film projects, stars as a Los Angeles County Sheriff with a checkered past who sets out to nab a serial killer (Jared Leto). But the actor was very clear where he lines up with the police.
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“I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives,” Washington told Yahoo Entertainment. “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 Glory star went on to explain that he came to his opinion from first-hand knowledge from an incident he witnessed during a ride-along in 1991 while researching a role for the film Ricochet.
“I went out on a call with a sergeant. We got a call of a man outside his house with a rifle that was distraught,” Washington told the news outlet. “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.”
The officer was able to defuse the whole situation without resorting to any violence, Washington said.
“But it showed me in an instant how they can lose their life,” Washington said. “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. 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.”
The veteran Hollywood star recently earned praise in his private life after being captured on video in what appeared to be an effort to help a homeless man during an encounter with police in Los Angeles.
TMZ posted a video last May showing the actor appearing to mediate a tense situation between the homeless man, who is black, and two police officers. The video shows Washington placing himself between the man and the police in front of what looks to be Barton G, a restaurant in the West Hollywood area.
One of the L.A. police officers publicly thanked Washington. The officer said Washington was being a good Samaritan and even gave the homeless man a mask for protection. “So Denzel helped us today,” the officer said.
Washington, who has also portrayed a U.S. soldier several times during his stellar career, will next direct a film about a soldier who “makes the ultimate sacrifice.”
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