NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Organizers of a rally against police brutality Thursday spoke up in support of Quentin Tarantino, who has recently come under fire by New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton and other police associations for remarks the filmmaker made at an event over the weekend.
Carl Dix, a co-organizer of the #RiseUpOctober rally at which Tarantino spoke, said the criticism was “outrageous.”
“It really is an attempt to squelch any discussion by people in the arts or prominent people in other fields of taking up and discussing controversial social issues,” he said.
On Saturday, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker joined hundreds of demonstrators at Washington Square Park before marching about two miles along Sixth Avenue to protest police brutality nationwide.
“I’m a human being with a conscience,” said Tarantino, who flew in from California for the event. “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.”
Tarantino’s remarks were quick to spark anger among several law enforcement officials, including Bratton and NYC Patrolmen Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch.
“It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too,” Lynch said in a statement.
#RiseUpOctober posted a series of statements on its website supporting Tarantino, from other organizers as well as relatives of those killed by police. In the statement, Dix slammed Lynch, commenting on a statement the PBA president made about the death of Eric Garner last year.
“I challenge Pat Lynch and anyone else to a debate over what’s the real problem: our protest of murder by police or police getting away with murder,” Dix said in the statement.
The New Jersey State PBA announced a boycott of Tarantino’s films on Wednesday, with other associations from Philadelphia and Los Angeles joining in.
“Shame on him. Shame on him particularly at this time where we’re grieving the murder of a New York City police officer,” Bratton said. “There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments at this particular time.”
The police associations slammed Tarantino as being “a cop-hater” and “anti-police.”
“Tarantino was right to join us and everyone needs to pick a side: are you for or against police terror and murder?” Dix said in his statement.
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