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USA Today 6:53 a.m. EDT October 27, 2015  .


Quentin Tarantino, N.Y. cops beef over brutality

By: Maria Puente

fter Oscar-winning director Quentin Tarantinomarched against police shootings in Manhattan this weekend, the New York police union called for a boycott of his movies Sunday.

Tarantino joined hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday in Greenwich Village's Washington Square to march a few miles along Sixth Avenue as part of a series of demonstrations organized by the New York group RiseUpOctober over the past week. Speakers at the protest said they want justice for people killed by police.

According to the Associated Press, the protesters walked past lines of police officers who had cordoned off a lane of traffic for them. As they moved, those with megaphones shouted stories of the slain as others waved signs with photos of the dead, mostly young black men, and the dates and places of their deaths.

Tarantino told reporters he flew in from California for the protest to stand up for the victims of police shootings.

"I'm a human being with a conscience," he said. "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."

The protest was peaceful and there were no arrests. But the demonstration happened in the wake of another shooting of a New York police officer: Randolph Holder was shot to death last week while chasing a bicycle thief. A suspect has been charged with murder and robbery in the case.

It was only the latest flashpoint in the tally of shootings all over the country (of citizens by police and police by citizens), and the increasingly bitter exchanges between police and African American activists over who is more victimized by the other.

Patrick Lynch, the volatile head of the cop union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, lashed out against Tarantino on Sunday, calling him a "purveyor of degeneracy" and his remarks "slanderous 'Cop Fiction.'"

"It's no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too," Lynch said in a statement posted on the union's website. "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."

A response from Tarantino was not immediately available.

But the city's top cop, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who doesn't fly off the handle as easily as Lynch, said Monday he feels as much contempt as Lynch about Tarantino suggesting cops are "murderers."

“Shame on him, particularly at this time, where we’re grieving the murder of a New York City police officer,” Bratton said during an interview on WNYM radio. “Basically, there are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.”

Although many of Tarantino's biggest hits — Reservoir DogsPulp FictionDjango Unchained — are indeed startlingly violent, he is considered an influential cinemaauteur in Hollywood: He won Oscars for Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained.

His latest movie, The Hateful Eight, about bounty hunters in Wild West-era Wyoming, is due to open Christmas Day.

One of New York's pro-police tabloids, the New York Post, did not mince words about how it feels about Tarantino. Its front-page headline screamed "Disgrace" and featured a picture of a protester (not Tarantino) directing a rude gesture at a nearby police officer.

Contributing: The Associated Press