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Denzel Washington says he ‘doesn’t care’ for people who ‘put down’ police that sacrifice their lives

Actor said he has ‘utmost respect’ for law enforcement

Ellie Harrison
Wednesday 03 February 2021 08:38 GMT
Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington (Rex Features)

Denzel Washington has discussed policing in the US, in the context of his new thriller The Little Things.

In the film, the Oscar-winner actor plays a police officer who is on the hunt for a serial killer in Los Angeles in 1990.

When asked where he stands on US policing, which has been the subject of much scrutiny in the last year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, Washington told Yahoo News an anecdote about working on the 1991 film Ricochet and shadowing a sergeant. He watched the officer diffuse a situation where a gun was involved “by just remaining calm”.

“It showed me in an instant how they can lose their lives,” he 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… 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.”

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Washington added: “I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives. 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.”

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The actor has played police officers in numerous films, including The Bone Collector, Out of Time and Training Day.

The Little Things has set a record with the biggest opening for an R-rated film since the beginning of the pandemic, grossing $4.8m (£3.5m) on its first weekend.

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