Count actor and mogul Tyler Perry among the majority of Americans who question defunding the police.
Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper recently, Perry questioned why police should be defunded. He noted that he has friends who are police officers and they do great work.
“Lately, I’ve been very very concerned that the message is being hijacked by some other groups or political ads and parties,” Perry tells Cooper.
Cooper asks Perry what he thinks when he hears the phrase “defund the police.” After Cooper attempts to mitigate what the phrase means, Perry answers, “I was troubled by it,” adding that he expected the phrase to be “weaponized” for politics.
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“I am not for taking money away from the police department. I think we need more police,” he said. “My studio is in a neighborhood where I think we need police. I don’t think we need police that are undertrained. And you’ve gotta understand, I have really close friends that are police officers that I love dearly, who are really good people, who have been very very hurt by this as well.”
Perry continued: “Where there’s wrong, I’m going to stand up against it. When Rayshard Brooks was murdered, I thought that was wrong. When George Floyd was murdered, I thought that was wrong, like so many other people. But when a police officer who was white in a suburb in Atlanta was shot in the head by a shoplifter, I thought that was wrong, too, and I reached out to do what I can to help his family. When Secoreia [Turner], the 8-year-old who was shot near the Wendy’s in her mother’s back seat, I thought that was wrong, too. So anywhere where there’s wrong, I’m going to stand up against it.”
Perry, 53, called out racism in Hollywood. He owns the largest movie studio in the United States, the Southwest Atlanta Film Studio. It’s located on the land of a former slave plantation, which Perry calls “poetic justice.”