Quentin Tarantino isn’t apologizing for comments on police shootings, but he is trying to explain, NPR reports. At a New York City rally against police brutality, the film director provoked a storm of criticism when he referred to shootings by police as “murders.” “When I see murder, I cannot stand by,” he said, “and I have to call the murdered the murdered, and I have to call the murderers the murderers!” Police unions called for a boycott of Tarantino’s upcoming movie. He told the Los Angeles Times he never meant all cops are murderers — just those involved in some high-profile shootings. The issue is cropping up in politics, where candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are raising it. “The No. 1 job of the president … is to protect the safety and the security of the American people. This president has failed. And when I’m in the Oval Office, police officers will know that they have the support of the president,” he said last week in a Republican presidential debate.
Political scientist Jeanne Zaino of Iona College expects Christie won’t be the last to use the argument. “It seems to have found support amongst the Republican primary caucus-goers, and I think that we’re gonna probably hear more rather than less of that,” she says. She sees parallels between the police boycott of Tarantino and tactics on the other side of the debate, for example, when Black Lives Matter activists interrupted a Hillary Clinton speech for not embracing their point of view closely enough. Zaino says, “If you get into a stance where it’s a winner-take-all kind of thing, you could run into a problem of not getting any reform at all.”