Television and movie producer Tyler Perry has defended law enforcement amid a myriad of attacks from those on the Left.
During an interview with CNN, Perry told host Anderson Cooper that the country needs more police officers—not less, and that police departments need more funding—not less.
Perry affirmed that “systemic bias exists” against people but he was “worried” the message was “being hijacked” by more radical groups, Breitbart News reports. He also said he was “very optimistic” that reforms would soon come.
Anderson asked if Perry was “optimistic, now, in a way that you haven’t been before when you see the protests taking place [and] when you see the outpouring of people of all color?”
“I was very optimistic,” Perry answered via Breitbart. “I became optimistic when I saw so many people get it.”
“So, when they saw George Floyd’s death, this horrific, horrible death played out as this man pleaded for his life and begged, said ‘please’ many, many times, it — seeing it changes everything,” he added.
Perry explained that he changed his mind about the calls to defund law enforcement agencies after he did some research.
“Well, when I first heard it, I was troubled by it, and I thought OK, this is — this is going to be weaponized by — in this political year,” he said. “I completely thought that that was happening. That’s exactly what’s happened. It’s been weaponized. But I did some research. And what I would challenge people to do is do research and find out what it means. Now, you’ve got to understand this — I’m not for taking money from the police department. I think we need more police. My studio is in a neighborhood where I think we need police.”
Perry continued: “But we don’t need police that have — that are under-trained. And you’ve got to understand — I have really close friends who are police officers that I love dearly, who are really good people, who have been very, very hurt by this, as well. And here’s what I want you to understand, Anderson, wrong — where there is wrong, I’m going to stand up against it.”
“When Rayshard Brooks was murdered, I thought that was wrong. When George — 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,” he said.
When Secoriea was — an eight-year-old was shot near the Wendy’s in her mother’s backseat, I thought that was wrong, too. So, anywhere there is wrong, I’m going to stand up against it. I just don’t believe that, and I believe in most — I don’t believe that there are lots of people — let me just change that to understand that there are a lot of people in America who feel the way that I do, right? I think we need the police. I know that I need the police. I have several that work for me here at the studio. We need them, but we need them reformed. We need them trained well. We need the right structure, right? But some of the things inside of defund the police, I really understand like having officers who are clinically trained to deal with certain situations. I think all of those things are helpful. But taking money from the police department to make the police department smaller, that troubles me.
Watch his comments below:
— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2020