Film industry mogul Tyler Perry is weighing in on the calls for police reform while showing his support for law enforcement.
During an interview on “Anderson Cooper 360” Wednesday evening, Perry condemned any initiative that would ultimately take funds from law enforcement agencies.
“You gotta understand this: I am not for taking money from the police department. I think we need more police,” Perry said.
The 50-year-old producer and actor expressed concern about the neighborhood where Tyler Perry Studios is located as he noted a need for more police near his facility. He also stressed the importance of training.
Perry said, “My studio is in a neighborhood where I think we need police. But we don’t need police that are under-trained.”
He later added, “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.”
Hear Perry’s remarks below:
He went on to note that while he understands some of the aspects regarding the push to defund police, he admitted that any sort of downsizing of law enforcement agencies is troubling to him.
“Some of the things inside of ‘defund the police,’ I really understand. Like having officers who are clinically trained to deal with certain situations,” Perry said. “I think all of those things are helpful, but taking money from the police department to make the police department smaller, that troubles me.”
The filmmaker also weighed in on the George Floyd protests. While Perry believes the initial protests were organized with the good intentions, he is convinced the demonstrations have been overshadowed by the agendas of alternative groups and political affiliations.
“I became very, very optimistic when everybody galvanized together, because I know that’s when change comes. When people galvanize and come together as one, that’s when change happens,” he explained.
Perry added, “But lately, I’ve been very, very concerned that the message is being hijacked by some other groups, or political ads and parties that are trying to stop the message of what we’re asking for here is police reform.”
The ongoing debates about police reform follow the death of Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department. In various states, protesters are still fighting against police brutality and racial inequality.