Media mogul Tyler Perry spoke out against certain aspects of the Defund the Police movement Wednesday, saying he doesn’t believe in shrinking police departments and that there should actually be “more police” on the streets.
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Mr. Perry, whose TV and film studio operates out of Southwest Atlanta, explained that he sympathized with the movement but thinks police departments should be reformed instead of defunded.
“I am not for taking money from the police department,” he said. “I think we need more police. My studio is in a neighborhood where I think we need police. But we don’t need police that are undertrained. And you 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.
“Where there’s wrong, I’m going to stand up against it,” he continued. “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 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.
“There are a lot of people in America who feel the way that I do,” he said. “I think we need the police. I know that I need the police. I have several that worked 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 the Defund the Police [movement] 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.”
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