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Denzel Washington Says Ride-Along ‘Changed His Whole Perspective’

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Denzel Washington and Rami Malek’s new movie The Little Things released this past weekend in theaters and on HBO Max to subscribers. The movie opened to a $4.8 million debut in theaters, which is not the impressive numbers most major releases expect. But in the world of a pandemic, these numbers rated it the number one movie of the weekend, and The Little Things has shot to the top spot for views on HBO Max. The movie follows Washington as Joe “Deke” Deacon, a Deputy Sheriff in California who is working to solve a serial murder case.

Not his first cop role

Washington is very familiar with putting on a badge for work. He has played law enforcement officials on 13 different occasions. He has played both good and bad cops in his movies. His most notable portrayals including a bad cop, Detective Sergeant Alonzo Harris from Training Day, and good cop Lincoln Rhyme in The Bone Collector.

Yahoo Entertainment asked Washington in a recent interview how he felt about police officers. They highlighted how the current climate toward law enforcement is antagonistic, with so many groups and celebrities supporting the “defund the police” movement. Washington answered, “I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives.” He continued saying, “I just don’t care for people who put those kind of people down. If it weren’t for them, we would not have the freedom to complain about what they do.”

Denzel Washington is different from the standard Hollywood celebrity. He can boast not only two Oscars wins but Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a plethora of nominations and other awards across the film industry. What sets him apart is that he openly talks about his Christian faith, crediting God first for his success. He says, “There’s never been a time where God didn’t direct, protect and correct me. There have been times where I was less than faithful to him, but he had faith in me.” Washington has also spoken about the importance of fathers in the lives of children, adding, “If a young man doesn’t have a father figure, he’ll go find a father figure.”

Who changed Denzel Washington’s perspective?

Denzel appreciates police officers for what they do and has even spoken out against the mainstream media for their rush to judgments, explaining. “In our society, now it’s just first – who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it is true.”

But what and who made Washington reconsider his position on law enforcement? Well, he tells a story in the interview of one of his early roles in 1991. Washington was set to play Assistant District Attorney Nick Styles in Ricochet. And to prepare for the role he went on a ride-along with an LAPD sergeant. During the ride-along, they were dispatched to a call of a man outside his house with a rifle appearing distraught. After they arrived on the scene the story unfolds.

Washington shares what happened, saying, “He told me to sit in the car, which I was gonna do. I wasn’t getting out. He got out. As he got out, another car came screaming up and two young people jumped out screaming. As it turns out, it was their grandfather. This policeman defused the entire situation by just remaining calm.”

Washington explained why that simple act made such an impression on him.

“But it showed me in an instant how they can lose their life,” Washington said. “He didn’t overreact. He could’ve pulled his gun out and shot the people that came up driving real fast.  He could’ve shot the old man that was distraught and a bit confused, I think he was suffering a little bit from dementia. But in an instant it taught me, and I never forgot it, what our law enforcement people have to deal with moment to moment, second to second.”

Others agree

Washington has taken a very unpopular approach by saying he doesn’t want to abolish law enforcement. But Denzel Washington is not the only household name that appreciates and supports good police.  Actor, comedian and media mogul Tyler Perry said, “We need more police.”

Neighborhoods that need good police would be negatively affected by the “defund the police” movement.

Charles Barkley also gave his opinion on the idea of abolishing police, asking, “Who are black people supposed to call? Ghostbusters?”

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