NEW YORK , Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Quentin Tarantino appeared on "The View" on Wednesday, saying he is not a "cop-hater" and does not believe that all police officers are murderers.
The Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained writer and director said he has been vilified in the media by law-enforcement unions after he spoke at a New York City rally last month.
Tarantino said he supported the event because he wanted families from around the United States with loved ones who died in police custody to have a chance to tell their stories.
He further clarified the "murderers" to whom he referred were police who allegedly abused their authority by using excessive force. He went on to say he wanted to start conversations about what constitutes murder and what type of police force Americans want and need in the 21st century.
"I was talking about these specific instances that we have seen, these tragedies," Tarantino explained, referring to people killed by police and acknowledging he regards the officers involved in their deaths as murderers even if investigations cleared them of wrongdoing. "These people who were alive and are now dead are not statistics; they're not numbers."
"So, you're not anti-police?" View moderator Whoopi Goldberg wanted to know.
"I am not anti-police. I am not a cop-hater," he replied. "They are trying to vilify me as that. As far as I am concerned, Patrick Lynch, the head of the NYPD union, is slandering me by calling me a cop-hater because they can't deal with the criticism I am giving them. ... I, obviously, do not believe that all cops are murderers. I didn't say that. I didn't imply that. I was talking about these specific cases."
Co-host Paula Faris then told Tarantino a lot of people were upset by his comments because he made them just days after a New York City police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty.
"I think the timing is unfortunate," the filmmaker admitted, but added: "Rallies like this take months to set up. ... We were sending the people down here. So, what? Because that happened, we're going to tell all of the families: 'You're not going to tell your story? You're not going to say your piece. You're not going to talk about your loved ones. We're going to send you home. I'm sorry, the timing is just not right. It's not good.' We were not going to do that. The people need to be heard."
Tarantino smiled and said: "Oh, no, no, no! The cops can use this rhetoric that they are using and some of them are talking about they've got surprises for me and they're going to do this and do that and they sound like bad guys in a 1980s action movie."
"I'm hoping from all of this, there will be a dialogue because vilifying anybody doesn't ever solve anything," Goldberg said, wrapping up the segment. "We need the police force. ... And just so we're all really clear. I just want to reiterate, because you know what tends to happen, we have no issue with the police. Nobody on this panel has any issue with the police. We're having a conversation."