Actor and director Morgan Freeman has expressed his opposition to defunding the police, a battle cry by the left to strip authorities of power following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020, and other instances of police brutality against black or colored individuals.
The "defund the police" slogan was popularized by the Black Lives Matter movement in the hopes of reallocating funds from the police department to more non-policing forms of public safety and community support.
"Police work is - aside from all the negativity around it - it is very necessary for us to have them," Freeman argued, as per CBN News. "And most of them are guys that are doing their job, they're going about their day-to-day jobs."
"I know some policemen who would never even pull their guns, except in a range, that sort of thing," the 84 year old actor, who has won an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe Award, commented as he promoted his new movie, "The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain." Released on September 17 and executive produced by Freeman, the film follows the story of a Marine Corps veteran named Kenneth Chamberlain, who was killed by the police in Fall of 2011.
Frankie Faison, who plays Chamberlain in the film, agreed with Freeman during his conversation with Selena Hill of the Black Enterprise, saying, "I'm certainly not in favor of defunding the policemen."
Hill, who supports defunding the police, took to Instagram to share her insights on Freeman and Faison's stance on the controversial matter. She wrote, "In my opinion, their response is a reflection of the movement's struggle to educate certain parts of our community about what the phrase actually means...this interview further affirms that the terminology we're using to describe the reallocation of police funding to other community-based services is polarizing and prohibits the movement from garnering more support."
Faison recognized that Hollywood elites such as Freeman are "treated differently by law enforcement" compared to regular folks and expressed how he "would like for that to stop" and for everyone to be "treated equally" by authorities, Fox News reported.
Earlier this year, Freeman and a criminal justice professor teamed up to donate S1 million to the University of Mississippi for it to create a Center for Evidence-Based Policing and Reform. The award-winning actor said that "It's time we are equipping police officers with training and ensuring 'law enforcement' is not defined only as a gun and a stick."
Freeman concluded, "Policing should be about that phrase 'To Serve' found on most law enforcement vehicles."
There is some good news for police departments, however, as budgets have been restored after temporary defunding. According to the New York Times, rising crime rates, resignation of police officers, and political pressures have caused leaders to return funding to police departments across the country.
For example, local leaders have voted for increased police budgets, with the New York Police Department receiving an additional $200 million, while the Los Angeles force received a 3% increase in their allover budget. Austin, Texas also saw a never before increase in budgets, while Vermont approved $10,000 bonuses for officers to remain in their jobs.