Legendary actor Denzel Washington, whose career includes Man on Fire, Training Day, Remember the Titans, and Malcolm X, recently declared his support for both the police and American soldiers.

Washington’s comments came while speaking with Yahoo Entertainment for his upcoming film The Little Things, where he plays Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon, a disgraced Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective hunting down a serial killer.

Washington stated, “I have the utmost respect for what they do, for what our soldiers do, [people] that sacrifice their lives.”

He added, “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.”

His appreciation for law enforcement came when he did a ride-along with a law enforcement agency while doing prep work for his 1991 film Ricochet, where he played Nick Styles, a police officer turned district attorney.

Washington explained, “I went out on call with a sergeant. We got a call of a man outside his house with a rifle that was distraught. We pulled up and did a U-turn past the house and came up short of the house. 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 turned out, it was their grandfather. This policeman defused the entire situation by just remaining calm.”

“But it showed me in an instant how they can lose their life. … 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,” he added.

Washington defused his own intense situation just last year. Video shared to social media shows the actor talking with a man and two police officers.

As reported by USA Today, Washington saw the man while driving and decided to pull over because he was concerned for his safety. He then helped the man get to the side of the street. Another witness then phoned police. 

One of the officers described the situation saying, “We intervened, spoke with the individual and determined that he did not want to harm himself or others, and he was on his way, and Denzel left.”

The officer added, “Denzel provided him a mask to protect himself from the environment and that was good. So Denzel helped us today.”

The officer also described Washington as a “very good Samaritan.”

Denzel Washington

What do you make of Washington’s comments regarding police and soldiers? Do you think he will face any backlash for these comments given the rise of Black Lives Matter and its call to defund the police nationwide throughout 2020?