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Tyler Perry on Defund the Police: 'We Need More Police'

Director and actor Tyler Perry told Anderson Cooper during a Wednesday interview that he disagrees with calls to defund the police and is not “for taking money from the police department” — adding, “I think we need more police.”

The movie mogul, who owns the largest movie studio in the United States, expressed that he believes his studio is in a neighborhood that would benefit from law enforcement, noting that all police should be properly trained.

“I think we need the police. I know that I need the police,” Perry added. “I have several that work for me here at the studio. We need them. But we need them reformed. We need them trained well, we need the right structure.”

Perry, who praised the mass protests following the police killing of George Floyd, noted that he believes in the need for police reform, but is worried that “the message is being hijacked by some other groups, or political ads and parties.”

The director explained that he has several friends in the police force who are also hurting during this politically charged time and added that he would stand up for them too. While Perry advocated for training police officers to better handle certain situations, he was troubled by the idea of making departments smaller.

“Here is what I want you to understand, Anderson. Where there is wrong, I’m going to stand up against it,” Perry added. “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 is white in a suburb in Atlanta, was shot in the head by a shoplifter, I thought that was wrong, too, and I reached out to do what I can to help his family.”

The two discussed the push to remove statues of confederate soldiers previously in the interview, and Perry noted that he does not need memorials to remind him of the nation’s history — adding that his skin reminds him every day.

Watch above, via CNN.

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