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Clint Eastwood: ‘A Lot of People’ Are ‘Unjustifiably’ Critical of Law Enforcement in America

Actor and director Clint Eastwood attends his master class held on May 21, 2017, as part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. (David Boyer/Sipa via AP Images)

WASHINGTON – Academy Award-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood told PJM that “a lot of people” are “unjustifiably” critical of law enforcement in the United States.

Eastwood, star of the upcoming film The Mule, visited Washington for the opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum last week. The legendary actor is the honorary chairman of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Eastwood was asked if he is satisfied with President Donald Trump’s handling of law enforcement-related issues during his time in office.

“Well, so far, as much as I know. I think everybody knows it’s a tough time for law enforcement now because a lot of people have been very critical of it, and unjustifiably so because it’s a tough job,” Eastwood said after the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new museum.

Eastwood, who famously appeared onstage at the 2012 Republican convention with an empty chair depicting President Barack Obama, was also asked if he approves of Trump’s overall job performance.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about politics right now. I’m interested right now in the museum, the law enforcement museum. We’ve been waiting for seven years to see that coming out,” he replied.

In response to concerns about the effect of race relations on law enforcement, Eastwood said, “I hope it doesn’t affect law enforcement. Law enforcement is there to help out… there’s a good side to it all, too.”

Craig Floyd, founding CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, interrupted the interview and told PJM to visit the new museum that had just opened that day.

“Come into the museum and you’ll see some great examples of law enforcement working with their community to make it better,” Floyd said.

Clint Hill, the secret service agent who served on first lady Jackie Kennedy’s detail, also attended the opening of the museum. Hill jumped onto the presidential limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy after he heard shots on the day Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Shortly after Kennedy’s funeral, Hill was honored for his rapid response to the shooting.

Hill described the message he would like to see people leave with after visiting the new law enforcement museum in Washington.

“I hope they have a better understanding of what it takes to be a law enforcement officer and how important they are to American society, that they do things that nobody else is willing to do or wants to do and they do it on behalf of all the people. And it’s such an important organization, all of law enforcement, whether you are state, city, local community, it doesn’t matter, you have a really important job,” he said. “And it gives people a chance to see what it takes to be a law enforcement officer.”

When asked if he is satisfied with Trump’s job performance on law enforcement issues, Hill replied, “I think he’s very pro-law enforcement. I think most law enforcement will attest to that. I’m very pleased with the way he’s treating them and the things he’s doing for them.”

Hill said he hopes Congress continues to provide law enforcement agencies with adequate appropriations “the way they should be funded.”

“In the past, it’s been really tough to get increased funding because I went through a period of time in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s where we just didn’t get any money and we had to beg, borrow and steal, whether it was the military or someplace else,” he said.

“Luckily, we had some partners. Like Motorola, as a private business, really helped providing up-to-date equipment that we couldn’t afford, really, but they made it possible for us to have it – that’s what we needed,” he added. “And I’m hoping Congress will see fit to fund everybody properly.”