After filmmaker Quentin Tarantino delivered an impassioned speech at a rally denouncing as "murder" some recent police uses of force against civilians, pro-police groups called for a boycott of his films. So far, so dull. But now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, things have taken a new and remarkable turn.
In a veiled threat, the largest police union in the country says it has a "surprise" in store for Quentin Tarantino.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, would not go into any detail about what is being cooked up for the Hollywood director, but he did tell THR: "We'll be opportunistic."
Pasco specified that the "surprise" in question would be in addition to the standing call for a boycott.
"Something is in the works, but the element of surprise is the most important element," says Pasco. "Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. And a lot of it is going to be driven by Tarantino, who is nothing if not predictable.
"The right time and place will come up and we'll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that's economically," says Pasco.
When asked if this was a threat, Pasco said no, at least not a physical threat.
Note well that last bit, which did not deny that the surprise might involve forms of on-the-job retaliation by Pasco's members falling short of physical violence. Might it involve traffic problems at a Tarantino appearance? Asking patrons to state their business as they walk to a premiere? Simple failure to extend protection can accomplish a lot, as Padma Lakshmi discovered last year when police outside Boston failed to protect her from a vicious onslaught and tire-slashings when her crew tried to film a segment of Top Chef without a demanded union contingent.
Like many others, I have taken positions adverse to FOP's -- opposing its call for attacks on police to be covered by the enhanced penalties of hate crime laws, for example, and criticizing the LEOBR laws that confer teacher-like tenure on errant cops. Perhaps from now on I too should worry about a "surprise" at the hands of police unionists who might, after finding my movements "predictable," seize the "right time and place" to "try to hurt."