Long before the invention of Twitter, celebrities have been using their bully pulpits to influence the political and social opinions of the masses with their own. Despite the constant soapboxing, one thing that I’ve noticed is that actors and rappers are a lot like politicians in the sense that they’ll sell out to the other side if the money is right faster than a kid at fat camp with a Snickers bar dangling in front of his face. Apparently, the road to green goes through blue and yellow with this bunch. Without further ado, here are the top cop hating celebrities happy to play the Benedict Arnold of their misguided side for money and fame.
#12: Chris Tucker
Tucker showed up on the map in 1995 when he played the eternally stoned, “Smokey”, in the cult hood-classic Friday – yet, he set himself up for life playing opposite Jackie Chan in 1998’s Buddy Cop meets Kung Fu Classic – Rush Hour. Despite making 45 million to play LAPD Detective James Carter in the second and third installments of the franchise, Tucker was proud to strike a “hands up, don’t shoot” pose with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, rappers Ludacris and Yung Jeezy, and a few other rich socialites at a swanky 2015 gala.
#11: Danny Glover
Danny Glover co-starred alongside Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon franchise from 1987-1998 as Detective Roger Murtaugh. I once had a black partner in my career as a cop here in the real world claim I was his real-life Martin Riggs. It’s safe to say I heard him quote Glover’s Murtaugh with “I’m too old for this sh*t” on more than a few occasions. If you expected the 70 year-old Glover to be an “old school” guy, you’re dead wrong – as he’s got nothing but glowing things to say about the ultra-divisive Black Lives Matter group famous for chants like “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want them? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon!”
#10: Will Smith
Throughout his storied career, Smith has played a police officer several times, but he’s arguably most famously known for his role as Miami PD Narcotics Detective Mike Lowrey of the Bad Boys franchise. While they are undoubtedly entertaining, the films feature Smith as a playboy living in a posh beachfront Miami condo and driving a Porsche 911 Turbo – all on a cop’s salary! Yet it was Smith, not the world’s most wealthy detective that he plays, who donated 150K to Louis Farrakhan’s “Justice Or Else!” march in September of 2015 – just one month after Farrakhan called for “10,000 fearless men” to kill whites and police officers. You’re a fine actor, Will, but shame on you.
#9: Martin Lawrence
Lawrence has cashed in on playing a police officer more times than probably anyone else on this list, but he’s best known for playing Miami PD Detective Marcus Burnett in the Bad Boys franchise opposite Will Smith. In his comedy special Runteldat, Lawrence famously joked about how white people can get away with everything from cursing out police officers on a traffic stop to speeding while black Americans have typically been the most docile and compliant of the races in a post-Rodney King world. Why? “…Cause you never know if that’s going to be us”. It is important to note, however, that Lawrence survived an encounter with the LAPD in 1996 in which he ran through the streets armed with a handgun shouting “Fight the establishment!” at vehicles in a likely drug induced stupor. It appears that we all – no matter what race – get lucky from time to time.
#8: Jamie Foxx
Foxx is another one of those celebrities who has all the answers from atop his ivory castle. Where Ferguson is concerned, Foxx thinks the shooting could have been avoided if officers simply went to speak with Brown’s parents instead of confronting him on the street. I want to ask Foxx if these are the kinds of tactics he’ll be taking as Detective Ricardo Tubbs if they ever bring back Miami Vice for a sequel – you know, rather than shoot first and ask questions later without the annoyance of paperwork or investigations into the actions taken. Foxx has also been known to wax poetically on race relations while sitting courtside at NBA games. Recently, he took a moment away from rubbing elbows with other celebrities and giving high fives to the players on the court to say that American society views the lives of blacks as less valuable than whites. These beliefs are why he was so supportive of Quentin Tarentino when the director stepped down from his own ivory tower to march with BLM and proclaim that cops are murderers. Despite all this, Foxx accepted a paycheck this year to play the role of a Las Vegas cop in the film Sleepless – a film I won’t be seeing.
#7: LL Cool J
James Todd Smith – also known as LL Cool J – burst onto the scene in 1990 with his hit song Mama said Knock You Out. It was a simpler time before the Gangsta Rap genre left its ugly stain on society by poisoning the well for entire generations of young black American males with romanticized black on black violence and police targeting.
Although it did not lyrically advocate violence, LL came out with Illegal Search the same year. The song portrayed police officers as a jealous and spiteful group trying to hold him down by planting evidence, illegally searching his car, intimidating him, and locking him up simply because he was a successful black male. While spite and jealousy are a human character flaw present in us all, I have never felt them in my job nor used them as a driver for investigating any single person. LL Cool J has abandoned his Hip-Hop career to play a police officer on NCIS: LA and Hawaii Five-O. He also played an officer alongside Samuel L. Jackson – another dishonorable on this list – in the movie S.W.A.T. LL Cool J was quick to defend Beyoncé’s halftime show at Superbowl 50 which featured a performance of her song Formation. Of course, the performance paid tribute to the militant Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter.
#6: Samuel L Jackson
Sam Jackson has been happy to play everything from a hostage negotiator to a uniformed LAPD officer and more. Who can forget about his 1971 genre-creating role as Shaft? Whether one views the 1970’s Blaxploitation genre as empowering to black Americans or as a propagator of stereotypes against them, Sammy J is arguably the first Blaxploitation star in the history of cinema. Nevertheless, Jackson – made famous for playing the role of a lawman on several occasions – has been as vocally anti-police as anyone on this list. He attempted to start a viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge-style internet trend to call out racist white police officers in 2014. Thankfully, it didn’t catch on.
#5: Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre, also known as Andre Young, is the second founding member of NWA on the list to say “F- the police!”, when he’s not collecting a paycheck playing one. Aside from merely rapping about being the anti-hero, the bad guy – Young has a real track record for violence against women. The physical assault charges he’s faced over the year aren’t simply related to domestic violence either. Young has had a real problem keeping his hands off women that anger him outside of intimate relationships as well. Not to be outdone by Ice Cube in the anti-police arena, Dr. Dre once led police officers on a high-speed pursuit in Beverly Hills and plead guilty to battery charges against a police officer in New Orleans. Young played Detective Paul in the film Training Day in 2001.
#4: 50 Cent
Curtis Jackson is the perfect example of how messed up our society is in the way it deals with Hip-Hop culture. As a young rapper whose career was going nowhere, Jackson wrote a song in early 2000 that detailed the lives of real life drug dealer in Queens, NY during the 1980’s. Real gangsters got angry and he wound up shot 9 times but would survive. Cops call it “perp luck”, and 50 Cent was born.
In the rap game, you can go from obscurity to mega-fame overnight. Despite having a movie and video game based on his being the wrong end of the gun of a thug, and relying on police protection everywhere he goes, 50 likes to talk about police brutality from the perch he sits. In one Instagram post, Jackson went on to say that his first reaction to seeing a police officer was shot on CNN was, “Good.” We’re talking about a guy who, rather than wish his son a happy birthday on Twitter, publicly counts down the days to when he will no longer have to pay child support. Not only has Jackson made some of that child support money playing a cop who kills other cops in the 2012 film Freelancers, he is the Executive Producer of the upcoming drama The Oath, that will be all about “police gangs” as if that’s a real thing.
#3: Tupac Shakur
Pac built a Gangsta-Rap legacy on East Coast-West Coast feuding and eventually cemented his legendary status in the industry by paying for it with his own life when he was shot outside of a Las Vegas hotel in 1996. Shakur’s last significant paycheck came when he landed the role for Detective Jake Rodriguez in the film Gang Related, which was released a year after his death. Ironically, one Las Vegas police officer has gone on record to say that the on-screen cop’s last words were “F*ck you” in response to police asking him who shot him.
#2: Ice Cube
O’Shea Jackson, also known as Ice Cube, was a founding member of the hip-hop group N*ggas With Attitude. The NWA were pioneers in the hip-hop industry for their invention of the Gangsta Rap genre and have been as destructive or more to the black community as anything else in modern times in doing so. It wasn’t only the glamorization of street-gang lifestyle, drug sales, and black on black violence – NWA normalized and encouraged attacks against police officers with lyrics like “A young n*gga on a warpath, and when I’m finished it’s gonna be a bloodbath of cops dying in LA”.
Of course, Ice Cube would go on to completely sell out his own hateful side’s views on police officers by playing Internal Affairs Investigator Kyle Timpkins in the movie Rampart, as well as a stereotypically belligerent police Captain in 21 Jump Street. Cube’s hypocrisy is alive and well with his latest track self-described to be a “F*ck the Police of 2017”.
As the front man of the band Body Count, Tracey Lauren Marrow, released the single Cop Killer In 1992. In the absence of any real lyrical talent, Ice-T went for shock and awe instead. The four-minute song mused of killing “pigs” with a 12-gauge shotgun, slitting police throats with a knife, and berating their grieving police families afterwards. Cop Killer was apparently the perfect resume builder for Ice-T to land the role of Detective Odafin Tutuola on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. That’s Hollyweird for you.
Most of the list is occupied by rappers whose finances depend on their ability to gloat about murders, drug dealing, intimidating, stealing, and even raping women. Why wouldn’t they be willing to sell out and play a cop in a movie or TV show if it’s a paycheck. For the record, I don’t dislike Hip-Hop culture because I don’t see any talent in Hip-Hop as an art form. Dictation is a skill. Doing it with rhythm and rhyme is even more challenging. I’ll even say that some of the rappers on this list are talented actors. Talent is not the issue. As a real cop – not the kind made on a Hollywood movie set – I dislike Hip-Hop culture because Hip-Hop culture despises me.