"Emotionally immature response": ‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson issues statement after being called out by cop union

Los Angeles Special Screening Of Prime Video Series "Reacher" Season 2 - Arrivals
Alan Ritchson at the Los Angeles special screening of Prime Video Series "Reacher" Season 2. (Image via Getty/ David Livingston)

On April 16, actor Alan Ritchson issued a lengthy statement on his Instagram after being called out by the cop union National Fraternal Order of Police on their social media handles.

The matter began on April 13, when the union called Alan Ritchson a “useless Hollywood actor” who was “virtue signaling for attention at the expense of brave police officers.” This came after the actor’s comments during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, where he said:

“Cops get away with murder all the time, and the fact that we can’t really hold them accountable for their improprieties is disturbing to me.”

The comment was in reference to his viral t-shirt that demanded the arrest of the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot by cops at her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, following a forced entry during a drug raid in March 2020.

Following the criticism by the National Fraternal Order of Police, Ritchson commented:

"This kind of emotionally immature response is the epitome of what concerns me about law enforcement today. If this is how leadership handles a peaceful disagreement, what does life look like for those unseen interactions in the street?"

In his latest Instagram post, Alan Ritchson wrote that cop unions “crave a pat on the back” for their actions

On April 3, in an article titled, The High Highs and Low Lows of Alan Ritchson, published by The Hollywood Reporter, Alan Ritchson was asked by his interviewer Chris Gardner about his viral summer 2020 t-shirt that read. “Arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor,” the image of which recently resurfaced online.

In response, the Blue Mountain State actor noted:

“That was a tragic case… We should completely reform the way that we do it. I mean you shouldn’t have to spend more time getting an education as a hairstylist than as a cop who’s armed with a deadly weapon. We should make it very hard for people to make mistakes or abuse power in our institutions.”

He also added that the fact that police often “get away with murder” and can’t be held “accountable” is “disturbing” to him.

10 days later, the National Fraternal Order of Police took to their Instagram and X handles and responded to the comments by Alan Ritchson. Sharing a photo of the actor along with his remarks, they wrote –

“While Mr. Ritchson gets his face and forehead powdered on set, our officers are out doing a job he doesn’t have the courage to do. While he gets to hear loud pops and have blanks fired at him, our officers feel the heat of the bullets as they pierce their skin.”

The post wrapped up by referring to Ritchson as a “useless Hollywood actor” and claiming that he was trying to draw attention to him at the “expense of brave police officers” across the USA:

“There are no take two’s or take three’s in real life Mr. Ritchson… Go back to your pampered life and let the heroes handle this.”

On Tuesday, Ritchson took to Instagram to respond to the cop union’s rebuke, calling it "concerning" and "emotionally immature." He wrote:

“You belittle me for being incapable of demonstrating bravery, but I believe that’s exactly what I’ve shown. You’ve haplessly fired multiple shots at me simply because I have called for more accountability. I did this knowing people like you who crave a pat on the back and zero accountability would criticize me.”

The 47-year-old also asked how “the protection of an untouchable union” that issues such responses “shapes the character of young police officers who “look to management.” He added that he deems “blind allegiance” dangerous and believes that “standing up to impossibly large institutions takes courage.”

The Titans star continued by saying how he knew that there were many “good and brave cops” who had his gratitude, but that doesn’t mean that “rogue or ill-equipped officers” do not exist or that they are always held accountable for their improprieties.

“Both can be and are true. To only seek praise and ignore this need is extremely unwise and endangers those at risk of being ostracized and marginalized – which is who I was referring to in my [The] Hollywood Reporter article,” he added.

Alan Ritchson also criticized the new Florida law that only police can “police themselves,” referring to Governor Ron DeSantis’ bill that “limits police oversight in the state.” He shared that such “lack of transparency” was “laughable if not so deadly.”

He also shared his regrets about such measures taking people farther away from the world one hopes to leave behind for the next generations. Alan Ritchson ended his lengthy statement by thanking the police for their service and standing his ground.

Alan Ritchson is critically acclaimed for his titular role as Jack Reacher, a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps in the Amazon Prime thriller series, Reacher.

Edited by Upasya Bhowal
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