Robert De Niro is the father of six biracial children. While civil unrest is understandably at an all-time high, he spoke with Jimmy Fallon about having police brutality and what he thinks should change.
While speaking to the Tonight Show host, he recognized that since he is white — he’s never had to have the same fear of cops. He admits to not having a conversation with them about police brutality.
‘No. My children are all half black and I don’t have…even me I take certain things for granted. My kids, some instances they know and we don’t say it. When people say that they tell their kids, ‘keep your hands [up] when you’re stopped, stopped by anybody, cops, keep your hands on the steering wheel, don’t make a sudden move, don’t put your hands below, don’t do this.’ You understand that … That’s scary. That has to change’
The award-winning actor also spoke about what should happen moving forward.
‘The cops have to help in the communities and have sensitivity. There are good cops of course who have that already and some who don’t and they shouldn’t be there. Anybody who hurts another person for no reason other than self-defense or the defense of other people around shouldn’t be doing that job.I’m not a cop, so I don’t know the day-to-day stuff that they go through. But still, there has to be a change and people have to be trained and be more sensitive to certain things. Not that people aren’t many times, but there’s still people who are not and that’s got to change.’
De Niro, who is vocally not a fan of Donald Trump talked about the president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘This whole thing could have been avoided if Trump had listened to his people in the intelligence community, they kept telling him something was coming. What scares me is that people were just afraid to tell him the truth and if you tell him the truth he’s just gonna be mad at you and let you go and then what? It’s like telling a crazy relative – you avoid arguing with them because they’re gonna go crazy – but they run the country, you have to.’
De Niro has always been a straight shooter.