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Actor and director Tyler Perry said Wednesday night that he does not support “taking money from the police department,” with the media mogul adding that he believes “we need more police” amid calls to defund departments nationwide.

“You gotta understand this: I am not for taking money from the police department. I think we need more police,” Perry said told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“My studio is in a neighborhood where I think we need police. But we don’t need police that are undertrained,” he added. Perry’s studio, one of the largest in the world, is located in Atlanta, at the former Fort McPherson Army base.

“I think we need the police. I know that I need the police. I have several that work for me here at the studio,” the 50-year-old star said. “We need them. But we need them reformed. We need them trained well, we need the right structure.”

“Some of the things inside of defunding the police, I really understand. Like having officers who are clinically trained to deal with certain situations. I think all of those things are helpful, but taking money from the police department to make the police department smaller, that troubles me,” he continued.

Perry also said that believes the mass protests and movement that followed in the wake of George Floyd’s police killing in May have since been “hijacked” by other groups and political parties.

“I became very, very optimistic when everybody galvanized together, because I know that’s when change comes. When people galvanize and come together as one, that’s when change happens,” he explained. “But lately, I’ve been very, very concerned that the message is being hijacked by some other groups, or political ads and parties that are trying to stop the message of what we’re asking for here is police reform.”

The debate around defunding police departments and redirecting that money has become one of the central themes of the 2020 race between President Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, with the incumbent portraying himself as a law-and-order president and Biden positioning himself as a uniter.

Tags Defunding police Donald Trump George Floyd Joe Biden Tyler Perry

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