Denzel Guides Police as They Frisk Black Man

The actor is praised for stepping in to help a homeless man
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2020 4:15 PM CDT
Denzel Guides Police as They Frisk Black Man
Actor Denzel Washington watches an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Social media is applauding Denzel Washington for helping out a homeless man in Los Angeles—an encounter that (as people are pointing out) ended much differently than the arrest of George Floyd. Seems the Hollywood icon saw the man wandering out on La Cienega Blvd. and pulled over, then chatted with police as they patted him down, the LA Times reports. Washington, who was wearing a mask, gave the man a few masks as police put his hands behind his back (as seen in this tweeted video). Yet the May 21 encounter didn't end in an arrest. In fact, the man was held for a mental-health check and allowed to go. Among the reactions:

  • "Denzel is a gentleman, scholar and a real one," tweets ESPN editor Ericka Goodman. "Continue to give him his roses. This is the right way to help."
  • "Now why can’t this happen more often? Why couldn’t George Floyd be given the same treatment???" tweets another person responding to the video. "I can't help but wonder though what would've happened had Denzel not been there to help, or if he wasn't famous."
  • "I saw Denzel Washington trending and got scared, but it was ONLY because he's out there being a hero, saving a life while WEARING HIS DAMN MASK," writes another Twitter user, per USA Today. "MY man!"
  • "Denzel provided him a mask to protect himself from the environment and that was good. So Denzel helped us today," said an officer on the scene in another video, calling Washington a "very good Samaritan."
(More Denzel Washington stories.)

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