Fact Check: Kurt Russell Did NOT Share 'The Badge' Poem Attacking 'Defund The Police' Movement

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Kurt Russell Did NOT Share 'The Badge' Poem Attacking 'Defund The Police' Movement Not Russell

Did Kurt Russell share a poem titled "The Badge" that attacks the "defunding the police" movement? No, that's not true: An earlier version of the poem attributed to "unknown" appeared in a Facebook post on June 7, 2020, but it did not include any mention of "defund the police." A more recent version purportedly shared by the actor does address "defund the police." There is no evidence Russell shared or wrote this poem.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on August 9, 2020. The post began with the words "Amazing Post!" followed by this introduction to the poem attributed to Russell:

Yes... let's all join in the hatred of all police for the sins of a few. Let's defund one of the most important public institutions in our countries history. Let's have all badges removed and allow people to tend to their own safety and security. But before you do so, Let me tell you about the badge and the thousands of good men and women it represents.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Aug 11 13:52:26 2020 UTC)

"The Badge" poem followed the introduction falsely attributed to Russell:

This badge ran towards certain death as the Towers collapsed on 9-11.

This badge ran into the line of fire to save the people in the Pulse Night Club.

This badge sheltered thousands as bullets rained down from the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas.

This badge protected a BLM rally that left five officers dead in Dallas.

This badge ran into the Sandy Hook School to stop a school shooter.

This badge killed the Oregon District mass shooter in seconds.
This badge has done CPR on your drowned child.

This badge has fist fought the wife beater who left his spouse in a coma.

This badge has run into burning buildings to save the occupants.
This badge has been shot for simply existing.
This badge has waded through flood waters to rescue the elderly trapped on the roof.

This badge has intentionally crashed into the wrong way driver to protect innocent motorists.

This badge has helped find the lost child so his mother would stop crying hysterically.
This badge has helped the injured dog off the road and rushed it to the vet.

This badge has escorted the elderly woman across the street because she couldn't see well and was afraid to cross.

This badge has bought food for hungry kids because they had been abandoned.
This badge has been soaked in blood and tears.

This badge has been covered by a mourning band to honor those who have sacrificed everything in service.
You may hate me because I wear it. But, I wear it with pride. Despite your hate and your anger, I will await the next call for help. And, I will come running without hesitation. Just like the thousands of men and women across this great nation.
This badge.

~Unknown

An conclusion falsely attributed to Russell followed:

Every cop, cop friend, cop relative, and supporter should copy & paste!!!
I just like I did.

There is no evidence Russell shared either version of this poem.

The earlier version as it appeared in a Facebook post:

Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 4.12.34 PM.png

Russell has been the target of false claims before, and Lead Stories has debunked some of these bogus claims in the past:

Fact Check: Photo Does NOT Show Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Wearing Trump Apparel

Fake News: Kurt Russell Did NOT Claim Democrats Want To Abolish 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th Amendments, Senate, Electoral College, Supreme Court, Borders and ICE

PolitiFact and Snopes also conducted fact-checks on this claim about the poem attributed to Russell.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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