LOS ANGELES, JULY 16 -- After months of controversy and public outcry over "Cop Killer," a song by rapper Ice-T and his metal band Body Count, police officers, their families and supporters today took their protests to the Time Warner Inc. stockholders who stand to make profits from the song.

They had the sympathy of a number of stockholders -- in particular actor Charlton Heston. Inside the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where the world's largest media and entertainment company was holding its annual meeting, Heston took to a microphone early on to say, "I must ... condemn this company's response to 'Body Count,' " the album containing "Cop Killer."

It was strange to hear Heston's sonorous voice unflinchingly recite some of the more controversial and profane lyrics of the song: "Die, die, die, pig, die! {Expletive} the police! ... I know your family's grievin', {expletive} 'em!"

The ballroom of 1,000 was silent. It was even more astonishing to hear him recite lyrics from the more sexually explicit "KKK Bitch," also on the album.

Heston said he held no animosity toward Ice-T, "who's trying for his 15 minutes of fame," but he skewered the company for releasing the album, particularly with promotional material designed to look like little black body bags. "Isn't that cute?" he noted.

Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler said later that the bags had nothing to do with the "Cop Killer" song but referred to "an anti-drug song which talked about kids coming home in body bags. It was in no way a reference to cops in body bags." The bags were part of a brief promotion sent to radio stations in March.

Company officials yesterday also stood fast by their argument that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression protects Ice-T's music. While saying carefully that they did not support or encourage the killing of police officers, Time Warner President Gerald Levin asked, "What would Time Warner stand for if we made as the criterion of every creative effort the commandment 'do not disturb'?"

But Heston argued: "I've been doing this all my life. I know as well as you do that an artist's creative freedom depends primarily on the success of his last work and the demand for his next."

Heston's was just the opening salvo in a meeting that never strayed far from the subject of Ice-T's song. Despite glowing reports about healthy profits, the announcement of a 4-for-1 stock split and the success of "Batman Returns" -- which has made well over $100 million and which Time Warner employees commemorated by wearing "Batman" pins in their lapels -- voices on the floor constantly brought up "Cop Killer" (which was in fact an item on the agenda).

"We invited many guests from law enforcement agencies to speak," said Levin, who chaired the meeting. "This is going to be a continuing effort to analyze."

Outside, as cars and limousines ferried stockholders through the entrance courtyard to the hotel, protesters flashed signs that read "TIME WARNER PUTS PROFITS OVER POLICE LIVES" and held up posters with the names of officers killed in the line of duty. Inside, an officer's widow and representatives of police organizations voiced their criticisms.

Ron Delord, of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, said during his remarks: "In my opinion, you've lost your moral compass or never had it. ... I'm not trying to remove it from stores; it's not a First Amendment issue. ... But if you target people for killing and say it over and over again, what makes you different from {Nazi propagandist Joseph} Goebbels?"

Delord -- whose organization has called for a boycott of Time Warner products -- asked the company for an apology.

Levin said the company hopes to continue this dialogue by holding forums on network or cable TV. As for profit, that was not the sole motive, Levin said. Noting that the music division makes $3 billion a year, he said the Body Count album "represents far less than one-tenth of 1 percent of our annual sales."