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  1. #16
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    As for police unions if not for the one in Minneapolis the cop who killed Floyd who have been fired years ago. He had a long list of offenses.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    It's also always the "Bad Cop" who does police brutality to innocent people. Like we never get a show where for instance Andy Samberg's cop type from Brooklyn 9-9 does police brutality.

    The police who do bad stuff aren't so stereotyped or obvious as movies and tv shows go about it.
    Umm, yeah, no.

    Paging Detective Stabler, Detective Stabler, could you please join us?

  3. #18
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby101 View Post
    The problem is the rule breakers always do it to the guilty person. When has a cop show shown an office beat or kill a completely innocent person? Cop shows in general are not a problem, how they portray Police Brutality is.
    Every once in awhile we'll get a cop show with a bad cop that crosses the line. It's just never the main characters.

    That said it's probably fair to say there's a degree of idealism in cop shows, but you can say that about fiction in general.

  4. #19
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Umm, yeah, no.

    Paging Detective Stabler, Detective Stabler, could you please join us?
    Don't get this reference at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by XPac View Post
    Every once in awhile we'll get a cop show with a bad cop that crosses the line. It's just never the main characters.

    That said it's probably fair to say there's a degree of idealism in cop shows, but you can say that about fiction in general.
    The difference is that you are far more likely to come across real cops i.e. see real cops, meet real cops, either in stations or airports or other places, as compared to other stuff that are so idealized.

    Like sure superhero movies are idealized but you will never meet a superhero in real life. Most people will never get to meet an astronaut, a rocket physicist, an architect, a race car driver or their favorite celebrity (for better and for worse).

    So there's a bigger responsibility in a democracy to show what the police actually do and how they operate.

  5. #20
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    No, they're not. These shows don't need to be removed from air, they're works of fiction. Even shows like Law and Order that used "ripped from the headlines" instances to create their tales are still fictional. Based off true events; key word being based. People know and have known for decades on end that they're heavily dramatized and not actually true to life. Life is much more shades of gray than what tv shows show and its been that way and known since the advent of the tube. Calls to cancel these shows are a form of willful ignorance in my eyes to that particular fact. There are other avenues that show what law enforcement actually does in real life. Not all cops are the good guy unfortunately, and not all cops regularly dive from third story windows and evade dramatic explosions. Being true to life is not the job of a scripted television program nor should it necessarily be. This is blaming rap music and video games for the ills of the world all over again. Those calls were off the mark. So is Noah on this.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 06-27-2020 at 06:03 PM.
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  6. #21
    Ultimate Member Gray Lensman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Umm, yeah, no.

    Paging Detective Stabler, Detective Stabler, could you please join us?
    I remember an episode where (due to a different case) Stabler realized that he had helped send an innocent man to prison, and had resolved to try and get him out. A temporary assignment (played by Wentworth Miller) threw the only corroborating witness out of a window (while alone so no witnesses) and that resulted in the inability to overturn the conviction. To make matters worse, Miller's character "already knew the drill" which implies he may have killed people before without much in the way of consequences.
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  7. #22
    Extraordinary Member Cyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    No, they're not. These shows don't need to be removed from air, they're works of fiction. Even shows like Law and Order that used "ripped from the headlines" instances to create their tales are still fictional.
    That's just it, though. While I completely agree with the video game analogy (those that blame video games miss the games' own built-in control measures, like penalties; these critics also miss the social context of rap music as well), there's likely too many people forgetting that this is ultimately a fantasized/heroic version of police, so then it creates more sympathy for police violence and dismissal of cases like Floyd -- TV cops are the ideal, and we follow the moral examples set by fictional characters that we consider ideal (Mr. Rogers, Kermit, Capt. Picard, Superman, Capt. America, etc). After all, even cop shows are modern day parables in their own right.

    Plus, we have to avoid conflating behavior and training. Video games, music, and TV can help hone training, and are all effective tools for education and skill building. Behavior is individual and that's why video games and rap shouldn't be blamed for that. But who you build sympathy for is another function of storytelling -- that too is training, but not behavior. I doubt a non-cop is going to beat up a suspect on their own whim, but if you see your hero racially profile someone, and you miss the point that maybe the captain chews out that cop for profiling (just like video games, that would be the TV writers' own control measure), you're going to side with the hero. On the flip side, this is also why we have TV shows with "A Very Special Episode," and to do so is to acknowledge the impact your show has on an audience. And Top Gun is widely acknowledged for increasing military recruitment during the 80s. Essentially, sympathy gets training from fiction, even if fiction is separated from behavior.

    We saw this similar phenomenon already with old timey westerns consistently painting cowboys as heroes and Native Americans as savages, when really the genocide was one sided -- modern Westerns of the past few decades are a bit more accurate and nuanced to the hardships and racial attitudes of the day, and Hollywood as a whole offers somewhat more representation for Native actors.

    I'm not saying we get rid of cop shows in general, but just like any other work of fiction, they create very specific sympathies (even video games do this. The best characters become mascots, and the best RPGs win writing awards) rather than behaviors. From this point on they're likely going to be wayyy more socially conscious and emphasize the fantasy aspect of it. Brooklyn 99 already does it simply because as grounded as it is, it's still a comedy that's often slapstick/absurd. It'll be trickier for shows like Law & Order, which don't have that advantage. And frankly, Brooklyn 99 keeps getting lauded as being ahead of the curve on social issues precisely because they acknowledge the impact and influence of a TV show. The importance and delicate nature of media representation must stop being underestimated.
    Last edited by Cyke; 06-27-2020 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #23
    Uncanny Member XPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Don't get this reference at all.




    The difference is that you are far more likely to come across real cops i.e. see real cops, meet real cops, either in stations or airports or other places, as compared to other stuff that are so idealized.

    Like sure superhero movies are idealized but you will never meet a superhero in real life. Most people will never get to meet an astronaut, a rocket physicist, an architect, a race car driver or their favorite celebrity (for better and for worse).

    So there's a bigger responsibility in a democracy to show what the police actually do and how they operate.
    I don't agree that fiction is obligated to show how things operate in the real world. Certainly it can be reality based, but it can also be escapism.

    And again, most cop shows will have the occasional story of a bad cop. It just won't be the main character.

  9. #24
    Sailing the seas Chris Lang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuinnFillory View Post
    Thanks to recent real-life events, there is more scrutiny on the institution of police than ever before. And, some of that scrutiny is landing on cop shows and how they depict the way law enforcement is supposed to behave. While some of these shows have promised to take more care with their writing, there have been called to remove them from the air.


    So, what do you think?
    Well, TV police proceedurals do have a problem, some more than others. Some have an imbalance between how many crimes are committed by white people and how many are committed by persons of color. I've noticed that disturbing trend in Chicago P.D., with a lot of black and Latino criminals several episodes in a row.

    Also, in all the cop shows I'm most familiar with, there tends to be only one black regular character in the police force, and for some reason there's this rule -- possibly an unwritten rule -- that there can't be another until the first one leaves. Specific examples, from the shows I've seen:

    In Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Ice T's Fin Tutuola only became a regular after Monique Jeffries left the show. In CSI, Langston didn't join until after Warrick Brown was no longer part of the show (Warrick Brown was killed off, by the way). Rizzoli and Isles only gained Nina Holiday a season or so after Barry Frost left the show (when both the character and the actor who played him died). Chicago PD has had only one regular black member of the unit since the show began, Kevin Atwater.

    It's kind of a disturbing bit of tokenism you don't see in other types of proceedurals. Elsewhere in the Chicagoverse, we've got three black regular characters on Chicago Med (Sharon Goodwin, Maggie, April). In Chicago Fire, the unit is led by Chief Boden, and one of its newer recruits is Ritter, making two black regular cast members.

    Can anyone name a cop show that's had more than one black regular at the same time?

    Of course, it's important to note that cop shows, despite the supposed 'real world' setting are basically fantasies, and in real life police departments are bloated, overbudgeted, and often inefficient. In the real world, sadly, a lot of rapes, murders, arsons, and so forth go unsolved, and cop shows only acknowledge it when doing 'reopening a cold case' episodes where the detective is going after the (previously unmentioned) real criminal that got away years ago.

    And sometimes, cop shows go so far out of their way to make their protagonists superheroes that it impacts real-life juries. A particularly egregious offender is CSI, where forensic science is portrayed as working so fast and so accurately that it might as well be magical. In the real world, the analyses can take a lot longer, and there's no guarantee they will be right. Unfortunately, members of a jury have been known to take too much of what they saw on CSI as being reflective of actual forensics.

    As far as brutality goes, Chicago PD is, again, an offender, as it's led by Hank Voight, a sergeant who believes in bending the rules in the name of dishing out justice. He's been known to beat up suspects and intimidate informants, sometimes by locking them in a cage. He's balanced out by more level-headed characters such as Jay Halstead and the aforementioned Kevin Atwater, but still one has to wonder how he's managed to stay as head of the Intelligence Unit for six whole seasons given how many times he's gone overboard.

    Elliot Stabler on SVU certainly has had his hot-headed moments, and moments where he's been brutal toward a perp, though usually the people he's been brutal toward were unrepentant jerks who enjoyed the abuses they themselves had committed. But again, Olivia Benson was there to be the more level-headed one.

    Anyway, yes, there are indeed a number of elements of cop shows that are problematic, and if they are to continue, they will need to address these things that have been the elephants in the room for a long time.
    Last edited by Chris Lang; 06-27-2020 at 05:03 PM.

  10. #25
    Ceiling Belkar stabs you GozertheGozarian's Avatar
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    The CSI Effect has shown some of these shows have given juries unrealistic expectations.
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  11. #26
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    I think that many of us have known this isn't how it is in the real world, but we suspended our disbelief for the conventions of the genre. However, most recently, I'm finding it hard to do that--and I think movies and T.V. shows made just before 2020 but only coming out now are going to spark our cognitive dissonance. I wonder if, once shows go back into production, they will rethink some of those conventions.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Yeah, pretty much. When was the last time a show had a scumbag cop on the cast who should have been fired, but stayed on because of the union?
    On the Blacklist their newest recruit was a cop who had poor impulse control, the lead saw her nearly kill a suspect while trying to capture him and protected her when it was discovered she went over the line at a prior precinct for a controversial incident that made her persona non grata there but allowed her to transfer elsewhere in the FBI because the precinct leader covered it up.

    Castle also had an episode where all the cops, and Castle himself, protected a crooked cop who was a fugitive IIRC. They celebrated this fact in the epilogue.

    Edit: No police unions to be seen on both shows, as well.

    Edit 2: Never liked how whenever Internal Affairs is in media, they're made to look like the bad guys who just get in the way of the protagonists. They're usually look like idiots, insulted, crooked themselves or become friends with the cops when it's revealed they were wrong.
    Last edited by Steel Inquisitor; 06-27-2020 at 05:52 PM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Don't get this reference at all.


    Detective Stabler from Law and order: SVU has brutalized innocent people.

  14. #29
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    Honestly, the demonization of the police, and of law and order in general over the last few weeks, has been pretty horrifying. As are the calls for media censorship.

    I sometimes feel the last 10-20 years (maybe 30 years) were a kind of golden era of media freedom. You no longer had too much right-wing censorship. And left-wing censorship hadn't really gotten started.

    That's changing now.

    Makes me wonder how long the superhero genre will last...since we seem to be in an era where criminals are the real victims, and cops are the criminals.

  15. #30
    Ultimate Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Lang View Post
    ...

    Can anyone name a cop show that's had more than one black regular at the same time?

    ...
    While it's certainly not a regular thing, it seems like this was the case on Detroit 1-8-7 and maybe High Incident.

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