Friday, June 01, 2007

Austin tells TV show COPS "No thanks"

More cities should follow Austin's lead and tell the TV show COPS and its wannabes they won't participate in sensationalizing police work. Reports UPI:
Production crews had hoped to begin filming the officers in May, but city officials reconsidered, saying the show generally depicted only the more sensational aspects of a police officer's work, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Wednesday.

Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald said he feared viewers might not see, for example, how officers do community policing or talk with neighborhood residents while on patrol.

Kudos to McDonald for taking a responsible approach, even if the media won't. COPS epitomizes the type of coverage that gets in the way of solutions-oriented approaches to crime and justice. The old broadcast news mantra was, "If it bleeds, it leads." But TV shows like COPS and Dallas SWAT made that passe' by letting the blood spill over a whole half hour, dubbing it "reality," and no longer pretending to be anything but adrenaline-pumping entertainment. That leaves viewers with a skewed perspective about criminal justice that profoundly if indirectly impacts public policy.

On COPS, life is a TV show, every officer is a star and every suspect a thug. The real world is a lot more complicated.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

TV Producers looking for "content" might want to consider the human side of people convicted of a crime the way it actually works in the real world. The plea bargain process and how it denies citizens of thier constitutional rights would be an eye opener for any TV audience. This type of show could focus on the impact on the individual's relationships, children, fiancial well being once they're sent to prison. Now, there's a reality show!

This country could use a little more reality about the thousands of people sent to prison every year. Prisoners have no voice and their plight could use a lot more visibility and understanding.

sunray's wench said...

*gasp*.... are you telling me Dallas SWAT is just a sensationalised piece of entertainment TV and not reflective of real policing in the city??????
I'm crushed.

Jaime Kenedeño said...

I wonder how many times one of those cameras in the patrol cars are used in court by defendants to prove they are innocent or they were abused etc etc?

They never work around here when a defendant request the video.

Anonymous said...

That video is key, especially in questionable DWI cases where no empty containers or open containers were discovered when the officer "inventoried" the vehicle, didn't get the defendant to "blow," no blood test, and the fact that the dumbass officer never asked the defendant to do a field sobriety test. So what evidence do they have now? Their little video. And as it turns out, the defendant was pulled over for having his license plates light bulbs burned out while driving perfectly, in his lane, and using proper turn signals. All on video.

He was arrested for refusing to blow. But the video reveals nothing but an articulate individual schooling the officer on why the breath analyzer is unreliable at best before exercising his right to remain silent upon realizing the officer had his own agenda. You see, the defendant is a scientist and an expert witness on the unreliability of the “Breath Analyzer.”

The officer appears a little upset about his schooling and the defendant exercising his right to remain silent.

Officer cuffs defendant and clamps the cuffs so tight that the defendant suffered significant nerve damage in his left wrist, and now has no feeling in his left hand.

Let’s put that one on "Cops."

Anonymous said...

I speaking from a law enforcement standpoint think cops and other "reality" police shows should show what really goes n on the streets. but no one would watch if you actually put on and showed all the boredom that actually goes with police work.

Anonymous said...

and that's the problem.... they just go looking for shit...

Anonymous said...

i have some entertainment for them they should go film the happening Bexar County Adult Probation - film how we plan to unseat several judge in teh near election. good luck ROMAN i think you will need it. i would not want to leave kaze out he is about to loose some funding in teh real near future.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that you would be against FOX TV filming the APD.

Anonymous said...

When you "shoot first and ask questions later" it's a good idea to not have cameras around. Sure take a pot shot at TV, it's easy, but let's not kid ourselves, the APD didn't say No because the show doesn't solve problems.

The APD needs a new chief who will cleans things up. Another shooting this weekend by a questionable cop...good thing the cameras weren't around!

Anonymous said...

Cops does bring an interesting look. I saw an episode in Florida where a designated driver was driving three extremely drunk people back to their houses and was going to return to the party to pick up more. The car gets pulled over for no brake lights. The three drunks get set free and unsearched (they did know their rights and did not consent) even though they are not really coherent. The driver gets his car towed and placed in jail because of a small marijuana baggy under his seat.

I didn't know cops were actually that lame until this show. They locked up a designated driver who is obviously smarter than his friends to get piss drunk. All this because he had a plant drug that would have never caused any harm to anyone.

At least when they are beating up thugs and crazy people on PCP on it is showing that cops actually enforce laws that protect the safety of our community's.