Cops (TV show)
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“”Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do...
Cops is a television show whose role is to help promote moral panic over a purported "crime," "gang," and "drug" epidemic in the United States, and to glorify jack-booted government thugs trying to go all power-trip on people who make lifestyle decisions they don't approve of. The show first debuted on Fox on 11 March 1989. It filled two needs for Fox:
- It cashed in on the endless public fascination with Crips, Bloods, crack, domestic violence calls from trailer park trash, and big burly guys in SWAT gear.
- It provided Fox with something that a prolonged screenwriters strike (7 March - 7 August 1988) had denied to TV programmers during the 1988-9 TV season -- original programming.
The show features many close-up shots of suspects being wrestled to the ground and handcuffed, or sometimes tasered. The subject matter may have changed somewhat, meth has replaced crack and Mara Salvatrucha has replaced Crips and Bloods, but domestic violence calls from trailer park trash seems to remain a constant ongoing occurrence.
One of the most cringe-inducing aspects of the show involves the coverage of police sting operations. If you watch too much Cops, you might think there are only two types of police sting operations -- drug deals in parking lots (usually involving African Americans); and stings that target streetwalkers and their johns.
 And while the show is often despicable, there is this
As a time capsule record of American police tactics, it offers up a valuable (and rather frightening) document of an increase in the violent nature of police procedures during the show's run. If you compare episodes from the first ten years of the series with episodes produced in the last year or two, it's difficult not to notice the effect that the introduction of such "tools" as tasers and body armor have had on the demeanor of the average beat cop. Although the officers shown in the series have always been firm with the people they encounter, it's striking today when watching old episodes to see how often officers were willing to talk to citizens in the past. Contrast that with recent episodes where most of those same people would very likely be tasered just to save the officers some time.
- Troops, the ultimate mockery.