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21 September 2008

Cops is driving me nuts. [More:]Just started downloading a few episodes, haven't watched it in years. Every single thing I've seen so far (about 5-6 episodes) is 90% petty drug busts.

"Why were you running from me?" Because the poor bastard had his crappy little stash of dope and doesn't want to go to prison.

Standing around in front of a convenience store is grounds to be searched.

Any resistance or failure to follow any order is grounds to be tasered and charged for resisting.

Which touchy-feely episode of Cops did you think you were downloading?
posted by mudpuppie 21 September | 17:16
That was one sick show. But I'm sure much worse stuff is on now (that baby swap show comes to mind).
posted by DarkForest 21 September | 17:26
The cops have no shame, it's like they think they are making the world a better place sending these random people off to prison.
posted by Meatbomb 21 September | 17:39
Which touchy-feely episode of Cops did you think you were downloading?

LOL mudpuppie. That was funny.

I think cops prefer to nail weaker, easier people because they have a daily or monthly quota of arrests to fill. Besides, the big time drug dealers are the ones handing out the kickbacks.

A cop in NYC told me that busting small time druggies means taking their drug stash and the money they're making, "Collars For Dollars" he called it. This might look suspicious if a cop only busted small time druggies, so the arrests need to be balanced with "public lewdness" arrests (people peeing in an alley kind of thing), hookers, people drinking beer not in a brown paper bag. Stuff that the public could be fined, generate money for the government.

posted by nickyskye 21 September | 18:07
I haven't watched an episode of that show in at least a decade. Probably longer. But every now and then, I'll flip past an episode and they'll be chasing someone who is naked or in their underwear and I'll think, "Guess they're in Philly." And they are. I don't know why we seem to have so many nudie perps, but we do.
posted by jrossi4r 21 September | 18:10
It's silly to lay the blame for drug laws at the feet of the police.
posted by desjardins 21 September | 18:27
Cops the show started in 1989, in part due to the need for new programming during the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike. It was the first documentary style prime time program, and for that alone they do deserve some credit. I'd rather watch something with an element of real than something made up to a formula by a film school graduate with no life experience.

Some of the cameramen were quite talented in how they captured and related to an unfolding event. I've seen some deeply strange things on that show.

The worst of it, and this might be the kind of thing you saw, Meatbomb, is when they would come to a new city and get permission from the higher ups to ride with the police cruisers, and they would think, OK we need a bust right away tonight, let's go shake down that fleabag motel.

Those shows, the really appallingly unfair ones, did the most service by showing the world what lowlifes the police could be. Other shows really raised my sympathy for well meaning and professional police.

By the way, you'll notice that some people get blurred out, and of course the subject of the show doesn't. That's because as a general rule the subjects signed a release in exchange for having their bail paid by the Cops production company.
posted by StickyCarpet 21 September | 18:29
Yes, so agreeing with you StickyCarpet. I thought Cops was pretty revolutionary when it came out for exactly the reasons you mentioned.

Interesting about the bail money.
posted by nickyskye 21 September | 18:51
I love the Cops theme song. I rarely watch Cops.

The last Cops I watched was a mother being arrested and a handful of children being taken into custody because there was no food in the fridge, only Budweiser and many Budweiser cans in the back dumpster. I think there was a man in the picture drinking all of this beer. She probably was as well, but I'm not sure. She was begging the cops not to take her kids. It was a heartbreak. Another scene was in a trailer park. This idiot mother (childish, loud mouth, moron) called the cops on her teenager. Or, maybe the teen called the police. The teenager (around 16) said that her mother was hitting her. The stupid cop said, "Your mom is allowed to spank you." He said some other stupid stuff in this vein.
posted by LoriFLA 21 September | 19:00
COPs is one of my biggest guilty pleasures. My wife hates it.

I have a game when I watch it. I wait until it's 6 or 7 minutes in before I turn it on and then try to guess the locale based on the architecture, cars, geography and accents. I absolutely love doing that.

One time I was watching a very old episode from Boston and I swear a saw a former boss at a coke bust. I should track that episode down.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed 21 September | 19:06
I used to love COPs. My husband tolerates it, but just barely. Over the past couple of years or so, though, I've gotten tired of the same-old-same-old. Sometimes I sorta prefer "Wildest Police Videos" or whatever those car-case shows are named. I'll still put on COPS if I see it, but I just find myself tuning out not long after.
posted by redvixen 21 September | 19:40
That's because as a general rule the subjects signed a release in exchange for having their bail paid by the Cops production company.

Ooooh, so THAT'S why they let their faces be shown. I always wondered why on earth they'd sign the paperwork, particularly with the prostitute sting operations.
posted by bunnyfire 21 September | 19:54
I only watch it for the shirtless guys.
posted by BoringPostcards 21 September | 20:06
Good lord, is it still on? I usually caught the last minutes of it when I was waiting for ST:TNG to come on.

There was a local variant on the Fox channel called "On Patrol" that aired for a few years. You think "Cops" was rough, these guys were something else.

The only episode of "Cops" I liked was the crossover they did with "The X Files". It's probably not a coincidence that that was the only episode of "X" that I enjoyed.
posted by lysdexic 21 September | 20:21
I gave up on the Real World/Road Rules twelve years ago when I realized the people were deliberately picked for conflict.

I'm not much for TV anyway.
posted by brujita 22 September | 00:16
It's silly to lay the blame for drug laws at the feet of the police.

I am not blaming them for the laws, desjardins, but I am blaming them for the focus of their work, and what they choose to make a big deal enforcing. The kind of escalation of violence you see, and the arrests that they do, based on an initial whiff of pot smoke and then an eventual search that turns up a couple of rocks or a little baggie of weed.

The searching, fuck me, searches with no grounds at all but "you are a young black man on the street"... "Do you mind if I search you?" and the poor bastards assume the position hands spread on the wall. Of course they have no real grounds for a search, but the guy accepted... I guess being uppity and trying to get your normal rights would end up making things worse.
posted by Meatbomb 22 September | 05:51
Actually Metabomb, it goes more like this, "Do you have a machine gun in your car?" "Of course not." "Then you won't mind if I just take a quick look, will you."

One of my favorite Cops: domestic dispute on the porch. Guy goes inside and locks the screen door when the Cops come. "Come out here." "No."

They bust open the flimsy door and the guy starts resisting with great enthusiasm while they try to cuff him.

The weird part is that some kitschy picture on the wall gets dislodged, and the whole time he's fighting with the two Cops he's using his shoulder to keep the picture from falling and breaking.

Or the time some guy gets locked out and climbs in his own window, the Cops come to investigate and the guy's house is just chock full of illegal venomous snakes, and one of the Cops is completely terrified and flees.
posted by StickyCarpet 22 September | 09:31
COPs is one of my biggest guilty pleasures.

Mine too. A lot of the time it's just redneck idiots being caught for petty stuff, but every now and again there's something heavier and it's really interesting.

I know once or twice when the cops are arresting someone for a really bad assault on a child or something, and the perp is complaining about the cameras I've thought to myself "man, you have no idea how lucky you are that there's a camera crew recording this because you'd be dogmeat if they weren't here."
posted by essexjan 22 September | 12:05
omg rainbow tongue! || Emmys?