Saturday, December 7, 2019


I really enjoy watching action movies involving cops, I have been watching them since before even joining the Law enforcement community, and still do to this very day. However, I cannot make it through an entire movie before lashing out in contest of the validity surrounding how specific events are played out involving the officers playing the protagonist in the movie.

The movie industry has truly dumb down law enforcement actions and in my opinion sends to some extent a false idea of what standard law enforcement officers are held to in the eyes of the law. Sure in the movies the good guys always get the bad guys in the end after doing action packed things with little regard for laws or standard operating procedures in place by a normal society. The movies never addresses what happens following the actions taken via that law enforcement employed protagonist. This aspect is in pretty much in every cop movie, this is where the disconnect begins, and the wrong message is sent from in my opinion.

In the movies Law Enforcement Officers are basically above the law, however in the real world that is just not the case. In fact, LEOs are held to a higher standard when it comes to criminal or civil actions taken against them. Every movie I’ve seen has the officers shooting multiple people…then just going about their business while investigating further into the main plot established. Not the case in the real world, every shooting is investigated by Internal Affairs for any wrong doing by the officer. This doesn’t happen in one or two days, several months minimum and during that time the officer in question is either on desk duty or on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

If someone dies as a result of the shooting it is even worse, the officer in question is placed under investigation for murder and can be charges as such if found to be wrong at the end of the investigation. In addition to that, civil lawsuits will be issue as well. The family of the dead person will be suing both the agency and the officer who did the shooting for negligence while carrying out their duties or the wrongful death of their family member.

In the movies LEOs rarely have search warrants, arrest warrants, or even probable cause at times when acting. I am pretty convinced that this is why the outcome of their cases are rarely explained because in accordance with the laws in place governing certain actions (i.e. arrest, search & seizure, evidence collection, etc.) they’d get tossed out immediately due to the wrong doing of the officer or agency involved. The defensive attorneys would have a field day with these cases and no one would ever get convicted of anything. Again, I do enjoy the movies and to this day watch them on the regular. However, even I see through some of the actions taken in the movies.

I get it…the movie industry is goal oriented at entertaining the viewer so a lot of aspects are just glossed over or watered down for the purpose of getting to a specific point of entertainment for the viewer. I believe that this goal is the source when it comes to sending the wrong message concerning the actions or responsibilities of LEOs. In fact, movies and fictional entertainment literature are known to influence the perception of what LEOs do in the eyes of the general public. This inevitably effects how the public perceives actions taken by LEOs when we are carrying out actual investigations into incidents. 

This is one of those topics that can be argued forever, hence why I only briefly went into it and will cut it short here. The point is that Law Enforcement Officers are not exempt or above the law, we act within the confines of the law and charge those that act against the law, Don’t let the movies dictate the position or how critical incidents are handled by an agency…not everything is accurate in those movies, and remember the goal for them is to entertain the viewer while the goal for Law enforcement is to maintain order. 

What the Movies get wrong about COPS…