Law \ Legal

Police TV Shows Evolve to Avoid ‘Copaganda’

A wave of crime shows has been developed since George Floyd’s murder, aiming to explore the world of law enforcement in a more nuanced way and even featuring community policing, in an effort to avoid what critics deride as pro-police “copaganda” programming of an earlier era, reports Marc Tracy for the New York Times.

In the past two years, some cop shows have occasionally acknowledged the critiques lodged against them, with programs like C.B.S.’s “S.W.A.T.” and N.B.C.’s “Chicago P.D.” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” showing officers performing outreach to Black communities, contending with racist fellow-officers, and quitting after Floyd’s killing. However, for many other show producers, it is business as usual: Fox Nation brought back “Cops” after it was taken off the air in 2020, and Reelz launched “On Patrol: Live” after A&E removed a similar program at the same time. Critics argue these shows’ subjects and storylines have normalized harmful or even illegal police work and limit entertainment’s ability to respond to the moment in more than a superficial way.


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