- Of TV, Entertainment and Why Cops Shoot People
Many years ago, I produced a Reality TV series for TLC called Police Force.
I was then in the Reality TV business and I produced a lot of series — Trauma, Life in the ER, Paramedics, Breaking News — you get the idea. Real life, real people, real stories.
It was relatively easy to do. All you had to do was get permission and access, stick in a couple of your MMJs with cameras and let events unfold.
You were pretty much done.
I was reminded of this when I read about the police crashing into Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend’s apartment, guns blazing.
I produced the pilot for Police Force (which ran for, I think, 3 seasons) in Newark, New Jersey. COPS was a hot show on Fox, so this was pretty simple stuff.
The police were delighted to cooperate and allowed me to put three MMJs (we called them VJs) embedded with the police as they carried out drug raids.
The cops met the night before a big drug raid for a planning session. Of course, we came along.
They had built a little model of the house they were going to ‘attack’. They had little houses and little cars and they all gathered around as the head cop explained how all of this was going to ‘come down’. Great TV — you have seen it a million times on TV shows and so had our cops. I think, frankly, that had a great influence on how they acted.
The next morning, we all met at dawn.
The cops, who had been so benign in their blue uniforms were now dressed in riot gear or SWAT gear, armed to the teeth, black balaclavas, automatic weapons. They let our MMJs put cameras on their helmets as we accompanied them on ‘the action.’
We pulled up in front of the house in 3 or 4 cars. Everyone piled out and ran toward the house. It was like a military action. Again, you have seen this on TV, and so have the cops.
They smashed in the door and rushed into the house,
“POLICE!” They shouted.
Inside, there was an old grandma and her two grandchildren.
That was it.
They ordered the kids “ON THE FLOOR”.
They then bound their hands and searched the house.
….. Wrong house.
Well, these things happen
Did the cops apologize?
They could just as easily have shot grandma and the kids.
And why did this happen? Why does this happen over and over?
I have my own opions.
First, don’t defund the police — demilitarize them.
Second, where did they all learn to act like that?
By the time someone in this country gets to the age of 18, they have seen more than 200,000 violent acts — on TV. TV is the great educator. We spend an astonishing 8 hours a day watching TV. Cops, like everyone else, are influenced first by what they see on TV and the movies because they see it over and over and over. Thousands of hours of ‘education’ in how cops are ‘supposed’ to act.
The media educate us all as to how we are ‘supposed’ to behave.
The problem is, civil behaviour is not exciting TV.
Cops shooting up bad guys is.
That’s why we are the way we are.
Look no further than your screen.
Be sure to read my new book, Don’t Watch This! How The Media Are Destroying Your Life