More Reality Cop Show Shenanigans

Friday, March 25th, 2011

More problems for Police Women of Broward County, the awful TLC reality show I previously wrote about here.

The filming of a new season of Police Women of Broward County has victims, suspects and the sheriff saying the reality series has gone too far trying to create must-see TV — including offering suspects money if they’re reluctant to allow their faces to be used on the program.

Crime victims have come forward recently, upset about their treatment by deputies connected to the show while a number of suspects have complained about what they say is pressure put on them to sign release forms…

The Broward County Public Defender’s Office is aware of at least three clients who have been offered or received money to sign release forms since filming for the new season began in January, Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes Jr. said. One was paid $500 and another offered that same amount, Weekes said.

“They need to take any action necessary to prevent future arrestees from being further exploited,” Weekes said of Lamberti’s office. “They need to take some responsibility for the lack of supervision of these folks.”…

Some victims have also criticized the show, saying they have felt pressured by deputies and the show’s producers to allow the cameras to intrude on their lives.

One woman who reported a date rape to BSO in January said she was disturbed when Sheriff’s Office sex crimes Detective Julie Bower came with an all-male television crew and pushed for her to tell her story on camera. Bower is one of the original stars of the show…

“I started getting upset, crying,” said the Pompano Beach woman, 51, who has since moved to the Orlando area out of fear of running into the man she said drugged and raped her. “I’m reporting a date rape. I’m trying to get someone to listen to me and she’s trying to put me on TV.”…

[Broward County Sheriff Al] Lamberti said the show does have benefits.

“I wanted to show law enforcement in a human way,” Lamberti said. “It does illustrate that women can have a career in law enforcement.”

Here’s a screen cap of the show humanizing Det. Andrea Penoyer.

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37 Responses to “More Reality Cop Show Shenanigans”

  1. #1 |  marco73 | 

    I wonder how much Steven Seagal offered the rooster guy in Phoenix?

  2. #2 |  Jesse | 

    All these LE-oriented shows have really started to get on my nerves. Seems in the last 25-30 years, there’s more and more, whether they are reality or fictional dramas.

    When I was a kid, there were many more shows that were nominally anti-police, or that at least glorified heroes that were either not police or were at odds with the police (think Magnum PI, Simon & Simon, among others, and of course the all-time best show, The Dukes of Hazzard).

    Now, there are basically zero shows that have those kinds of themes except for a total spoof like Reno 911.

    On the other hand you have about 6 different flavors of CSI, Law and Order, The Bridge, NYPD Blue, another half-dozen LE-oriented reality shows, and probably another dozen I forgot or haven’t heard of. Seems a show doesn’t make it on TV anymore unless it glorifies people that are paid with tax dollars, collaring unsavory characters.

  3. #3 |  Juice | 

    nice human bewbs

  4. #4 |  awp | 

    We must all respect authority’s bit knockers.

  5. #5 |  Bobby | 

    I’ll bet Det. Andrea gets a LOT of false confessions.
    Given the right inducement … .

  6. #6 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “I wanted to show law enforcement in a human way,” Lamberti said. “It does illustrate that women can have a career in law enforcement.”

    Right. As long as they are as willing to tase passively resisting suspects and stomp on civil liberties (in the name of the drug war, of course) as their male counterparts. Bull shit!

    Look, these shows are not about empowering female police officers. They present the viewer with a terrible version of what policing is about. Incidentally, the shows are (quite obviously) skewed toward “action,” so they do not show most of what occurs during a typical patrol officer’s shift. So of course they are insensitive to victims and suspects alike. Actually, they make the job look much more offensive (from a civil liberatarian’s view) than it typically is. I have been a police intern, a volunteer in a small P.D. and worked around police officers a lot, so I know this. And the camera/camera crews no doubt influence these officers to make things look more “exciting.”

    These shows are disgraceful, and actually harmful to law enforcement and the public’s understanding of the police. I sent an e-mail to TLC when the first show started expressing my displeasure, and I would encourage other Agitator readers to do the same.

  7. #7 |  Just plain brian | 

    I’ve never agreed with NWA more than I do right at this moment.

  8. #8 |  Dear Leader | 

    As a man I love looking at an attractive woman with a nice rack. But as a human being I hate looking at those with the authority to use force who value being a TV star over respect for victims. Maybe if I blink rapidly while staring at the picture I can overcome the cognitive dissonance.

  9. #9 |  monsterEger | 

    From your Reason article:

    “Though the departments depicted in the show always have veto power over what footage makes it on the air, Cops generally did well to depict the monotonies of police work, be it walking a beat, calmly talking down a jealous husband, or taking one of those long, all-night neighborhood patrols in a squad car.”

    Except for one issue that the hipster, bloggers fail to mention in order to remain politically correct. The producer of Cops has gone on record saying that the show ‘equalizes’ clips between whites and minorities breaking the law. In other words, the camera crews that follow the cops get way more footage of cops dealing with minorities than dealing with whites, but they show an equal amount of footage of each to make it look like both commit crimes at the same rate. This simply isn’t true. I don’t think I’ll be seeing an article on this on the politically correct blogosphere :)

  10. #10 |  roy | 

    Gender equality has finally reached the point where women can be bastards too.

  11. #11 |  André | 

    #7: I’ve been tempted to start signing all of my emails:

    “Best regards,

    -André Xavier

    Fuck the police”

  12. #12 |  André | 

    Also, I was going to invoke the balloon juice fallacy and say “notice Radley’s silence on the changes to Miranda” but I figure that’s next week’s crime column.

  13. #13 |  zendingo | 

    oh the humanity…………….

  14. #14 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I gradually stopped watching broadcast TV about 25 years ago, not because I’m some kind of intellectual snob (you should see, or rather you shouldn’t see, some of the tripe I watch on DVD), but because I simply did not have the energy to put into the season long story arcs that were beginning to take over the world at that time. But the rise of Surreality Television does absolutely nothing to tempt me back.

  15. #15 |  croaker | 

    http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/cops-tussle-with-cops-on-camera

    Cop vs Cop in PA caught on tape.

  16. #16 |  Just plain brian | 

    Cop vs Cop in PA caught on tape.

    No matter who loses, we win!

  17. #17 |  Marty | 

    I’d love to know the impact these shows have had on public service workers- paramedics in their 50s all cite Emergency as an inspiration, older cops loved Dragnet or Andy Griffith…
    This Jerry Springerish shit can’t be good.

  18. #18 |  EH | 

    No matter who loses, we win!

    Except for the victim in the story.

  19. #19 |  parse | 

    a number of suspects have complained about what they say is pressure put on them to sign release forms…

    The Broward County Public Defender’s Office is aware of at least three clients who have been offered or received money to sign release forms since filming for the new season began in January,

    Is the latter supposed to be an example of the former? Because I don’t think “been offered or received money” is usually described as “pressure,” especially around these parts. “These parts” being The Agitator, not Broward County.

  20. #20 |  Alasandra | 

    I read Dogs in Deadly Crossfire and thought you would be interested in this. Melmo an 11 year old dog who was properly chained in her own backyard was shot six times by a police officer answering a call at the neighbors. She is still on active duty and it is doubtful she will be censored for the killing.

    http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=14300415

  21. #21 |  CyniCAl | 

    I lost my reading comprehension after viewing the screen shot. Sorry.

  22. #22 |  dingdongdugong | 

    http://www.delawareonline.com/section/VideoNetwork?bctid=856144622001

    DelDOT removes people’s basketball poles, threaten arrest, lie to man.

  23. #23 |  Highway | 

    dingdong: Well, that’s just a blatant show of force by a pathetic state agency, isn’t it. The law looks like it was specifically written by someone who wanted to do exactly this kind of thing.

    I’m guessing what it is is some local killjoy with a buddy in the state government somewhere got annoyed at kids playing basketball in the street, and decided to have an end put to it. So they used a law that was put in a few years ago just for this sort of killjoy maneuver. There’s very little compelling interest in maintaining a 7 foot clear zone in a residential subdivision that’s not even normal state highway jurisdiction.

    But I’ll bet little miss state employee felt like she accomplished a job well done after lying to that guy’s face and then ripping down his basketball standard.

    Honestly, if it were me, I’d be out there this weekend putting in a brand new basketball pole on the back of sidewalk (the limit of the clear zone) with enough extension to get back to the street, and enough of a footing that it’ll stay there (it would be a bit of a cantilever), which would have the additional effect that their loader would probably have a much tougher time pulling it out.

  24. #24 |  dingdongdugong | 

    Highway: Its not often that I say cliche’s like “its a textbook example,” but there you have it.

    basketball pole has been there 70 years on private property. One person complains, they come in with guns, threaten him with arrest, lie to him, tell him he isnt free to speak, steal his property, and are smug about doing it on camera the whole time.

    This poor old man with a walking cane just doesnt want to be harassed, and weve got someone using the government as their thugs, yet again.

    I think this needs more attention.

  25. #25 |  Joe | 

    While turning policing into an entertainment industry has its obvious conflicts of interests, the one part of this I am actually not bothered by is producers offering suspects money to sign releases in order to show their mugs on TV.

    Why is that so bad? If $500 will get you to voluntarily show your face, well then it was enough to get you to voluntarily show your face.

  26. #26 |  Joe | 

    I liked the screen shot too…what were we talking about again?

  27. #27 |  Highway | 

    dingdong, a minor point: The land the basketball poles are on is almost certainly not private property. Roadway right of way in subdivisions generally extends 8 to 20 feet beyond the edge of roadway. Given the configuration of those streets, with a 4 foot grass area and a 4 foot sidewalk, in that video, there’s at least 10 feet of road right of way beyond the edge of pavement.

  28. #28 |  OBTC | 

    Hey Radley and the Agitatortots:

    Let’s all celebrate -

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/03/25/the-los-angeles-swat-team-turns-40/

  29. #29 |  bear | 

    A man was once arrested by the sweet and sassy LEO depicted in the video and after being informed:

    “Anything you say CAN and WILL be held against you!”

    He had a brilliant two word reply:

    “You’re tits”

    (read this somewhere on the tubes recently…so don’t take credit, but offer it as a tribute to the author)

  30. #30 |  Pablo | 

    #28–thanks for link–it illustrates how far off course the whole SWAT thing has gone. The LAPD SWAT was arguably created for a legitimate purpose, e g high risk hostage situations, barricaded fugitives, etc.

    Note the military language–they are a “platoon” on the “front lines.”

  31. #31 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    #29 Pablo:

    Excellent point. People really need to know their history. SWAT didn’t always respond for routine warrant service, after all. Military nomenclature was duly noted and is quite inappropriate. Is that how SWAT would have been described in 1971? I doubt it.

  32. #32 |  J.S. | 

    Jesse, you forgot the A-Team. Famous for no one ever getting shot or dying in a car wreck. I’d say maybe one modern tv show like that is Burn Notice. I don’t watch cops shows much anymore either. I was a fan of the original law & order but even that is hard to watch reruns of. The new ones are just worse.

    As for the Chick Cop show, they should re-name it “Totalitarian Tits!”.

  33. #33 |  John Q. Galt | 

    The first time I watched one of these pig women shows, this spra-hawt blonde ossifer demonstrated how to escalate an encounter when she got all pissy over a drunk guy referring to her as some cutesy lady term.

  34. #34 |  Joe | 

    OT Radley, but you might want to look into this Judge Amanda Williams’s drug court. It is so bad that not only do defense lawyers say “don’t do drug court” but some prosecutors recommend people avoid it. Apparently she is a vindictive bully with some unresolved issues in her own family and if anyone deserved the scrutiny of the Agitator, she does.

    Then again, you might have already profiled her!

    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/430/very-tough-love

  35. #35 |  Justthisguy | 

    I wonder if Game works on female cops. Not social situations, but while doing official business.

  36. #36 |  perlhaqr | 

    Justthisguy: I’m not sure i want to try negging someone who might not even have to go to court if she shoots me.

  37. #37 |  Drunkenatheist | 

    @MonsterEger:

    “Except for one issue that the hipster, bloggers fail to mention in order to remain politically correct. The producer of Cops has gone on record saying that the show ‘equalizes’ clips between whites and minorities breaking the law. In other words, the camera crews that follow the cops get way more footage of cops dealing with minorities than dealing with whites, but they show an equal amount of footage of each to make it look like both commit crimes at the same rate. This simply isn’t true. I don’t think I’ll be seeing an article on this on the politically correct blogosphere :)”

    Are you really trying to make the argument that minorities break the law more often than whites do? Srsly? I think you’re looking for either PoliceOne or Domelights, not The Agitator. Just sayin’.

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