I’ve always hated Cops. (The TV show, not actual police officers. Although, actually...never mind.) Shows like Cops and Live PD have never done anything but make entertainers out of officers and paint them as heroes while exploiting civilians—often poor Black people—by filming them at the some of the lowest points in their lives. So when Paramount Network announced back in June that the Blue-Lives-Matter-before-Blue-Lives-Matter-was-even-a-thing show had been canceled amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, I was overjoyed. Unfortunately, production on Cops has resumed.
In today’s episode of Whoever Asked for This, Turn on Your Location NOW, Fox 8 reports that just four months after we were told by the network that “Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” officials at Paramount are now saying that the show is back in production and has already resumed filming in Spokane County, Wash.
Of course, there are cops who are thrilled their propaganda-so-deep-they-named-a-Will-Smith-movie-after-its-theme-song show is making a comeback.
“We have a longstanding relationship with ‘Cops’ and Langley productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our Deputies provide to all of you,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was quoted in the statement saying, the following:
“Shows like Cops highlight the work of law enforcement. They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out. People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well Deputies and Officers adjust and respond appropriately. They show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.”
OK, I’m going to stop you right there Sheriff Damn-it’s-sexy-when-you-lick-my-boots, because you sound ridiculous. Imagine believing that the media has joined hands with anti-police violence activists in crafting a false, anti-cop narrative, while also believing that a prerecorded and edited TV show that only portrays police perspective is the pinnacle of truth.
According to Fox 8, producers for the show said the new episodes will not air in the U.S. and that they are being filmed to fulfill international television contract agreements. While it’s a relief to know that my American channel surfing won’t be infiltrated by “back the blue” porn, it’s still disheartening to know that programming in other countries will include a bullshit spin on policing in the U.S.
All I can say is this: Don’t get any bright ideas, America.
First, there’s the fact that people are still grappling with the news that Breonna Taylor will likely never receive any semblance of real justice. Then, there’s the fact that anti-police violence demonstrations are still all the rage in the U.S. and don’t appear to be stopping any time soon. Finally, there’s the fact that Live PD—a canceled show that was basically Cops under a different name—is currently under fire for destroying footage linked to the death of Javier Ambler, a Black man who was fatally shot by police in Austin, Texas, last year.
So while I don’t believe cop-based reality TV shows should exist anywhere on Janelle Monáe’s green Earth, there’s a reason these shows got the ax so quick in the states. It’s just a bear you don’t want to poke right now—or ever again, as far as I’m concerned.