Why don't suspects on "Cops" ever mention the cameras?

This question has been bothering me for some years. On the show Cops, police often arrest many angry, drunken suspects who curse and scream and struggle and are otherwise physically or verbally abusive. Yet, I’ve never noticed any of them mentioning the cameras. It’s obvious watching the footage that the cameras are there. Often you can see crew members running around, you can see cables, and the lights would also be a definite tipoff. Yet, none of these alleged criminals says anything like, “GET THAT ****ING CAMERA OFF ME!” or anything like it. Sometimes you’ll see the suspect glance at the camera, but they never say anything about it. Why is this?


I’ve never seen afullepisode of Cops, but I swear I’ve seen them say,
“Get that f*cking camera off me” or something to that extent plenty of times. But then again, I could be wrong.

However, an interesting phenemenon occurs with Cops. The more likely someone is to watch Cops, the more likely they are to be on Cops. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m sure it’s heavily edited, I seem to recall an ocassional reference to the camera. I’d guess the cops might suggest to the suspects that it may be in their interest to allow the filming, but I doubt they’d put that on camera.
I’m fairly certain that they have to get a release before airing it though.

The people who say “Get that camera off me!” are unlikely to sign a release allowing their image to be shown on TV.


Even if they convinced one of those people to sign the release, there would still be the whole “fourth wall” issue. Bringing attention to the camera is usually not what the producer wants to do.

I want to make a comment abaout COPS.

I’ve seen some episodes where they went into people’s homess, and televised it, but they blurred their faces so it seems that they didn’t release the footage. To me that seems very wrong as the police are given powers to enter homes in emergencies for very specific reasons, not to film TV shows and humiliate people in front of their neighbors. They should not be taking advantage of those powers for their own purposes. If they did that to me, all my friends and neighbors would know who was who. It’s not right.

One also wonders under what circumstances they were asked to release footage.

Source: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0038/news-fefer.php

Generally, when we make such statements of alleged fact here, we try to support them with some evidence.

So do you have a cite you can give for this ‘fact’?

Is it?

I dunno’, it’s less likely the cops would use excessive force on camera, but you have to consider the embarassment of having your behavior shown on national TV. If you’re innocent it might be good to have the tape, if you’re guilty, not so good.
I think most cops would like the taping, so they might try to spin it so it sounds good to people they encounter during taping. Just a guess, as I said.

Wouldn’t law enforcement types like the show? I wanted to be a cop once, I really like the show, and have never been arrested.

Are you guessing that career criminals watch so that they can see their colleagues?

Mandy Patinkin: [singing as Ronnie Dobbs] I thought that my home was my castle / With no one scrutinizing me / No pigs, no lyin’ bitch, no hassle / Y’all are brutalizing me / Can’t a man not drink his beer in silence? / Can’t a man not crudely lie and scream? / Can’t a man not control his bitch with violence? / Y’all are brutalizing me

This may be a better tip-off to the presence of the camera than their actually commenting on it. Hamming it up, and such.

That was David Cross and you know it! You been fuckin Travis?!?

You that’s it lets go!

Remembering all those on the run criminals who were caught by a sting operation involving a fake competition win, maybe some criminals just like being seen on TV and aren’t worried about the social stigma.

Plenty of cops appear on that show, hence the title.

Many years ago, Geraldo Rivera did a special that involved a drug deal. He went into a hotel room to make the purchase and one of the guys there said “Hey, aren’t you Geraldo Rivera?”

My brother was in prison with that guy. It was his claim to fame. They had the show in the video library.

While I have no other cite other than second hand, I don’t have a problem envisioning a group of folks putting their Cops episode on heavy rotation. The tranny truck driver? Not so much. There is a sector of people that would consider that being “famous.”

David Cross ‘is’ Ronnie Dobbs. Mandy Patinkin plays Ronnie Dobbs in the stage version.

I don’t get this, and I’ve always wondered why camera crews are allowed to rush into someone’s private residence along with the police. The cite from the Supreme Court says they can’t go in with police serving a warrant, so why would it be okay to go in when they’re responding to a domestic violence call?
The principle is the same: the cops can come in uninvited because they’re cops and have good reason, but the camera crew are just regular folks like you and me and the cops don’t have the authority to invite them in.
I can’t run into someone’s house, right behind the cops, just so I can get a good view of what’s going on. The cops couldn’t tell people on the sidewalk, “Hey, come on in and see this! This guy’s drunk!”
Can someone explain the reasoning that the cops and Cops use to get away with this?
And getting the signed release after the fact doesn’t address the issue. If I break into your house, I’ve still violated the law even if afterward I get your signed agreement that it’s okay with you and you won’t prosecute me.