Anyone else watch Cop Dramas and look for poor police work?

Discussion in 'Movies and Television' started by rattrap007, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    Anyone else watch shows like Law and Order, CSI, Cold Case, NCIS, Bones, etc and look for them using improper police work or laughably accurate science?

    I tend to do this a lot with L&O. I just watched the SVU episode "911". In it a little girl calls 911 and has been held hostage by a pedophile. Det. Benson talks to her. The cops can't track the phone because of some high tech device that makes the signal appear in a different place. Well at the end they finally manage to figure out where she is after the pedophile found the girl with the phone.

    Well they figure out she is in an electronics store across from a burnt down burger joint. They are waiting for the warrant when Benson notices a man fitting the vague description given by the girl (Brown hair, silver glasses in blue case) and stops his car. He is then ripped out of his car and tossed on the hood. She and Finn search it (illegal search?) then when they find nothing they smash their way into the electronics store and find the room the girl was in only she is not there. She questions the man. When he doesn't give the answers she wants to hear she tosses him an the bed and has him by the throat (assault). He says he wants a lawyer. She lets go. a moment later she notices dirt on his shoes and grabs one off his foot (again illegal obtaining of evidence). She [in a kinda madness] scoops the dirt into a pile and says they will use the dirt to find the girl and tries to get him to confess. He kinda lunges for the dirt or to escape and she elbows him in the face (Assault or self defense?). Then Finn finds a tiny piece of charred wood deduces the girl is buried in the lot across the street. Cop cars smash down the fence (Destruction of property, and illegal search of premises (Warrant wasn't for lot too). They dig and find the costumes (more illegally obtained evidence) he made the girl wear and the girl who with a quick CPR is alive.

    So all in all the girl is alive, but all the evidence seized is now unusable due to crappy police work.

    Any cop members out there that can confirm my legal proceedings?

    Also gotta love when they enhance a picture from 300 yards away, take a small pixelated area and enhance it to a high def picture of a license plate.

    anyone else notice stuff like this?
     
  2. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone with half a brain knows that half the shit that goes down in cop shows is TV bull. My brother came up with a term for what CSI calls "forensic science", Grissomology. But with police science stuff since the average viewer knows little about what's what and what's bullshit, they can get away with some crazy impossible stuff and no one bats an eye.

    I once read a blog post/essay (written by a lawyer) on how crappy some cop shows portray the law and it nuances for a better story or episode. One thing that stood out was that "got off on a technicality" usually means an illegal arrest, or illegal search. In other words this persons civil rights were violated. Since the guy's lawyer had more than 2 brain cells he pointed these facts out to the judge. And thus the case against him was, quite justly to the author, thrown out. Some technicality huh? That said L&O prime did tend to show evidence getting suppressed because it skirted US civil liberties.
     
  3. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    I've yet to do this with police procedurals due to poor law-enforcement/legal knowledge, although I nitpick the hell out of war movies for technical/historical inaccuracies. It's rather chagrining to hear that about '911', considering the episode is one of my all-time favorite SVU installments. Would be interesting to have TFW's resident cops and lawyers share their thoughts here.
     
  4. Red Alert

    Red Alert Security

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    CSI basically ruined forensics in a courtroom
     
  5. Deceptijohn

    Deceptijohn Metallikato Master

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    I like to watch the show "The First 48". It's a reality show that follows homicide investigators. Like writers and their quest to pen the perfect crime, I like to look for ways the crooks could have done a better job of not getting caught. I say "stop talking to the cops" at the TV a lot. :) 
     
  6. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Only as far as DNA evidence goes. CSI portrays it like every crime lab in a major city has DNA testing capabilities. Which isn't true. And that it can be done in a day or 2. Which also isn't true.
     
  7. Razorclaw

    Razorclaw Are ya gonna draw pistols

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    I used to watch "Police Cops".

    Only because Homer Simspon kept swingin' his damn shawl around all the time. I laughed hard.
     
  8. jetfire prime

    jetfire prime Do it now and do it loud

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    The only encounter I have had with these types of shows is when Supernatural made fun of them. "Why am I wearing sunglasses at night? You know who wears sunglasses at night? No talent douche bags!"
     
  9. Rigas

    Rigas Well-Known Member

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    I generally can let it go. Being a software engineer I have more troubling ignoring the magic computer databases or the "Oh no they have thrown up a firewall *tap tap tap* Okay i'm in!" kinda junk.
     
  10. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Well to be fair there are some databases like that out there. CODIS for instance is real and mean't to be used as it's portrayed on most cop shows. But it would realistically take longer than 5 minutes to search through it.
     
  11. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Did nobody do a background check on Ice-T before they gave him a badge and a gun?
     
  12. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    Also it seems that "Hate Crime" can mean anything to the writers of these shows. I think a "hate crime" involves violence. Otherwise it is freedom of speech. But it seems if you hit a guy, who happens to be a different race, then you committed a hate crime. Maybe the guy was just an ass and you hit him.

    One episode that got me about this is from SVU. The episode is "Alien". a 12 year old is dumped off at a hospital with a stab wound to his back. He is paralyzed. Turns out the person who did it is a little 8 year old girl. It is learned that she is the daughter of a lesbian couple who send her to a catholic school. She is teased because of her parents. The step mom never adopted the girl. The birth mom is dying in the hospital. So when when step mom is there when the girl confesses, she uses the fact she never adopted her to get it dropped.

    The birth mom's parents come in and take custody after she dies. The grandparents find naked pictures of the step mom with the girl and get the girl to claim she was sexually abused. the pictures turn out to not be sexual and are "innocent." Even though there are naked pictures, the grandparents are nearly charged with a "hate crime" for turning the child against the step mom. WTF?? Coercion to false testimony maybe, but a hate crime? Well the grandparents say they got pamphlets from their lawyer that talk about what bad parents gays are. Well the police turn around and give them pro gay parent material. They decide to look into shared custody. The cops then arrest the lawyer on a hate crime charge.

    Ok so let me get this straight. Little girl paralyzes a boy who teased her - no crime. Gets off scot free. Parent manipulates system to own advantage AND takes naked pictures with small child - Nothing wrong here. Grandparents coerce child into claiming rape -- No charge. Lawyer hands out anti-gay propaganda - Go directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.


    I think there is an old saying. Something about your rights end at your fist and mine begin at my nose. The two should never meet. Basically you can say what you want (other than yelling FIRE in a crowded theater) about any group, but once you assault someone you have overstepped that right.
     
  13. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Criminal justice student here.

    I'll have to see this particular episode for myself for specificities and actual application, but there are six court-established exceptions to the fourth amendment that do not require warrants (provided that probable cause can in fact be established). Motor vehicle searches is one of them.
     
  14. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    I thought that was only with permission of the driver or random stops like border crossing or drunk driving stops...
     
  15. Trenner Dios

    Trenner Dios Humility > Huge Ego

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    This sorta highlights what I consider to be one of the worst flaws in our legal system: that comepletely damning, incontrovertible evidence can be thrown out on a technicality, generally because of a civil rights violation. There was one episode of L&O or L&O:SVU where video evidence of a suspect being a pedophile had to be thrown out. So you know it is damning evidence of him that would make for a sure conviction, and you know that he is definitely guilty now, but it gets thrown out and he walks? Why in the world would this be allowed to happen? Why does the law enable people that we know are guilty to be set free? Why would you punish the victims by doing this?

    Here's a solution: evidence is found that makes it an easy win for the prosecution, maybe video evidence of the crime and the perpetrator committing it. His lawyer argues it was gained through an illegal search. Instead of just throwing it out, why don't you have the judge look at it and decide if it is incontrovertible or not? Then he can, you know, JUDGE for himself and decide whether or not it should be admissible. Instead of punishing the victim by letting the criminal walk free, you punish the officer or whoever else is responsible for breaking the law and jeopardizing the case. Make the punishments severe enough so that the people involved with solving crimes are more likely to adhere to the law.
     
  16. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Guess these shows are kind of a... *sunglasses* Cop-out.

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAH!
     
  17. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    The reason for this is simple: it's to make sure the police do their jobs correctly. The idea of technicalities is meant to remove any incentive for the police to break the rules themselves. Simply punishing the cop doesn't do enough to curtail cops breaking the law, it's been tried before and it doesn't work.

    If the driver gives permission, it becomes a consent search, and thus the fourth amendment and warrants don't apply anyway. Border crossing is a subset to another exception to the fourth amendment. Drunk driving stops definitely qualify as probable cause, but that's by no means the only qualifier.
     
  18. lars573

    lars573 Well-Known Member

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    Well Hate crime laws are really just riders that add a stiffer sentence onto regular laws covering things acts like murder, assault, threats, slander and libel. So that lawyer was guilty of spreading "Hate speech", a hate crime. Also a minor can't legally confess to anything without a parent or legal guardian present. Since the lesbo-life partner never adopted the girl, she doesn't meet either criteria. Hence the confession was illegal.

    Which is a very outdated 19th century concept of Free Speech. One that hasn't legally existed for decades. If ever.
     
  19. Trenner Dios

    Trenner Dios Humility > Huge Ego

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    Yeah, that completely misses the point of my post.
     
  20. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    You missed the point of mine. Your suggestion has been tried, and it flat out doesn't work.
     

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