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Running head: MEDIA PORTRAYAL

The Way The Media Portrays Police Officers


Cameron White
University of Kentucky

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Abstract
Summary of entire paper (150-200 words)
My paper is based upon the daily lives and struggles that police officers have to undergo,
and the challenges they have to face day in and day out to keep the society safe. I also focused on
the way that the media portrays cops as being racist, overly aggressive, and lazy. This portrayal
brainwashes the mind of many, many people because they all believe what they see on the
internet, T.V., and on Movies. These things are portrayed in such a way that there isnt a good
thing about police officers and they are just as bad of people as the ones committing the crime.
The media portrays that officers are often overly racist. They say that they would act in a
completely different if the person with the crime would be a white/Caucasian, rather than
African American, Latino, or any other race besides white. These things cant be true because you
see officers of these races. The media also portrays them as being an overly aggressive figure
into every situation. This also isnt the case because officers are trained to face the worst of worst
when it comes to crime, and they act on instinct. When a crime is a committed they are going to
take the same force to stop somone from running or stealing as they would a shootout, because
that is the what they are trained to do, day in and day out. They also say that they are lazy, which
is not true because they all have to go through vigorous exercises day in and day out. The media
is full of false statements, and misleading with every topic you can even imagine today. They
take the things from the outside world and from people that are mad about the situation and take
their word for things, and what happened rather than firsthand accounts of the situation. When
you take someone who is mad about the situation they will often times be biased against the
things they are mad about, so they things that the media puts out are often times biased, and not

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truthful. If you want to find factual information dont go into media because most of the story are
obscured in some way or another.

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The Way The Media Portrays Police Officers
Police officers are normally looked up to in the community as an idol figure, but
media often portrays them in a different light. The most common media portrayal of police
officers is in T.V. shows and movies, such as 21 Jump Street. This movie is a good example of
how the media can skew ones views on such an important role in the society. It makes them
seem useless and unimportant to anyone else around them. Also a movie like Mall Cop, shows a
fat, lazy guy that cant do anything to help. When you express these things to the media they can
take things in a completely different way than what was intended by the film. People are tricked
into believing anything that they hear especially things they say on T.V. In reality the media is
brainwashed about the subject and just feeds the people what they want to hear and not always
what is the truth in the situation. Police officers are often portrayed as being racist, lazy, and
often overly aggressive.
The first thing that media likes to portray in peoples minds is that all Police officers are
racist and that they discriminate over any other race than Caucasian, which isnt true. Media
takes cases and reports and bends them in such a fashion that it seems convincing to the people.
An example of this can be found in the article written by Nick Wing. This article explains the
many different ways that media can change a case around to make it seem like the officer
wouldnt act the same way if the race was to be changed. A quote from the article states, Media
treatment of black victims is often harsher than it is of whites suspected of crimes, including
murder.(Wing, 2014) This just comes to show that media likes to make things sound like the
officer was potentially doing this out of racism not the work of his everyday life. Another
example would be from an article by Terry Dean. The Heading of this article is Police shoot
unarmed black man-will this ever end? If this quote doesnt tell you enough about racism, I

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dont know what will. A quote I pulled from this article was, .did not exact some oldfashioned street justice against Brown for breaking the law.(Dean 2014) This quote shows that
the officer didnt do it because he was breaking the law, he did it out of racism. That is what the
media believes was the issue on hand when really it could be a lot of other things. You cant
explain something if youre not the man behind the gun.
The next issue is that the media expresses that all cops are overly aggressive. Cops act in
ways of force to prevent things from happening to the outside world. They stop crimes from
happening. When an officer if being shot at he has to act aggressive, and also if someone just
runs away, the same type of aggression will be used because that is what it will take to prevent it
from happening. In this article by Michael Buchard, Despite media Police arent trigger happy
commandoes, It explains that cops act out of instinct and sometimes cant help their actions. In
the quote, The reality of the world is that those threats are high-powered, deadly, and
unflinching, it is saying that any situation could end extremely bad, so officers have to stay on
their toes at all times and ready to go, and if that sometime means that they are overly aggressive
we shouldnt get caught up in that because of the real threat of the situation. The media just likes
to show what the officers did to stop the situation, and how much force they used rather than the
actual crime that was being committed. They dont rationalize the fact that the person that they
are going after has committed a crime and needs to be arrested and the police need to go to all
measures they can to stop the criminal, it shouldnt matter if the person robbed a store or shot
someone, police should be able to act in the way they feel necessary to stop the criminal. This
quote from Terry dean states Shoot on sight however is neither justice nor an appropriate
solution.(Dean, 2014) This states that appropriate force should be used but to just shoot
someone on sight is not.

Lazy. A portrayal that is highly used when it comes to Police officers. The media often
shows that police are lazy. Such as 21 Jump street. This movie shows the 2 cops portrayal being
stupid and sitting around doing nothing most of the movie and not what cops should be doing on
their daily basis. This movie is watched by millions of people every year and because of it many
people often believe that they just sit around and eat doughnuts and drive around in their cruiser
all day long. This quote from Joseph Goldstein states, Indeed, some police officers need to be
weaned of the idea that they are paid to drive around in their patrol cars, eating doughnuts. This
shows that the brainwashing from the media also affects police officers minds as well. They
think that they are going to be like them and the job is going to be super easy day in and day out.
The movies and T.V. shows make them this way. When you see multiple movies and T.V.
shows, of cops driving around in their cars most of the time and not doing much it leaves a
embedded thought in your head that they never do anything.

Not finished, This is as much as I got. 1300


words. I think that was as many as we had to
have.

Works Cited
Wing, N. (2014, August 14). When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better
Than Black Victims. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
Dean, T. (2014, August 9). Police shoot unarmed black man-will this ever end? Retrieved
November 7, 2014.
Goldstein, J. (2013, April 29). In Its Defense, Police Dept. Cites Laziness of Its Officers.
Retrieved November 7, 2014.
Jack Doyle for the Daily Mail. (2013, November 14). Rude and lazy police could be
disciplined by outsiders: Minister signals plan to strip chief constables of powers to investigate
their own officers. Retrieved November 7, 2014.

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