US 'Cops' show axed after 30 years

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

Long-running police reality show Cops has been pulled from the air after more than 30 years in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

The TV show first aired in 1989, and has a camera crew follow a crew of police officers on duty as they respond to call outs, arrest potential criminals and go about their police business.

Controversial Police reality show Cops has been pulled from the air. Photo: Paramount

The show, filmed from the perspective of the officers, has come under fire for broadcasting people at their lowest moments being arrested, and for glorifying police arrests.

Last week Paramount, who acquired the series in 2013 after it ran for 25 seasons on Fox, announced the show would be temporarily pulled from air out of respect for George Floyd and the violent clashes between police and protesters that have since erupted.

Now, a spokesperson has confirmed the network has no plans to resume airing the show.

″‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Cops controversy place race and rights under microscope

Cops has been the subject of serious controversy since it first aired in 1989. Photo: Paramount

Not only is the show a very one-sided depiction of the interaction between arresting officers and those who are arrested, but it has been blasted for racially skewed depictions of the amount of Black and Lanitx people being arrested for violent crime.

In 2004 a study concluded the number of Black and Latinx people being arrested for the crimes on the show was disproportionately high compared with actual rates of offences.

There were also accusations that people arrested on camera may have been coerced into signing their filming agreements under duress, and that the police filmed had a heavy say in what made the final cut.

The announcement comes as protests against police treatment of Black citizens continues in the US and across the world.

In Australia, tens of thousands of protesters marched in major cities in support of Black Live Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter.

It came after debate around the safety of marches during the ongoing social distancing measure.

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