‘Cops’ Show Canceled Amid Growing Pressure for Police Reform

“Cops,” the long-running reality TV show that glorified U.S. police and reinforced criminal stigmas, has been canceled indefinitely amid growing calls for police reform and heightened accountability.

Full story after the jump.

The show “Cops” has ended after a 25-year run on cable broadcast, Paramount Network announced this week. The network pulled the show “temporarily” last month as protests against police brutality gripped the nation but, after weeks of turmoil, the network announced it would permanently drop the show from its schedule.

“‘Cops’ is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a network spokesperson said on Tuesday. “Cops,” which was marketed as a nonbiased reality show, was frequently criticized for glorifying police activities and stigmatizing people of color and drug users.; the show has also been described as an accidental recruiting tool for law enforcement.

The decision to cancel comes during a backdrop of national protests against police brutality in the name of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer in broad daylight.

“This is the right move and I want to give Paramount credit for being one of the first,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, a civil rights advocacy nonprofit that had pressured FOX to drop the show back in 2013.

“These cop reality shows that glorify police but will never show the deep level of police violence are not reality, they are P.R. arms for law enforcement. Law enforcement doesn’t need P.R. They need accountability in this country.” — Robinson, via the New York Times

“Cops” debuted on FOX in 1989 and ran until it was dropped by the network in 2013 under pressure from social justice advocates, only to be picked up by Spike TV — Paramount’s predecessor — a few months later.

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