Good cop/Bad cop

6:04:00 AM

Did you see it? What have you thrown at the screen? I have a now big pile in front of it, fortunately those flat screens are tough cookies. Yes, I know you think he is not guilty, but lets not talk about that. 

And excuse me, just skip to the third paragraph, if you have no idea what I am talking about. But it's time to vent. They should invent a hotline, where you call and talk about Making a Murderer. Sure picking fights on Twitter, you could say, is that, but I would gladly pay somebody, (maybe a shrink would do it), to blow off some steam. 
There are so many incredible twist and turns, (have you seen the Jinx and The Staircase, which was the inspiration for Serial, if not, and you have still some anger to work out, please do).  Today there was an interview in the Guardian with Brandan Dassey's lawyer. He doesn't watch Netflix. That keeps his conscience clear. He has no clue. 
That DA! Ken 'need some help with my texting' Kratz. That investigator!! Micheal 'just draw me sick pictures ' O'Kelly. And what was wrong with the judge!!!
Not much of a grey area there. It is clear what happened while prosecuting Steven Avery and Brandon Dassey. They had their preconceptions, fucked up, and if you are poor in the US and look it, you are screwed. Simple as that.
But, what about the police force (think about that word for a second, in other languages, the word force is not attached to it. In Dutch by example only squad follows). Did the makers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, prove that the Manitowoc police district carried out a vendetta by framing Steven Avery for murder? 
That whole thing hinges on our own belief. 
As you watch the second part of the documentary, you sure you are watching evil incarnated, but who it really is, is more difficult to pinpoint. 



The three moments that will stick with me are: one, the interrogation scene. The manipulation by the two officers was there, recorded, visible, still the jurors ignored it. 'What did he do to her head?'  I guess Kiss the girls didn't have a head shooting scene. 
The other moment was when the DA Ken' I was a dick' Kratz was shaming Steven Avery lawyers in front of the journalists for even daring to suggest that these upstanding family men of the Manitowoc police would done such a vile thing as framing a suspect.
The third is was the juror talking about the deliberations. What happened there? But is it so hard to believe that a jury ignored the narrative that the police framed the suspect? They had to go back to be served and protected by the same Manitowoc officers. 

Serve and protect. Did we really watch a bunch of bad cops? Or good cops doing bad things? Or was Detective James Lenk invisible entry at the scene just a coincidence, put to good use by the defense?


What makes a good cop? I am really asking. Do people that apply to the Academy have a certain personality? Or are they molded? What happens once on the job, do they change, for better, for worse? Do you loose your individuality? By which rules do they play, theirs, ours? Can we handle the truth?  
Still judging an entire organization in one big swoop is not very helpful. Maybe putting individual responsibility back, will help. 
IN real life, its a disturbing discussion.
In fiction, it makes for great entertainment.

I really hate to see bad people in real life.
In fiction I love them. Figures.

So I am cleaning the pile in front of my TV, and take solace in some Bad Cop/Good Cop fiction. Here are some dope cop stories.


Good Cop (?) 
Saga noren henrik the Bridge

Season three of The Bridge ( Broen/Bron) I saw season one and two of the American version, but now I regret not watching the original from the start. All the strangeness makes more sense, boy are those Swedish and Danish peeps in this show weird. Can you blame them?  It must be the vitamin D deficiency.  Saga Norén and her new partner Henrik Sabroe are on the hunt of a serial killer, who likes to stage his victims in vivid tableaus. Saga and Henrik don't do much more that trying to find a connection between the victims and driving over that Øresund Bridge many many times, but the poor souls have  a lot to deal with in their personal lives. I loved the relationship between the two. The show is a nice change of pace from American cop shows where they always come out with guns blazing. Slow and steady wins the race. And Saga's leather pants rock. ( even if they must smell. Girl, change your clothes once in a while!)




Good cop (?)
Podcast Detective Serial

The Podcast Detective isn't fiction, but a man' s life fictionalized. Former detective Joe Kenda tells the story of his years on Colorado Springs Police Department’s Homicide Division.  It;s almost an psychological portrait. Honest, but also very subjective. A struggle to cope with the horrors of his job, the way it influenced him,  how he sees people and mankind, and especially the scumbags, more or less his words, he has to deal with. In the last episode, the facade, cracks a little bit...Anyway you can judge for yourself if Joe Kenda was a good or bad cop. 


Bad cop.
JAmes ellroy Perfidia Dudley Smith


I wanted to review Perfidia by James Ellroy, but I can't. I am too much of a fan girl. I cannot even tell if it is a good or bad book, I just love it. Read this review instead. ' Ellroy depicts with frightening authenticity how those innocent of crimes are knowingly framed in the interest of the almighty greater good.' 
Nobody writes cops like Ellroy  does. The Good cops are selfserving, fanatical, obsessed with order, weak and still heroic in their failings. Perfidia gives us William H Parker, real life captain of the LAPD. When they are bad, they are hungry beasts, longing for validation, sex, love, escape from their awful deeds and troubled upbringings, swinging their sticks through the cites underbelly.  And no cop is as bad as Dudley Smith. He is the best bad cop in fiction for me. You may remember James Cromwell's portrait of him in LA Confidential. But I promise, the literary version is much better and worse. In James Ellroy latest, a prequel to the two trilogies, we get an even closer look, at the Dudster. We see him in his corrupt infancy. Perfidia is the origin story of the Dudster, and even if he is as self-serving, sociopathic as ever, he is also charming, vulnerable, pathetic and even more magnetic.

Good Cops

David Sedaris recommended Ghettoside in Esquire, about the detectives in South L.A. " In this book the police are respectful and diligent. They really put their backs into solving these crimes. If it were fiction you'd likely criticize it for being unrealistic. " And I immediately ordered it.


The bad cop that is actually a good cop. Or is it the other way around?

Jennifer Lopez shades of blue

'I always wanted to be a good cop' J Lo tells us in the very first seconds of Shades of blue.  You already know how this will pen out. I am a fan of those cheap thrillers, with bad guys with no depth, cliches galore, and just the right amount of cheese to make it go down. Shades of blue feels like somebody didn't have enough time to write a script. ' Hurry, We got J.Lo, Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, write me something!' The last scene of the pilot is one of the most underwritten scenes I have seen in a while. Like one of those jeans that you buy with a hem already frayed. It can be cool, but it can also be very very wrong. Let's shoot for guilty pleasure.



Bad cop, or just misunderstood?
Steven Pasquale will play Mark Furhman


One of the most fascinating real life good/bad bad cops is Mark Furhman. It was his testimony, the famous glove, and his racist priors that failed to put O.J. Simpson away. I remember watching the trial and being fascinated by his testimony. I didn't believe at that time he planted evidence. He seemed a bit rogue, but the Dirty Harry seemed a bit rogue and cool then. But now Eastwood talks to empty chairs, we are inundated by stories of cop shootings and misconduct, and I am not sure at all anymore. The people against O.J. Simpson  American Crime Story produced by Ryan Murphy will be out on February 2 and I can't wait.








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