15 Lies About Police Work Movies Like to Tell You

Hollywood’s finest, these are not.
15 Lies About Police Work Movies Like to Tell You

Just like police exist to protect us from evildoers (well, at least in theory), so do movies exist to protect us -- from reality. In movies, a bad cop like Dirty Harry or Lethal Mel Weapon Gibson aren't “dangerous killers," they're “guys that get the job done.” Or Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill aren't “weirdly abusing the powers of the badge to provide drugs and alcohol to teenagers,” they're “taking down a dangerous drug ring from inside a high school.” And no matter what Law and Order: SVU says, there's just no way cops can hear conversations from two rooms away, enter another room, and seamlessly contribute previously unknown information. At least, no way we've heard of. 

These are obvious examples. Easy-to-suspend-your-disbelief examples. But when crime movies and reality come together, frictions are bound to arise. Just like when the FBI arrives and steals a case from the local pol… Wait, what? What do you mean, that only happens in movies? What else only happens in movies? Well, as it turns out, we have a pictofact set right here which is exactly about that. Funny that, huh?

The FBI won't just swoop in and take over. Smug feds won't walk all over the enraged cops, telling them it's their case now. They can't police forces are not subordinate to the FBI. What they do is pool their resources with local law enforcement to work together in the case.

Source: FBI

Getting a perp to confess doesn't mean they did it. Police interrogators are trained in techniques based on outdated science, which often result in false confessions. Some people confess to things they didn't do as a way to get out of the interrogation, thinking they'll be proven innocent later on.

Source: NPR

Profiling isn't all that useful, actually. Are profilers super-psychologists who can get into the criminal's mind without even meeting them? Hardly- research shows that law enforcement profilers are only slightly better at it than untrained randos.

Source: Vox

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