My wife loves watching shows like “FBI.” The agents on the show infuriate me, but my wife tells me that I need to stop analyzing and just watch. I disagree. People watch this stuff and it changes attitudes. Let me give an example:

They were investigating some threat or another, and walked into a grocery store where their suspect had bought a drop phone. They asked the shop owner for his sales records. He refused. Then they asked for the video from his surveillance cameras. He told them he would turn it over if they had a warrant. The agents immediately replied by claiming they had seen rats the size of badgers in his store, and would turn him into the health department if he didn’t comply.

Later in the show, they made statements that only people who are guilty or who have something to hide need a lawyer, therefore if you ask for a lawyer, you must be guilty.

I was incensed. The shop owner who was being extorted for his video certainly needed a lawyer. The FBI agents in that show were acting like the mafia or like secret police in a third world dictatorship. People who know nothing about enforcement, the law, or their rights see stuff like this and it colors their attitudes and beliefs. The CSI effect is real, the government knows it, and they manipulate it to their advantage.

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1 Comment

cryptical · May 6, 2019 at 4:22 pm

Law and Order and SVU are just as bad. Almost every crime would remain unsolved if every suspect said "I want a lawyer" when pulled into the station.

There was an episode the other day of SVU where a suspect was being questioned with his lawyer IN THE ROOM, and the lawyer just ineffectually said "you don't have to answer that" as the detectives got the perp up against the wall and browbeat him.

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