There are corrupt cops, and then there are cops pretty much made out of corruption. As long as we’ve had TV cop shows, we’ve had dirty cops, but these six pretty much serve as the worst of the worst.
Doyle Bennett, On Justified
We feel kind of bad for Doyle. He’s actually a good cop in almost every situation, but, like most people, he has a soft spot for his family. Of course, when your family is a bunch of vicious pot-growing hillbillies who have an ongoing vendetta with another bunch of vicious pot-growing hillbillies, that’s a heck of a soft spot, and it gets ugly fast. Then again, he does stop engaging in criminal activities once the family decides to go legit. So there’s that in his favor. We guess.
The…Uh, Well, the Evil A-Team, On “The A-Team”
It never fails; if you have a show with a group of heroes, and it stays on the air long enough, they’ll eventually run into a group of villains just like them. Although in this case, the team in question were a bunch of decorated cops who were also assassins on the side. But, needless to say, they just didn’t have the construction or montage skills of “The A-Team”, and were forced to throw themselves to the ground while being shot at, and then get up and run away.
Peter Scottson, On Weeds
We understand when a husband wants to support his wife, and really, Peter did try. Well, maybe not so much with the child-rearing (you don’t punch kids to get them to behave, Pete), but he did at least try to help Nancy by busting rival pot dealers while leaving her alone. Of course, you don’t generally make your wife try to sell off her drugs and pocket all the proceeds, leaving her destitute with three children to support…but then again, he did get murdered for trying it.
“Dutch” Dixon, On Renegade
Ah, the mid-’90s, when Lorenzo Lamas was somehow seen as a star and his rugged hair metal looks could somehow carry a TV show for five seasons. The main enemy, beyond the crooks he hunted down, was “Dutch” Dixon, a detective who tried to kill our hero for testifying against him, wound up shooting his girlfriend, and then…shrugged, said “Eh, good enough”, and framed our hero for the murder. Of course, in the end, “Dutch” got his comeuppance: he was found out as a corrupt cop and the show ends with him now being the hunted. But without the epic hair, we doubt he got very far.
Vic Mackey and…Well, Everybody Else On “The Shield”
OK, so the entire show revolves around cops who have varying degrees of corruption, but boy howdy, even put into perspective, these guys are scary. When your show starts with a corrupt cop leading an anti-gang task force that takes bribes and offers protection to keep the drugs and crime to reasonable levels, you know you can only go downhill from there. Granted, even Vic has lines he won’t cross: beating your wife is a great way to get him to crack your skull. Then again, before that, he’d probably executed a gang member, framed someone else for the crime, and sold a bunch of drugs to an organized crime syndicate. So that’s probably Vic’s idea of unwinding with a criminal justice degree in hand.
Roger Mulvaney, “Cold Case”
Why does Roger win, out of all of them? Let’s see here, to keep his wife from reporting his domestic abuse, he used his position to hide her complaints and then killed one of her children right in front of her, forcing her to give up her other child and go into hiding. He’s so utterly evil that when it’s revealed a bunch of slightly cleaner cops literally took him out back, beat him to death, and dumped the body, everybody just sort of looks at each other, realizes they’re OK with it, and it never comes up again.