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Question about the suspects on TV shows like Cops

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  • Question about the suspects on TV shows like Cops

    I have always been curious why on TV shows like Cops and other variations that have sprung up why sometimes they blur out the faces of the suspects and/or the individuals involved. I can understand that sometimes its an issue to do with if they are a minor or on the type of crime committed. Are those they only factors?

    I would think that everyone outside of the officer would want their face blurred out if they ever saw that camera crew floating around during their own arrest.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    As I understand, it is 100% a matter of choice. If they are a minor, it's the choice of the parent. But I believe if a face is shown on TV, a consent form has to be signed.

    I have seens cops on Cops who have had their faces blurred out too. I don't blame 'em. I wouldn't want my mug all over the planet.

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    • #3
      I know I once knew that if you did not want your face on the show, you were either given the option up front or you had to come forward and request that it not be shown. Or maybe it's that for the public in the background you had to come forward and request it not be shown.

      Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. But either way, the subjects who were blurred somehow chose to not have their face shown.
      "The majority of people are sheep. Wolves prey on the sheep. You are the sheepdog. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. " -Lt. Col. Grossman

      "We are righteous under the law, and we are righteous under God!" -Chief T. Fleming

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      • #4
        You can't show a minor's face on TV news around here without parental permission. Even if you're filming a school event that has nothing to do with crime. And a TV camera can film anyone's face without permission I think without fear of getting sued, under the 1st Ammendment...except juvies and those specifically barred, like the accused but not-found guilty.

        People who deny crimes can be filmed. Remember Scott Peterson? And recall all the Fox interviews with judges who refused to prosecute child sex offenders? Only when there is a possibility of screwing up a prosecution is it forbidden, and this is possibly an agreement between the show and the agencies...if they started losing cases, no cops would agree to the show.

        Remember the "blue spot" on rape victims' faces? It's not law, it's a policy of the TV broadcasters.

        For blocking out suspects' faces, I imagine it's to not influence a jury. A jury member who saw the event on TV is not going to be albe to sit on the jury. For the ones who have pled already, I suppose it's a non issue and they can show their faces.
        "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gene L View Post
          Remember the "blue spot" on rape victims' faces? It's not law, it's a policy of the TV broadcasters.
          Thats probably a good bet. For people who don't want to be shown its nice. Isn't most of the show filmed in public where people have no reasonable expectation of privacy?

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          • #6
            I had the COPS crew ride with me for a while back in the early 90's when they were with my department.
            From what I recall, the folks whose faces are blurred (other than the juveniles), didn't sign a waiver to be on TV. I was amazed at all the suspects that actually signed a waiver after being arrested to have their face shown on TV.

            As for the officers who have their faces blurred, many of them are either currently or or about to go into undercover assignments. At least that's what I gathered from the TV crew when we were talking.

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            • #7
              I know a judge somewhere ruled it illegal for new crews to go on drug raids with police...at least to go inside the residence. Something about them not having a right to be there, plus about contaminating the jury.
              "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaguar57 View Post
                I have always been curious why on TV shows like Cops and other variations that have sprung up why sometimes they blur out the faces of the suspects and/or the individuals involved. I can understand that sometimes its an issue to do with if they are a minor or on the type of crime committed. Are those they only factors?

                I would think that everyone outside of the officer would want their face blurred out if they ever saw that camera crew floating around during their own arrest.

                Thanks.
                Being in the media myself I can answer this. As a camera man I can tape anyone over the age of 18 IF they are on public property or I am on public property and he/she is on private property. (i.e. I can stand in the street and tape you mowing your lawn). This is without consent. They have no choice. But if I am on private property I can tape them but need thier consent to broadcast the tape. If I don't get a release then I have to reasonably blur out thier identity. You would be suprised how many people want thier face on national TV even if it is negative image.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by iMarkVideo View Post
                  You would be suprised how many people want thier face on national TV even if it is negative image.
                  Enough about Paris Hilton!
                  "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                    Enough about Paris Hilton!
                    ditto

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                      Enough about Paris Hilton!
                      Funny how that is the first thing to pop into our heads; like it's something innate.
                      -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

                      --ArkansasRed24

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iMarkVideo View Post
                        You would be suprised how many people want thier face on national TV even if it is negative image.
                        sadly, no Im not surprised.
                        and they want that mug out there ..'pelly on COPS to show that they are bad boys.....
                        ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                        Oscar Wilde

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                          Enough about Paris Hilton!
                          I think it would have bene pricelsss to have her little tatrum on tape and let everyone see her get carried out in cuffs, no make up and of course...


                          MOM....................................
                          ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                          Oscar Wilde

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