Our favorite police show has been masterfully evading one of the most controversial topics for 13 seasons so far.
Alright, alright, let’s be real here.
Blue Bloods has addressed police brutality on several occasions: there were entire episodes dedicated to this problem, and the entirety of Season 1 was about corrupt cops and their dirty business (which is not quite the same but still connected). We know it and we get it. The show acknowledges the problem…kind of. Not really.
All the instances when Blue Bloods spoke about police brutality were intentional. There was an exact case, an issue, and it was resolved by the Reagans to the best of their abilities. That’s great and all, but the larger problem was never addressed — and worse yet, it’s present in borderline every episode like all’s good!
Yes, we’re going to pull out the Danny Reagan card again.
The proud son of his family and one of the absolutely central characters, Danny is the embodiment of mundane police brutality. He doesn’t randomly shoot people on the streets or take advantage of his status to get his way with someone, no; Danny abuses his authority in many other, more subtle and semi-normalized ways, instead.
Danny Reagan uses excessive force all the time. He can give a perp a swirly if he feels like it would help him progress with his case; he can hold a gun to a perp’s head right there in custody if he doesn’t get the answers he wants. He’s a physically abusive cop and he pretty much never has to face the consequences of his brutality.
Furthermore, it’s Danny Reagan who often defends his colleagues who did an “oopsie” (used excessive force or abused their authority) by claiming that no one should snitch on them. The phrase, “The police should never rat out on their partner, ever!” sounds like something Danny would say just because he says it all the time.
Sure, we see cops on Blue Bloods get arrested from time to time after they mess up, but it happens very rarely — and, most importantly, this doesn’t happen to the main character who just so happens to be the embodiment of police brutality. What’s the message there? That you can do anything as long as you have that blue blood?
It’s about time Blue Bloods addresses this controversial and crucial problem directly and not through another thematic episode…and the best way to do that would be to have Danny Reagan face serious consequences for his actions throughout the show.
After all, in the real world, defense lawyers would be drooling seeing his name on cases.