"When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross."
Frank Drebin: When I see 5 weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy.
The Mayor: That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, you moron!
"You wanna get Capone? Here's how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way; and that's how you get Capone!"
—Malone, The Untouchables
Lustig: (pries badge pin out of his face) Y-you cannot do this!
Gunter: I can do whatever I want! I am a cop!! With massive issues!!
"Collecting evidence had gotten old a few hundred bullets back."
"You're out of the military now, Reg. This is police work. Sometimes you gotta pick which orders you're gonna follow. And other times, you gotta make your own orders."
—Det. Bennett, Resonance
Sisko: Mr Odo, you're not going to take the law into your own hands.
Odo: The "law"? Laws change depending on who's making them. Cardassians one day, Federation the next. But justice is justice.
—Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "A Man Alone"
Ivan: I know you better than your mother. Your sense of 'honor and fair play.' Oh, you could shoot me —-if I was armed and coming after you. But like this, Thomas? Never. Goodbye, Thomas. Do svidaniya.
Ivan: (turns around) Yes?
Magnum: Did you see the sun rise this morning?
Ivan: Yes. Why? (get blown away)
Apparently, there are plans in the Metropolitan Police for policemen to start filling out crime reports instead of the public, and that just wouldn't work, because the police speak in a different way to normal people. For instance, a member of the public would say "He hit me over the head with an iron bar", while a policeman would say "I asked him to move along".
— Hugh Dennis, Mock the Week
TRAXX is a mercenary ex-cop who knows nothing about the law, but knows everything about justice.
— Actual box description of TRAXX
Sheriff Rawlins: Okay boys, gather around here and listen up. We're shuttin' it down. Wyatt Earp's here to mop up!
Deputy Marshal Gerard: That's funny. Wyatt Earp.
"I've reached a point, Detective Sydnor, where I no longer have the time or the patience to address myself to the needs of the system in which we work. [...] When they took us off Marlo this last time, when they said they couldn't pay for further investigation, I regarded that decision as illegitimate [...] and so I'm responding in kind. I'm gonna press a case against Marlo Stanfield without regard to the usual rules. I'm running an illegal wiretap on Marlo Stanfield's cellphone. If you have a problem with this, I understand completely and I urge you to get as far fucking away from me as you can."
— Lester Freamon, The Wire season 5
And he was not certain, not certain at all, what he'd do if the prisoner gave him any lip or tried to be smart. Beating people up in little rooms... he knew where that led. And if you did it for a good reason, you'd do it for a bad one. You couldn't say "we're the good guys" and do bad-guy things.
Da Chief: That was some good work, McGarnicle. But did you have to break so many necks?
McGarnicle: You tell me, chief. You had a pretty good view from behind your desk.
Da Chief: That's it! You're off the case!
McGarnicle: You're off your case, chief.
Da Chief: [Bewildered] What does that mean, exactly?
Homer: It means he gets results you stupid chief!!
Lisa: Dad, sit down.
Da Chief: Senator Mendoza is one of the most respected men in this state, McBain. And yet you drive his limo off a cliff, break the necks of three of his bodyguards, and drive a bus through his front door?!
McBain: But chief, I have proof dat he is head of an international drug cartel!
Da Chief: I don't wanna hear it, McBain! You're outta here!
([McBain punches Da Chief so hard he flies through his window and falls ten stories into a fountain in the plaza below)
McBain: Dat makes two of us.
Da Chief: This is unacceptable! That cannon of yours is against regulations! In this department, we go by the book!
(using said cannon, McBain shoots a massive hole into the thick book of police regulations Da Chief is holding)
McBain: Bye, book.
Kamina: Voted "loosest cannon" upon graduating the academy... holder of the entire police force's highest arrest record, wrongful OR otherwise... and the only officer in the entire department who's EVER caused more collateral damage than our budget could cover... the legendary lieutenant detective of the GPD's celebrated vice division... the incomparable supercop, KAMINA!! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK I AM!?
Whore: D-dude, like... NONE of that stuff is anything to be proud of.
— DOUBLE K
Hans Gruber: Do you really think you stand a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
John McClane: Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
— Die Hard
"Not everything can be solved with your strategy of shoot first, shoot later, shoot some more, and then when everybody's dead, maybe think about asking a question or two."
— President Ulysses Grant, Wild Wild West
"No doubt the arbiters would put you away, after all the documents are signed. But I will have justice now!"
"Howdy-ho, folks. I'm Sheriff Meyers. Be good, or I'll shoot you dead."
— Sheriff Meyers, Fallout: New Vegas
John McClane: Drop it, dickhead. It's the police.
Tony: You won't hurt me.
McClane: Oh, yeah? Why not?
Tony: Because you're a policeman. There are rules for policemen.
McClane: Yeah. That's what my captain keeps telling me.
— Die Hard
"You got the right idea. Cap the bastards before the lawyers get involved."
— UNATCO Guard, Deus Ex
"There’s a real fascist strain in the American psyche...He appeals to the vigilante, the lonely Gary Cooper type out there trying to defend the honor of womanhood and property against hoodlums. It has always been part of the American myth, yet it’s a fascist notion, because it goes against the whole idea of law and order and due process."
— Gore Vidal (1986)
"Adam-12 may have been the first series to realistically document the working lives of regular beat cops (in that clipped, highly stylized, über-authoritarian Jack Webb style I adore), but after seven years viewers were ready to move on. It was simply a matter of changing times and tastes. Webb's and Cinader's positive, low-key, low-violence, and essentially reassuring view of policing in America certainly found favor with those viewers who sat in a daze in front of their tubes in 1968, wondering if American society was going to go down in flames. However, by 1974-1975, network television was already beginning to embrace that resulting cynicism and more aggressive outlook of our changed society, with gritty, morally complex shows like Kojak and particularly Police Story, making Adam-12 look more simplistic by comparison (a relative comparison, to be sure, since Police Story's 'realism' isn't really any more 'real' than Webb's―TV romanticizes and fictionalizes everything it touches by its very own nature)."
"The central moral question of Dirty Harry — should we be rooting for this guy — is by necessity answered in the affirmative somewhere on the road to Dirty Harry Part Five, more properly called The Dead Pool. That this answer is alarmingly depressing is no matter in the face of a $235,000,000 film franchise."
"Travolta prevents the plane from taking off and forces Cage to crash into a warehouse made entirely from fireworks, apparently. If you seriously think, even for a second, that a real law enforcement agent would actually try a stunt like that then you're hugely misinformed about how much money they make."
"After kicking China's largest gunless criminal organization to death, supercop Kevin Chan finds himself at the top of a mall watching the final villain escape four floors below. Instead of shouting down for any of the hundreds of onlookers to grab the elderly, unarmed man, Jackie leaps onto a metal pole covered in lights and explodes down it, shattering through the mall's very, very last unbroken pane of glass. Then, without a camera cut, he climbs from the ruins of a sales kiosk to hold a shard of glass against the man's neck. Because when you make an arrest in Hong Kong, the only Miranda right you give the perp is the right to shit his pants."
"The nation is full of guys in uniform overtly shooting rocket launchers into private residences, and the police have wasted their time tracking down the only guy doing anything about it? I bet it was real easy to find him with your vantage point behind that desk, sitting on four boxes of Krispy Kremes, eh chief? Can't you see he gets results?? What about the rights of that little girl?? Anyway, Chuck doesn't even listen. He just keeps flippin' channels like El Tubbo wasn't even there reading him the riot act. Awesome."
Matt: Fargo is a bit of a soft-hearted fellow. He doesn’t necessarily approve of Dredd’s recent murders, so he knocks him down to the academy two days a week to teach ethics. I get he’s trying to teach Dredd a lesson, but really that seems more like a strategy to end up with some especially trigger-happy cadets.
Chris: I kind of wish that had been the plot of the movie, and we ended up with Judge Dredd in front of a crowd of Judge Teens going “I came here to teach you… but you ended up… teaching me.” Wouldn’t have been worse than what we got.
"There’s some nice gunplay throughout, but the real standout is a climactic one-on-one fight to the death between Riggs and Mr. Joshua (Busey). It’s a real showstopper of a fight, though I have my doubts the LAPD would just stand around and let one of their own beat the shit out of... Wait, never mind."
"He thinks that crooks coming out of retirement is a twist, a new idea. Whatever next? How about a drama involving a policeman who solves crimes, but he's a maverick who doesn't go by the book."
"So they take me to Internal Affairs, but I punch Internal Affairs in the face. They can't take me off the case. I never get taken off the case! (beat) So that's when they take me off the case. The Captain's like, "Give me your badge!", so I throw the badge in the urinal. If it were up to me, the scene would've ended with me taking a shit on it, too, and then my shit would become a fist and knock him out. And then I'd follow it up with, 'That's one tough shit', or, 'Shit happens, Captain.'"