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"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."
Harry Callahan (explaining his reasons for gunning down an Attempted Rapist), Dirty Harry

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!

Lustig: (pries badge pin out of his face) Y-you cannot do this!
Gunter: I can do vhatever I vant! I am a cop!! Vith massive issues!!

TRAXX is a mercenary ex-cop who knows nothing about the law, but knows everything about justice.
— Actual box description of TRAXX

"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.
Sam Vimes, Discworld/Thud (a Deconstruction of the trope)

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.

Hans Gruber: Do you really think you stand a chance against us, Mr. Cowboy?
John McClane: Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.

"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!"
Alovnek, Boros guildmage, Condemn, Magic: The Gathering

"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.
John McClane: Oh, yeah? Why not?
Tony: Because you're a policeman. There are rules for policemen.
John McClane: Yeah. That's what my captain keeps telling me.

"You got the right idea. Cap the bastards before the lawyers get involved."
UNATCO Guard, Deus Ex

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.

So, scores of highly-trained government officials and military brass are dead wrong, and one loose cannon FBI agent is the only who's figured out the truth? Actually... I guess that isn't so hard to believe.

"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.'"
Obscurus Lupa, Steven Seagal Explains The Glimmer Man

Fletcher "The Icepick" Nix: Nice Hat. There much call for cowboys these days?
Deputy Marshal Givens: You'd be surprised.
Justified: "The Gunfighter"

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