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Rabid Cop

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No, I don't have the foggiest idea where your partner went, but I do have a breath mint you may be interested in.

FBI Agent Norman Jayden: Blake, you are an unbalanced, psychopathic asshole!
Lieutenant Carter Blake: I'll take that as a compliment.

The room is small. Help is far away, on the other side of many locked doors. Your arm is chained to the table, and a Rabid Cop is spraying spittle into your face, in a way that convinces you that he has completely lost his mind.

All he wants you to do is admit that everything Adolf Hitler did was your idea. Sounds good to you. What do you have to sign to get away from this maniac?

The Rabid Cop might be casually dirty, or openly bigoted, or overbearingly self-righteous, or any combination of the above, but they will all have two things in common: a reckless disregard for civil rights, and an unwavering conviction that any person they've identified as "the perp" actually is a perp (regardless of any contradicting evidence) and deserves to suffer. In a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine, they usually take the "Bad Cop" ball and run clear out of the stadium with it, and they're likely to enjoy using Torture for Fun and Information.

Compare and contrast with the (presumedly) more sympathetic Cowboy Cop. Not actually a cop, but possessing many of the same attributes, is the Schlubby, Scummy Security Guard. See also Police Brutality and The Bad Guys Are Cops for when this guy goes too far. Killer Cop is when they skip the violence and go to straight-up murder.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • John "Sleepy" Estes, the titular Mad Bull 34, who currently graces the page with the picture on top. He doesn't do Police Brutality — he does Police Overkill (like carrying about a dozen hand grenades strapped like a loincloth under his pants, just in case).
  • Pretty much all of the protagonists in Angel Cop, with the titular Angel standing out.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu features a crazy traffic police officer named Yoko Wakana as a Recurring Character. On her first appearance, she relentlessly chases Sousuke and Kaname when they're escaping on a bike, and ends up trashing her patrol car. Later, she drags Kaname into helping her catch a stalker by threatening to arrest her, and mistakes Sousuke (disguised as Bonta-kun) for said stalker and gets into a shootout with him.
  • Speed Grapher: Hibari Ginza casually brutalizes suspects while claiming "self-defense", no matter how absurdly implausible her claims are (in one scene she does this while inside of a room full of fellow cops).

    Comic Books 
  • Gotham City Police Detective Harvey Bullock from Batman dips into this quite a bit—which makes it very strange that he also often scolds Batman for being a vigilante. Of course, this varies Depending on the Author; also, it could be that Bullock just resents Batman for making the police look incompetent. Also Depending on the Writer, Batman is seen as this to the rest of the superhero community, performing High-Altitude Interrogation like nobody's business among other borderline-sociopathic steps to keep Gotham's crime in check.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Perhaps the ultimate example is Judge Dredd's nemesis, Judge Death. He starts off his time in his reality's judge force, which was pretty bad to begin with and had rabid cops out the wazoo, executing perps for minor crimes (untied shoelaces, breach of noise regulations, loitering...). And he only gets worse. Eventually, he reasons that all crime is committed by the living, therefore life is a crime. Cue his willing transformation into an undead killing machine, the extermination of his world's entire population, and his attempts to do the same to Dredd's universe.
    • Oddly enough, even when they have the actual capacity to be Judge, Jury, and Executioner, this is subverted by the Mega-City One Judges and especially Dredd—like any actual real police force, they frown greatly on members using excessive force without due justification and even so much as a single baton strike too many can put them in a whole heap of trouble with the SJS, if not worse. Of course, that's not to say Justice Department doesn't have any bad eggs. The likes of Judge Manners, who sodomises a juve with his daystick, or Judge Kruger, whose preference for using his daystick is so ingrained into him, he plants drugs on an innocent woman he beat to death, are rife within the department.
    • Played straight in the Heavy Metal continuity by Judge Dredd himself. Since everything is Bloodier and Gorier, Dredd is far more violent and callous, with his methods of dispensing justice verging into the unfunny side of Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Marvel's Spider-Gwen has a version of Frank Castle who is a detective in the NYPD. His idea of interrogating suspects involves a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and he only grows more and more ruthless in his pursuit of Spider-Woman over the death of Peter Parker. His tenure as a cop comes to an end when he uses high-tech weaponry and endangers dozens of lives in his pursuit of "justice".
  • Sin City: Even the Basin City cops who aren't actively corrupt or on the payroll of the bad guys are usually pretty violent. For example, Lt. Liebowitz is perfectly fine with beating Hartigan right back into a coma in order to get a phony confession from him (Hartigan still refuses), and he deals with the Colonel by just shooting him in the face, though that guy really had it coming.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Richard Chance, in To Live and Die in L.A., is an already hot-headed Secret Service agent who goes off the rails after his partner gets killed. He's brash with authority figures, doesn't like it when the rules get in the way of his plans, takes evidence without following protocol, and resorts to blackmail and armed robbery to further his investigation. His antics lead to the accidental death of an undercover FBI agent and his own killing. At the end of the movie, Vukovitch follows in his footsteps.
  • Terence McDonagh's partner, Stevie Pruit, is one of these in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. And McDonagh starts to turn into one himself as his addictions spiral out of control.
  • Shannon Mullins in The Heat is a rare female example.
  • Dennis Peck from Internal Affairs ...see Alonzo.
  • Officer Mooney in Killer Klowns from Outer Space has to be almost physically restrained from beating up a couple of punks brought in for public drunkenness. He later takes a flashlight to the head of one of the klowns, which turns out to be not such a hot idea. (Of course, Mooney is an elderly man, so he comes across as more of a jerk than a genuine bully.)
  • Bud White of L.A. Confidential is a heroic version, though he does frighten the officer playing 'bad cop' as well as the suspect at one time.
  • Detective Park Doo-man and Detective Cho Yong-koo from Memories of Murder both brutally try to beat and torture confessions out of their suspects, one of whom was a mentally handicapped young man, and get very few results. They're contrasted with Detective Seo Tae-Yoon, who uses logic and reason in his investigation, but by the end of the movie, is driven to becoming almost as bad as them.
  • Narc (2002):
    • Henry Oak, who happens to be a narcotic police officer with a case of Police Brutality against the criminals he's facing against.
    • Nick Tellis himself is not far off from being a violent cop too. The reason why he was kicked out of the police force was because he shot a drug dealer holding a child hostage, resulting in one of his bullets hitting a pregnant woman.
  • Detective Azuma, the titular Violent Cop note  is more of a Vigilante Man than an actual policeman. Azuma operates on a Blue-and-Orange Morality and upholds it with extreme violence regardless of the law. His MO is to simply terrify local hoodlums into turning themselves in before he beats them to death. His colleagues treat him with a mix of disgust and admiration. Unsurprisingly, this approach works well against local Japanese Delinquents but is completely useless against well-organized and connected crime syndicates who have most of his department on the take. Most humiliatingly, Kikuchi, Azuma's rookie partner who spent most of the movie being bullied by him, eventually lashes out by betraying Azuma to the mob and becoming a full-blown Dirty Cop after his death.
  • Saw
    • David Tapp in the first movie. His recklessness nearly kills one of Jigsaw's victims, gets his partner shot by multiple shotguns at once, gets his own throat cut, nearly killing him, and gets him dismissed from the force. And that is just backstory. By the time the events in the movie proper start, he is a broken shell of a man in a fetid bedsit across from the house of the guy he thinks is the killer. It is arguably creepier than any of Jigsaw's actual traps.
    • Detective Eric Matthews in the second movie. As the movie progresses, it's revealed that he has a very nasty record of violence towards suspects, and in several cases planted evidence to gain a conviction. And after spending most of the film watching his son trapped in a house with the victims of said evidence-planting, he resorts to thrashing the living daylights out of Jigsaw for the location of the house, which turns out to be a trap set up specifically for Matthews.
    • Zeke Banks from Spiral (2021). Despite describing himself as the only good cop in the department, at the midpoint of the movie he breaks a man's leg, pours alcohol on it and hits the bone where it's sticking out of the leg. He's also an all-round asshole to people he's not beating up, like his ex wife and by extension, women in general.
  • Although he isn't in the circumstance described above, Alonzo Harris from the film Training Day is the embodiment of this trope. He isn't insane though, just a sociopath.
  • Transformers (2007): Invoked with Barricade, who isn't a cop on account of being an alien Transforming Mecha, but transforms into a police car and has a violent means of chasing down and interrogating Sam Witwicky for his grandfather's glasses:
    Barricade: ARE YOU USERNAME 'LADIESMAN217'?!?!
  • Agent David Kujan pulls this on Verbal Kint a couple of times in The Usual Suspects.
    Verbal Kint: The DA gave me immunity.
    Dave Kujan: Not from me. You get no immunity from me, you piece of shit!
  • Bad Cop in The LEGO Movie. His Establishing Character Moment includes Good Cop giving Emmett a glass of water (after getting battered by B.C.) only for Bad Cop to instantly swat it away barking out "too late!" and carrying out his interrogation, and he uses absurd amounts of overkill to try to stop him from getting to the Kragle.
  • In Captain Thunderbolt, Sgt Mannix is a cop of the Knight Templar variety.
  • In Savages Crossing, Chris moonlights as a bounty hunter. He subdues the serial killer by bashing his head repeatedly on the door, dunking him in a toilet bowl, and stuffing a gun barrel in Phil's mouth when he is handcuffed and unable to defend himself
  • The secondary antagonists of The Candy Tangerine Man are a pair of racist cops who are willing to assault and rape a teenage girl in order to catch the Baron.
  • One of the titular players in The Replacements (2000) is a SWAT officer in his day job. On the football field, he's notably the guy always playing at maximum intensity, and perhaps with a touch of insanity... even in a no-contact practice. While his status as a cop isn't often mentioned, the one scene where we do see him at his day job (on a SWAT raid) shows he's just as intense off the field.
    Coach McGinty: I hope he doesn't kill someone.
  • Airheads gives us LAPD SWAT leader Carl Mace, whose only idea of dealing with a bunch of hostage takers is "kill them all" and constantly manipulates things so he will be allowed to storm the building or the hostage takers will exit and he can shoot them, even sneaking a sub-machine gun to an office clerk that got stuck sneaking around a la Die Hard so he can shoot them (and it's not unsubtly implied that he was already pretty angry before but then totally lost it when he found out that his wife was having an affair).
  • Mulholland Falls: Hoover and his crew deal with organized crime in 1950s L.A. through extralegal means with the unofficial consent of the chief. Methods include arresting mob guys at parties and driving out to the hills to throw them off a cliff, or overdosing one of them on cocaine.
  • Corrupt DEA agent Norman Stansfield from The Professional not only kills an entire family but also uses his position to have a foothold in the drug trade and has ties to organized crime syndicates no less.
  • Mark from Where the Sidewalk Ends. This gets him into big trouble when he accidentally kills a suspect.
  • The titular Dirty Harry Callahan tap-dances between being this and being a Cowboy Cop. He can be pretty damn brutal to crooks (to the point that when he's accused of Police Brutality by the Scorpio Killer in the first film, he points out that it's obvious the Killer is trying to set him up—because if it had actually been him, the Killer wouldn't have even been able to walk afterwards) he still tries to at least follow the rules for police combat encounters.
  • The second film, Magnum Force, has a whole group of these as a Deliberately Bad Example. They start the film by going after criminals that have gotten Off on a Technicality, but they perform their exterminations with an absolute disregard for collateral damage (even killing fellow cops that get in the way), and Harry asks them on the denouement what will happen when they eventually become bold enough to start shooting anybody they can classify as "criminal", even jaywalkers and owners of really messy dogs, with the answer given to him being "we will do as we please".
  • King of New York: Gilley and Flanigan decide to go after Frank White and his gang guns blazing after the legal system fails them. This results in both of them dying violently in a Cycle of Revenge.
  • Identity: Officer Samuel Rhodes. At first he's a bit of a reserved authority figure, but he becomes increasingly violent as people keep dying at the motel at the hands of a mysterious killer, eventually vowing to get through the night by gathering everyone in one room and threatening to shoot anyone who tries to leave. Although, it's later revealed that he's not really a cop but a criminal posing as one.
  • Detroit dramatizes the real-life Algiers Motel incident during the 1967 Detroit riots. Responding to apparent sniper fire from the direction of the Algiers motel, a group of Detroit cops (with some reluctant support from State Police and National Guard) begin brutalizing the tenants in breathtakingly illegal ways in an attempt to identify the shooter and recover the gun. It ultimately results in several needless deaths.
  • In Dobermann, Commissaire Sauveur Cristini is completely out of control. In one scene, he throws a baby across a room and pistol whips the mother when she tries to go after her son.
  • Little Bill, the Big Bad of Unforgiven is a small-town sheriff, formerly outlaw, who abuses his authority as an excuse to let out his outlaw side on the people he technically arrests. This culminates in torturing an (innocent) man to death and then propping up his corpse outside the town saloon as a warning. Which turns out to be his undoing when the man's friend, another former outlaw who is even more Ax-Crazy than Bill is, comes knocking.
  • Exit Wounds: Orin Boyd's violent antics and disregard for orders have caused his superiors no small amount of headaches. It's mentioned in one scene that he once beat up a suspect with a living cat. Boyd's temper is bad enough that his new captain orders him to take anger management classes.
  • The short film Two Distant Strangers revolves around a man being trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop that always ends with him being murdered by a violence-prone cop named Officer Merk. To make things worse, the protagonist discovers in the next-to-last loop that we see that Merk knows he's in a time loop as well and is exploiting it to kill the protagonist again and again for kicks.
  • The World of Kanako: Ex-cop Akikazu beats up everybody who stands in his way and is very easy to set off. But is also beaten up several times.

  • Stephen King's Desperation: Collie Entragian, who casually inserts the words "I'm going to kill you" into the Miranda rights he reads, and then proceeds to shoot and kill Peter Carver right in front of his wife Ellen. He turns out to be possessed by the Ancient Evil known as Tak.
  • Discworld:
    • THAT! IS! NOT! MY! COW!. Vimes does whatever he can to not turn into one, to the point that he actually has a Vimes-esque entity in his mind to prevent him from succumbing to the darkness.
      "Who watches the watchman? I do."
    • Sergeant Detritus has three questions for suspects, usually delivered at some volume: ‘Did you do it?’, ‘Are you sure it wasn’t you what done it?’ and ‘It was you what done it, wasn't it?’. Fortunately, he's easily derailed into giving up by cunning tactics such as simple denial.
  • Averted in The Dresden Files book Changes. Rudolph tries his best to play the Bad Cop, but all his desk-pounding and spittle-flecked screaming manages to do is cause Harry to crack up and the other interrogator ends up ordering him out of the room. It probably helps that Harry has seen Rudolph freak out whenever confronted with the sort of thing he deals with all the time.
  • Captain Zuccho from Incompetence has a Hair-Trigger Temper, to put it lightly. Asking him to calm down will result in him randomly shooting at the pavement. Reputedly, he is on Prozac, but it doesn't seem to be helping.
  • In the Dale Brown book A Time for Patriots, a group of FBI agents are so desperate to find a scapegoat for the Western Terrorists' dirty bomb attack they failed to stop that they go after Patrick McLanahan and his son.
  • In the Mario Puzo novel from which The Godfather trilogy was mined, Albert Neri starts as a prime example of one of these. Then he gets worse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ray has moments like this in Breakout Kings, including threatening to burn a suspect's genitals with a cigarette lighter.
  • Castle:
    • The aptly named Detective Slaughter, a one-episode character played by Adam Baldwin.
    • Kate Beckett herself was this at various points, usually when the case involved her mother's death. After she is shot by a sniper she becomes this way when investigating that case as well as anything that reminds her of it. And when, in the first episode of season 7, she interrogates a low-level thug who she believes knows who kidnapped Castle - and she isn't sure whether he's still alive, but believes that he knows - she appears completely willing to break as many of the guy's fingers as is necessary to get him to talk. You do not get between Beckett and the people she loves.
  • Jimmy Beck in Cracker, once causing his superior officer to say 'I don't know what you did to him, but you scared the hell out of me.'
  • CSI: Miami: From a comparative and statistical point of view (broken down in people he personally threatened to hurt if they didn't stand down, who accidentally died when he tried to bring them in (and a couple he actually allowed to die), who he killed personally in self-defense, who he hurt when they hit his Berserk Button and/or threatened in various ways), Horatio Caine was an example of this trope among the leaders of the CSI teams (Grissom, Taylor, et al).
  • CSI:
    • Mac Taylor does get his moment, though, in the crossover episode where his girlfriend is kidnapped. Mac is pretty much raging by the time they can question one of the guys involved and yells and slams his hands down on the table. He gets told that Christine never made it to Vegas and is being held in New York. Several of the interrogations in the CSI NY half of the story are quite intense as well.
    • CSI also provides us an In-Universe Flanderization example on the episode "Lab Rats", with the prototype-tabletop-game-within-a-show having Detective Brass as a man who nonchalantly uses violence against those who don't answer his questions or resists arrest. Various other episodes throughout all of the franchise's shows also provide examples of cases where a cop losing control and brutalizing a suspect makes things harder for the investigation.
  • John Walker from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier proves to be a unique example in episode three when he assaults a civilian who he knows helped the people he’s looking for. He also brutally murders an unarmed man, who while a terrorist, was begging for his life and wasn’t responsible for his friend Lemar‘s (accidental) death.
  • Before Andy Sipowicz, there was Mick Belker on Hill Street Blues. Dude even barked and growled like a rabid dog. Bit people on a regular basis. "You gonna tell me what I want to know or am I gonna have to show you my ass!" Unusually for this trope, Belker is actually a surprisingly nice guy despite having a short fuse and a bit of a Napoleon Complex; he invariably treats victims of crime with compassion and respect, and goes to great lengths to look after his elderly parents.
  • Detective Tim Bayliss from Homicide: Life on the Street deconstructs this trope. Bayliss is mostly a nice guy, but he has deep-seated emotional problems stemming from an abusive childhood that lead to frequent outbursts of violence and he occasionally assaults suspects if they've pushed his Berserk Button by harming children. He even nearly burns a man’s face against a hot pipe under the suspicion that he might have killed a child. He eventually snaps altogether in the series finale and murders a Serial Killer who had got Off on a Technicality.
  • How I Met Your Mother: The last woman Ted dated before meeting The Mother was a woman named Jeanette, an Ax-Crazy Stalker with a Crush who Ted eventually learns is a police officer with several Police Brutality citations. Ted only learns what Jeanette does for a living after he dumps her and she locks herself in his bedroom to destroy his stuff. He tries to call the police, only for Jeanette to intercept the call and cheerfully tell the dispatcher she'll deal with it.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • Elliot Stabler can be a very violent person during his interrogations, especially when It's Personal or, as the father of four children, he comes up against anybody who Would Hurt a Child. Elliot can reach a boiling point so hot that multiple people have to come physically restrain him. No wonder he and IAB were so well-acquainted. Many theorized the series would not end until he actually killed someone, ending his massive fall from grace... and ironically, he did end up off the show due to a killing in the precinct, although it was A) a 'clean' (wholly justified) shoot of someone that was shooting up the holding cell, and B) happened to be a 14-year-old girl he was wholly sympathetic with. He couldn't take the guilt and handed in his resignation letter shortly afterward.
    • The cop in the (ironically named) episode "Unstable" made Elliot seem calm and normal by comparison.
    • Dana Lewis is also an example of this. Though she did have a running gag where in every episode she was featured Elliot would end up being hurt in some way, the episode "Penetration" ends with her chasing down her rapist and cornering him in a warehouse with her gun drawn, and she actually tries to shoot the guy. The episode "Secrets Exhumed" ends up with her being arrested and thrown in prison for 25 years when it's revealed that long ago she killed her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend out of jealousy and spite, and spent the next few decades as a cop trying to redeem herself and do good for society.
  • Most of the 1973 detectives in Life On Mars are rabid by today's standards, especially in contrast to 2006 transplant Sam, but Gene Hunt deserves a special mention, here.
  • Played for laughs in a courtroom sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus. Police Constable Pan Am is called to the witness box and immediately starts smacking everybody around with his baton. His testimony, which he reads straight out of his notebook, clearly indicates that he and other officers beat a confession out of the defendant.
  • The retired detectives of New Tricks have slightly Cowboy Cop attitudes compared to modern police methods and standards. So they see nothing wrong with creating a fake Rabid Cop scenario where the interrogator gets so insanely angry that he shoots the suspect's public defender lawyer. The 'lawyer' is another retired cop and the gun is a starter pistol. And occasionally they find themselves working alongside a real Rabid Cop, such as Frank Patterson in "The Fourth Man".
  • Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue is the Trope Codifier a lot of us remember. While he's toned things down over the years, you definitely do not want to talk back to him if you're in the interrogation room with him.
  • The Shield is about the Strike Team committing a lot of police misconduct in the name of stopping gangs and enriching themselves. Vic Mackey in particular counts as such. While he is a proponent of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, Vic only rarely turns into the rabid cop - usually, his menacing is done with a cold and calculating air. Shane, on the other hand...
  • Sons of Anarchy, also created by Kurt Sutter, has Lee Toric, a former U.S. Marshal, and ATF Agent June Stahl
  • Jack Regan of The Sweeney got rabid at times, too.
  • Peter Boyd of Waking the Dead tends to get EXTREMELY SHOUTY and verges on violent at times, though usually one of his team is watching through one-way glass and bursts in to stop him.
  • Colin Mochrie played a parody of one on Whose Line Is It Anyway? in a game called Good Cop, Bad Cop.
  • Jack Malone of Without a Trace can be pretty worked up and he will do anything to get information on those poor missing people.
  • Several police on The Wire, but the standout examples are Anthony Colicchio, who attacks a teacher when said teacher asks him to move his police car that's blocking the street, and Eddie Walker, who breaks the fingers of a preteen carjacker because the kid's joyride (and collisions with parked cars) gave him additional paperwork to fill out. Of the main cast, Herc is the most brutal and easily provoked, and in the Homicide unit, Vernon Holly is fast to turn to violence.
  • Copper: If you trigger Corcoran's Berserk Button, he will not hesitate to unleash a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a chained prisoner.
  • Sergeant Hank Voight of Chicago P.D. is normally extremely brutal, but controlled and calculating in his use of violence. When he gets properly pissed, however, his colleagues know to simply go along with the mayhem rather than try and do anything to stop him.
  • On Orange Is the New Black, after most of the corrections officers at Litchfield quit their jobs shortly after Litchfield was privatized, the MegaCorp that now owned the prison suggested hiring veterans in their place. Great, except these were Shell Shocked Veterans, many of whom would become easily frustrated with inmates, and failed to differentiate between their jobs as soldiers and their current jobs as corrections officers at a minimum-security prison.
  • The Twilight Zone (2019): In the episode Replay, a Mama Bear goes through a "Groundhog Day" Loop again and again doing anything she can to try to prevent her teenage son from being shot dead by a cop who draws the very second the kid does anything that even vaguely resembles hostility. By the time the final loop happens, she is sure that the only reason the officer has to chase them down no matter what she tries is the fact that they exist and are black.

    Video Games 
  • Agent Robert Nightingale in Alan Wake is a ruthless federal agent pursuing the main character. Though the source for his violent behavior is found in his back story.
  • Lt. Carter Blake in Heavy Rain is a psychopathic police officer with immunity from the local precinct (why, nobody knows) who prefers beating a suspect rather than extracting any information, has no problem with breaking the law in order to investigate, and will have no qualms about killing. Initially, he's rather reserved to just beating suspects, and then he roughs up a psychologist who has done absolutely nothing. And then does everything in his power to assure those affiliated with the investigation that Ethan Mars is the Origami Killer. The FBI agent attached to the investigation, Norman Jayden, isn't convinced, and the two have a very rough rivalry. If Ethan is arrested, then it leads to a scene where Blake will mercilessly beat Ethan into unconsciousness. Jayden can intervene and punch Blake, which will prompt him to hold Jayden at gunpoint, waiting for the perfect opportunity to kill him. It doesn't stop there, either. One possibility at the end of the game has Blake ordering his squad of officers to gun down Ethan who had finally reunited with Shaun, his ten-year-old son, after having gone to incredible lengths to save him from drowning in the warehouse's well, all while the aforementioned son watches in horror as his beloved father's body falls to the ground, lifeless. All because Blake refused to believe anyone, but Ethan could be the Origami Killer and the instant the obviously unarmed man clutches his left hip in agony instead of keeping his hands up, Blake gives the order to shoot. Needless to say, Blake is by far the most hated character in the game, even the actual killer doesn't come close. The worst part? In any good ending he gets away with everything.
  • Mass Effect: As a Spectre, Saren Arterius is essentially a Council space cop with no strings attached, and he plays it to the hilt — making frequent usage of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, pursuing his own ambitions on the side, and pinning the collateral damage on people he doesn't like. He's the same sadistic, racist government law officer we've seen in many other works, just relocated to a sci-fi setting — and this was what he was like before he went Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
  • A good way to lose in Police Quest, acting like the aforementioned Carter Blake above will not be tolerated in the force.
  • A good number of Templars in Dragon Age are a little overzealous in attempting to contain the threat that mages pose. There are plenty of reasons to fear mages, but many Templars are willing to paint every mage with the worst brush and take the worst measures to make sure they don't stay a threat. By Dragon Age: Inquisition, most of the order becomes this when they go rogue from the Chantry in order to put down the mage rebellion by any means necessary.
  • Manny Pardo from Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number starts off as a mere Cowboy Cop with little regard for protocol, but as the game progresses, he starts to show more Jerkass tendencies. He becomes a full-on Rabid Cop when he executes an unarmed and surrendering Tony. It's also hinted that he's the Miami Mutilator.
  • The Mercykillers in Planescape: Torment are already an entire faction of Judge Dredd-like Knight Templars, but Vhailor is well-known for being extreme even by Mercykiller standards. Things like mercy and compassion mean absolutely nothing to him in his pursuit of justice.
  • Three law enforcement specialists in PAYDAY 2 fit the bill.
  • Tsurugi Kinjo of Danganronpa Another doesn't start off as one, but quickly snaps under the pressure of the Killing Game. He starts off endorsing the executions of murderers, then proposes abandoning those unwilling to follow his increasingly draconian rules, and eventually escalates into telling another one of his classmates to kill herself. Predictably, everyone else begins hating his guts.


    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: The average Enforcer is very quick to commit violence against the people of the Undercity. The assumption is that everyone down there is a criminal. If you run from the Enforcers up in topside Piltover they try to capture you with Battle Bolas, down in the future Zaun they start drawing their pistols.
  • The titular character from the [adult swim] show Assy McGee is an extremely violent parody of this trope (and a Heroic Comedic Sociopath) despite being, as his name suggests, a pair of ass cheeks. He was perpetually intoxicated, told to hand in his badge and gun at least once an episode, and other offenses too numerous to list here.
  • Lock-Up from Batman: The Animated Series is a sympathetic case, though he isn't technically a cop.
  • This is parodied in The Boondocks where a Rabid Cop violently accuses and assaults Butt-Monkey Tom DuBois for a crime that he obviously didn't commit before being forced out by the nice cop. He then rushed in 5 seconds later to assault Tom again.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures gives us their take on the NYCPD and the inexplicability of Family-Friendly Firearms at the same time. Doppelganger!Tony has just shot at unarmed people at a party with a laser gun and rushed off. The real Tony Stark is taken in for questioning, and one of the officers is like this, complete with banging on the table and yelling, "Did your friends give you the lasers?!"
  • The Springfield Police Department is sometimes depicted this way on The Simpsons. (To the tune of "Bad Boys" from COPS: "Whether in a car or on a horse, we don't mind using excessive force!") Definitely describes Rainer Wolfcastle's character in the McBain movies.
  • Rancid Rabbit from CatDog in any episode where he is a police officer.
  • The Angry Cop from The Goode Family episode "Gerold's Way of The Highway".
  • Adult Swim did this twice with the Harvey Birdman episode "Bootie Noir" and the Stroker and Hoop episode "I Saw Stroker Killing Santa Claus".
  • Chief Kevlar from Atomic Puppet, who has serious emotional issues, No Indoor Voice, and believes All Crimes Are Equal. He also really hates Atomic Puppet for their vigilantism.


Video Example(s):


Agent Robert Nightingale

Considering he has almost no evidence but manuscript pages to go on, he spends an awful lot of time attempting to use deadly force on a suspect who never draws a gun on him, endangering civilians in the process.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / RabidCop

Media sources: