In an incident that is most surprising because it did not happen sooner, a crew member from the hit Fox reality show “Cops” was shot to death while on the job producing future episodes. The chosen police unit in Omaha, Nebraska were likely enjoying their moment in the television limelight until a response to a robbery went terribly wrong. In rolling up at a local Wendy’s fast food restaurant, the cops engaged in a shootout with the suspect that ultimately resulted in the death of audio technician Bryce Dion who was hit by a stray police bullet.
According to a story on the incident on CNN’s website “'Cops' crew member killed in police shooting”:
A crew member working on a taping of "Cops" was inadvertently shot and killed by a police officer during a robbery in Omaha, Nebraska, local officials said Wednesday.
Bryce Dion, an audio technician, is believed to be the first member of the "Cops" production staff killed in the 25-year history of the television show.
The production company behind "Cops," Langley Productions, said in a statement that it was "deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping his family in any way we can."
Dion, 38, had been in Omaha all summer, helping with the production of future "Cops" episodes. The production company described him as a "long term member of the 'Cops' team and a very talented and dedicated person." His resume lists credits on "Cops" dating back to 2009.
Todd Schmaderer, the Omaha police chief, confirmed at a Wednesday afternoon news conference that a bullet fired by an officer struck Dion during a shootout with the robbery suspect, Cortez Washington, who was also killed.
Schmaderer described Dion as a friend to the officers that he'd been embedded with.
"This is as if we lost one of our own," Schmaderer said. "That is the grieving process we're going through right now."
Dion and a cameraman were traveling with police officers who responded to a robbery inside a Wendy's restaurant on Tuesday night. Schmaderer said the suspect, Washington, fired two shots at the responding officers, who responded with a barrage of gunfire.
It was later discovered that Washington had a pellet gun that fired plastic bullets.
The story is getting much attention today as it should by such prominent media outlets as the USA Today “Police fired shot that killed 'Cops' crewmember”, The New York Times “Police Shooting Kills Crew Member Working for Reality Show ‘Cops’”, ABC “Omaha Police Bullet Kills 'Cops' Film Crew Member” and of course Fox “'Cops' crew member killed by police officers”.
According to a local news source, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer has already said that the officers were “justified” in firing their weapons. The question though is that if the perpetrator of the robbery knew that he was using a fake gun then why would he have pointed it at the police knowing full well that he would be gunned down like a dog by the guys with the real guns? Was the presence of the "Cops" film crew a mitigating factor in the shooting in that the officers wanted to look more like bad-asses on television? I suppose that this will only provide one more example to those pushing for President Barack Obama to appoint a national police Czar.
What is never discussed as one of the causes in the rise of police violence in America today is that culture plays a big role. Cops has now been on the air for over a quarter of a century and given the bent for authority worship that now exists in America it will probably continue to be shown for decades more. There is after all no shortage of material with the police state nearly fully implemented. It is the ultimate form of bread and circuses served up to the beggared and enslaved citizens of a rotting empire. There are also the movies, endless other police television series and violent video games that further contribute to the worship of the police, not a healthy trait of a supposedly "free" society.
Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they’re coming for you, bad boys!