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File:Dirtycop 1436.png
"Mackey's not a cop. He's Al Capone with a badge."
David Aceveda, The Shield

Why they're in front of bars and not behind them, no one knows. The dirty cop often appears as a villain in both Cop Shows and Crime-Time TV. Brutal, fascist, and often on the take from the local mob, this cop makes most criminals and prisoners look like...well, saints.

All too often an example of Truth in Television. May escalate to Bad Cop, Incompetent Cop for entire precincts.

Also see Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word, Cut Himself Shaving, Prison Rape, Corrupt Hick, etc. If a cop's framed as one of these it's Police Brutality Gambit.

If it is just a facade and the cop secretly has a heart of gold, it's Noble Bigot with a Badge. Compare The Bad Guys Are Cops.

Examples of Dirty Cop include:

Anime & Manga

  • Akai and Kanie from Kite use their status as homicide detectives to lead the investigation of a series of professional murders away from the true criminals. Of course, they are also the employers of the true criminals.
    • And that's not all they're mixed up in either. Akai in particular is an out-and-out Complete Monster, particularly when it's revealed that he's been raping and brainwashing Sawa, one of the child assassins he and Kanie employ.
  • It's quite plausible that the Triad leader Mr. Chang in Black Lagoon was one of these as a cop. Chang is a darker take on several John Woo characters, but his past as a cop seems to allude to Tequila from Hard Boiled. Since Tequila fought gangsters and Chang is one, it stands to reason that he wasn't that honest of a cop.
    • And of course Chief Watsup, the Chief of Police in Roanapur. Not only on the take from the various cartels that run the city but has also used his authority to get an unfair advantage when collecting bounties put out by the cartels.
  • Ginza of Speed Grapher is mostly a Rabid Cop, given her habit of "self-defensing" people (she actually uses it as a verb), but she's kind of a dirty cop as well. She's shown essentially committing insider trading based on the crimes going on, and because of her jealousy of Kagura, she abuses her authority to obstruct Saiga, the hero. By the end of the series, she has a Heel Realization and ends up a better person.
  • Mad Bull 34 is a bizarre example - as part of the Buddy Cop Show dynamic, Officer "Sleepy" John Estes takes the Cowboy Cop's tendency see justice done through venues outside the law to the extreme. He's running prostitution in his neighborhood, because the way he sees it that stuff will always be there and at least if he's in charge he can keep it from getting out of hand and it keeps the girls safe. That said, it's all part of a larger Batman Gambit. He's also really good at killing criminals. You won't want to watch him work, but you can't imagine what the city would be like without him.
  • In the Pokémon" episode "The Breeding Center Secret," when Ash and his friends, including temporary character Todd, find out that the breeding center they dropped a couple of their Pokemon in was a cover for more competent Team Rocket members Cassidy and Butch. In the middle of a battle, the police arrive. However, a corrupt Officer Jenny betrays Ash and his friends and helps Cassidy and Butch frame them. Cassidy and Butch would in later episodes sporadically break out of jail, but their Officer Jenny is presumably abandoned in jail by Team Rocket.
    • That Jenny wasn't corrupt. She did believe Ash and Todd tried to steal the Pokemon from the breeding center until Misty produced evidence clearing them and incriminating Cassidy and Butch, who'd tell in their next appearance Giovanni paid their bail. There's no reason to believe that Jenny has been arrested or even that she should.
  • The title characters of Noir kill a few of these over the course of the series.
  • In the Naruto pilot, the Inspector and his subordinate turn out to be one, killing Takashi, stealing the painting and framing Naruto for both.
  • Monster has two of these: the two detectives who are hired by Johan to kill Nina's adopted parents and the ones from Prague, Commissioner Hamrlik, Chief Detective Batella and, Detective Janacek.
  • In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, Gagdet Detective Yukika tries to catch the eponymous group by cooking up a rumor that the chief of police is in league with the yakuza, and the money from their dirty deals is in a vault under the station, knowing they'll fall right into her trap. However, when the NDB tunnel in, they find that the chief of police actually is in league with the yakuza, much to Yukika's surprise.
  • In the manga FAKE during Dee's backstory we learn that the man Dee considered as his adoptive father was a dirty cop and Dee resolved to become a better cop than he ever was.

Comic Books

  • Almost every damn cop in Sin City, with the notable exception of John Hartigan.
  • Likewise in Gotham City, with the exception of Gordon and one or two good cops. This becomes a major plot point in Gotham Central, a series set within the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham City Police Department, the only consistently honest branch of the department. Since its members are all personally selected by the commissioner they have a modicum of integrity and competence, but the universal corruption of the rest of their force makes even their simplest of cases difficult since the other departments are stealing evidence, accepting bribes, and often committing the crimes themselves. This comes to a head in the Corrigan story arcs, where Jim Corrigan (The dirty cop of the series) is selling crime scene evidence on the black market, redistributing the heroin that is collected by the narcotics department, and eventually starts personally murdering other police officers that are trying to stop him. At the end of the series, though everybody knows he did it, his web of corruption has spread so far that the case against him is sabotaged and he gets off completely free until Final Crisis Aftermath where it comes back to bite him in the ass.
    • And the one time Internal Affairs and the MCU are actually able to build a case against him they have to compromise their morals and let him go to save one of their own.
    • Even the MCU isn't immune. Harvey Bullock may have been more of a Cowboy Cop most of the time, but everyone agrees he went too far when he gave one of his Mafia connections information on a man in witness protection so they would kill him. The man in question shot Commissioner Gordon, but still.
      • In his pre-Crisis origin, Bullock WAS a dirty cop, on orders from the mayor to sabotage Gordon's career, but then came to respect him.
  • In the Astro City "Dark Ages" story arc, Charles' partner Lannie takes weekly bribes from the criminals to overlook their activities. Charles refuses to get involved, rejecting the bribes but refusing to report Lannie to Internal Affairs. He gets shot in the back as a result.
  • The Brotherhood in Comicbook/X-Men Noir, Chief Magnus' private task force dedicated to controlling the criminal element from within. Magnus is dedicated to the pursuit of justice, but as he says, "laws only work on the law abiding."
    • Luke Cage Noir, meanwhile, has Officer Rachman and Tombstone, corrupt cops working for Randall Banticoff.


  • In The Tainted Grimoire, there are Khamja operatives within the ranks of the Jylland Defenders of the Peace.


  • Denzel Washington's character Alonzo in Training Day.
  • Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) in Internal Affairs.
  • Detective Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman) from The Professional is one of these, as well as being a gleefully psychotic Psycho for Hire.
  • Castor Troy when he's Sean Archer in Face Off.
  • Colin Sullivan in The Departed.
  • Hank in Me Myself and Irene.
  • Captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles) in Touch of Evil.
  • Detective Fowler in Four Brothers.
  • Rooster in Righteous Kill after it is revealed that he killed all the people and had Turk framed for it.
  • Detective Sergeant Vincent Della Pesca in The Hurricane.
  • In the movie The Fugitive, Frederick Sykes is an ex-cop who happens to have one arm.
  • In the movie Shooter, a local cop tries to kill Bob Lee Swagger as part of the frame-up.
  • Dudley Smith of L.A. Confidential applies. And he's even worse in the books than in the movie.
    • Jack Vincennes is a dirt cop protagonist.
      • I think we can put pretty much every cop in the film on this list. No one is completely clean, not even Exley.
  • Samuel L. Jackson's character, Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace.
  • Most of the cops from Batman Begins (of course with the exception of Gordon) and then Ramirez and Wuertz from The Dark Knight. It's implied that Ramirez had some moral issues with what she did to Rachel Dawes and the Commissioner's family but we never find out about Wuertz.
    • In some of the promotional animated materials that bridge the timeline of the two films, Ramirez is shown to have a VERY sick mother that the mob is using to force her to be a dirty cop (offering much needed money for her bills and threatening her life if Ramirez doesn't cooperate).
  • Just about any cop in Batman (except Commissioner Gordon) but most notably Lt. Eckhardt who is hired by Grissom to kill Jack Napier.
  • Literally every policeman in Hobo with a Shotgun: "At least he's only killing the dirty cops." "We're ALL dirty cops!!"
  • Harvey Keitel in the aptly-named Bad Lieutenant.
  • American Gangster: A gang of corrupt detectives make life difficult for both drug lord Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) by demanding money, invading his mom's house and destroying her furniture, shooting his dog and assaulting his wife, and honest cop Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) by almost taking $10,000 in bait money and outright telling him not to arrest Frank to keep the drug/bribe business going. They're only stopped when Frank and Richie team up to catch all the corrupt cops that Frank knows, nearly 3/4 of the police force. Trupo (Josh Brolin), the leader of the detectives, decides not to be taken alive.
    • In addition to the detectives, Richie's career is ruined when he and his partner don't keep a million dollars, making the other corrupt cops in his squad suspicious that they'll turn them in. This drives his partner to stealing and drug use, culminating in a fatal overdose on Frank's "product."
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (the remake, anyway): A group of dirty cops with very superior firepower attack a lonely police station in order to silence the gangster who could expose them.
  • The Negotiator: Lt. Danny Roman is accused of murdering a cop (his former partner and best friend) and suspects he's been framed by his fellow officers in a conspiracy. Commander Frost eventually confesses about a scheme to steal money from the police retirement fund, which Roman inadvertently got dragged into when his friend got killed for starting to catch on.
  • The two Detectives who show up during the Shared house 48 arc in He Died With A Felafel In His Hand are blatantly corrupt and even try to justify it.

 Melbourne Detective: I'll tell you how this game works Daniel. We're the cops, we get to ask the questions. You're the suspect, you get to complain about your civil liberties, perhaps get shot, maybe even killed. And it has to stay like that Daniel, otherwise everything falls out of balance. When things fall out of balance, you know what happens then don't you Daniel. Your spiritual values start to decline. You get your disintegration of your social structure, don't you? The system collapses. Petulance, flood, famine. It happened to the Romans, it happened to the Greeks, it happened to the Ancient Mesopotamians. And we don't want it happening to us do we Daniel?

  • Cpt. McCluskey in The Godfather. Played by Sterling Hayden, better known as...
  • The customs official in The Dogs of War putting aside half the protagonist's belongings as "Airport Tax" and "Importation Tax".
  • Super Troopers: practically the entire Spurbury police department. Finding this out results in the state trooper protagonists getting to take over their jobs after their branch is shut down due to budget cuts.
    • They're not so much dirty (I can't actually recall them taking any bribes), as they are 'playful'. For instance, Ramathorn takes the swinger couple to his home for sexy time, but when the evening's up they have to go back to jail. The couple doesn't seem too broken up over it.
  • Keaton in The Usual Suspects is the leader of the group of criminal protagonist, and as described by the Hero Antagonist cops was one of these. He had ties to organized crime and murdered several people. Also, the villain protagonists conduct a heist that involves robbing corrupt NYPD cops and the cartels which are paying them.
    • Kujan tries to portray himself as a good cop in contrast to Keaton, but he's all too willing to say that, if Verbal doesn't tell him the whole story, he'll call in every favor he has in the underworld to have Verbal killed.
  • Serpico is full of dirty cops. The title character is notable for not being one of them.
    • ... except literally. He is pretty scruffy.
  • Commander Forrester in Scanners 2. He wants to take power by building an army of scanners (telepaths) to keep everyone else in line, and using those he already has to wring himself into higher positions of authority, by killing the police chief, manipulating the mayor into appointing him as his replacement, and killing her as well when she finds out too much, among other things. His lackey Gelson is one as well.
  • The Corrupt Hick police officer in The Final lets the jocks go in exchange for them handing over all of their weed... which he is later seen smoking. In a deleted scene, we see that he does the exact same thing with good-looking women, in exchange for sex.
  • Played with in Fallen, where early on Denzel Washington's character explains to a new transfer that while he doesn't take bribes, he doesn't really care all that much if other cops do, since he figures they are still putting their lives on the line and out there doing good 90% of the time anyways.
  • A ring of dirty cops want to kill a witness in Sixteen Blocks.
  • Major Calloway from The Third Man comes across as one for the first act or two.
  • Barricade from the live action Transformers movie is a Decepticon that can turn into a police car.
  • Changeling has Captain J.J. Jones, who is willing to go any length to protect the image of the LAPD, including giving Christine a stand-in for her missing child, forcing her to care for him, and committing her to a mental institution when she finally decides to stand up for herself.
  • Payback features two dirty cops. They both get what's coming.
    • Also notable because these two cops are, besides the Internal Affairs officers in one scene, the only cops in the whole movie.
    • "Dirty cops. Do they come any other way?"
  • Young Indiana deals with one at the beginning of The Last Crusade.
    • He wasn't actually corrupt. The robber baron was in fact the rightful finder; the laws of 1930s America probably didn't cover the protection of archeological findings from such people.
  • Dirty Cops are a fact of life in The Elite Squad. Nascimento muses that the police have enough manpower to clean up the city, but it's a lot easier and safer to take bribes and look the other way... unless you're a member of BOPE.
  • The main character of the film Murder Most Likely, which incidentally was a film-ization of a real life story.
  • In Arnold Schwarzenegger's End of Days, it appears the entire NYPD are secretly Satanists. And not the fun, pot-smoking free-love Satanists either, but the "murder witnesses and abduct women" kind.
  • Detective Kaota in Outrage works for Yakuza and is the one coming out on top of the affair.
  • Hot Fuzz has the never-seen Uncle Derrick, who was arrested for selling drugs to students. Ironically, he inspired his nephew Nick Angel to become a genuinely good cop. One of the film's main villains, Frank Butterman, is also this. Though in his case, he's more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist.


  • It's probably fair to say that the majority of James Ellroy's characters are either dirty cops (or feds) or former dirty cops. Dudley Smith is just the one most people know. Edmund Exley was also far more compromised in the book than the film. Although the books (where Dudley Smith is around until the end of White Jazz does subvert this a bit by having Exley make the bringing down of Dudley Smith his first priority as Chief of Detectives (although this is more because of personal dislike than anything professional).
    • By the end of White Jazz, Exley is totally compromised, essentially having become the counter-Smith within the department. The entirety of the action is the protagonist being caught in the power struggle between the criminal empire Smith has built and Exley's own quasi-criminal means to achieving his ambitions. Eventually, Exley drops his hatred for Smith in favor of his political ambition and the protagonist ends the book, decades later, deciding to return to LA to bring both men's sins to the light. The protagonist, Klein, is himself quite the Dirty Cop, but the ultimate point is that his sins pale in comparison to either of theirs.
  • Michael Connelly's mystery novels often use Dirty Cops as villains. Much of this is likely Truth in Television given Connelly's history as a reporter in LA.
  • Blore, one of the villain protagonists of And Then There Were None is a former cop, whose crime is fitting up an innocent man, leading to his victim being sentenced to hard labor and dying in prison. Blore is presented as devious and amoral, suggesting this was indicative of his general behavior as a police officer.
  • Endemic in the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, especially in the past seen in Night Watch. Once he comes into power in the system, Vimes comes down heavily on major abuses such as corruption, but lets smaller offenses slide as a sort of Necessarily Evil. He absolutely won't condone Police Brutality, though (although he might fake it if need be). Even then, Vimes is fully willing to go Cowboy Cop and ignore the law when necessary, since he views justice as "protecting the innocent" rather than "obeying the law".
  • In Death: This trope has popped up a number of times in the series, with Judgment In Death and Treachery In Death standing out in particular.

Live-Action TV

  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Several episodes had corrupt cops, mainly in background roles, but one—the Season 4 episode "The Brotherhood"—was the focus of an entire episode. A small-town police department is run by a police chief frustrated about the crime rate and the perception that criminals get off on technicalities, so they kill the suspects after they are freed by the court. At one point, the crooked officers turn things up another notch when they throw a lighted cocktail into a prison bus, killing several prisoners and the guards and badly burning the driver. The main focus of the episode was on a Marine Corps recruit named Ernesto Lopez, who had been accused of rape only for DNA evidence to exonerate him; Walker is unable to get to Ernesto before the overzealous cops do, and Walker is left to track down the two stooges. The chief eventually turns his gun on himself when he learns Walker is coming for him.
  • Adam-12: Several episodes dealt with corrupt fellow officers of Reed and Malloy, the most notable of the lot being the 1971 episode "Internal Affairs – Blackmail," where one of Malloy's best friends is being investigated for blackmailing a witness.
  • The Bill has had several, most famously Don Beech.
  • They've also been seen on NCIS, although usually as a one-off.
    • In a flashback we find out that Tony left the Baltimore police department when he found out that his partner was dirty.
    • NCIS: Los Angeles had a group of dirty cops who acted as an escort service for drug dealers and other criminals. Turns out they drew the line at helping terrorists
  • DCI Roy Slater ("Slater the Slag") in Only Fools and Horses episodes "May The Force Be With You", the 1985 Christmas special "To Hull and Back", and "The Class of '62".
    • The second episode of Rock and Chips, "Five Gold Rings", shows us that after leaving school, Slater immediately joined the police force.
  • Firefly has the downright brutal Lieutenant Womack, who is a member of Allied Enforcement but who likes to smuggle human organs on the side.
  • Andromeda: “Lava and Rockets”: Molly Noguchi and Dylan are stunned to learn that the police will accept a bribe in public. The reason is low taxes and a high crime rate. [1], [2]
  • The Strike Team on The Shield can be seen as the poster boys for this troop, with the added twist of half the team (Lem and Ronnie) being good cops who fell in with the wrong crowd and largely stayed in the shallow part of the corruption pool, and Vic and Shane, who killed fellow police officers in order to cover their own asses when they were in danger of being exposed.
  • Being a bad guy on Damages seems to entitle you to at least one (and usually more than one) corrupt cop/FBI agent on your payroll who is willing to surveil, harass, or murder anyone who bugs you too much.
  • They usually don't actually show up, but the existence of these is sometimes part of the reason why the clients on Burn Notice can't just call the cops. In "Unpaid Debts" they ran afoul of a group of them, and in "Question and Answer" Sam pretended to be one.
  • The A-Team face off against a Similar Squad of cops who moonlight as assassins in "A Private Little War".
  • The 1992 TV series Renegade had Donald "Dutch" Dixon, a lieutenant who framed the main character for the murder of another cop. Dixon also headed a squad of equally crooked cops.
  • American Horror Story: Freak Show has Jack Colquitt, though he’s technically a detective. While originally content to investigate Dandy Mott after Regina told him he was a serial killer, he decided to work for Dandy instead when he offered him one million dollars to kill her. It’s not made clear what happened to Jack after he assisted the manipulator, but given what Dandy did to his mother and one of her employees, he probably suffered a grisly fate.
  • Brotherhood has some examples. Arguably Declan at times but definitely his partner Ralph after Michael helps him cover up an accidental shooting.
  • Cold Case has Roger Mulvaney, who abused his wife and used it position to make sure her pleas for help were lost. When she tried to leave him for a kind man, he murdered his daughter in front of her, causing her to give up her other daughter for the child's own safety and go into hiding. Forty years later, her boyfriend (also a cop) tearfully confesses that he and some of his other cop friends took him behind an alley and beat him to death. The investigating detective's reaction when they hear this story? They sweep the original dirty cop's death under the rug without even a single thought. That's one straight example, then two extremely sympathetic examples within five minutes of each other.
  • Life On Mars has a number of episodes which revolve around Gene Hunt and his superiors' relationships with local gangsters or corruption in general. Ashes to Ashes Series 2 was a complete arc about the fight between Hunt and various corrupt Met officers such as Mac, which doesn't end with Mac's death part way through the series.
  • The Shadow Line is full of them:
    • DS Delaney, Jonah Gabriel's deceased partner. Because of the association, Gabriel himself is also teased as being one for a while.
    • Sergeant Foley, who will sell information to virtually anyone so long as they can pay.
    • And finally, Patterson, Commander Khokar, Commander Penney and Lia Honey are all involved in some way with Counterpoint. Making Gabriel about the only clean cop in the series.
  • Det. Porter from Raising the Bar.
  • Criminal Minds has a cop who has a hero homicide complex, he sets ups a shooting so he can make himself a hero by being the first to respond. He attacked Garcia fearing that she could find out about his murders.
  • Weeds has a number of dirty cops and Nancy even ends up married to a dirty DEA agent.
  • Justified has Doyle Bennett who is a subversion. He IS a corrupt cop, but only in matters concerning his family.
    • Season 1 featured a corrupt sheriff who worked for a Miami drug cartel. He struck a deal with them so he could get revenge on a child killer. He is actually a fairly effective sheriff since he is able to crack down on illegal drug manufacture and sales in the county. The drug cartel is not interested in selling drugs in the county and helped him get rid of the local meth manufacturers who were their competition in other areas. Things go bad for him when the cartel asks him to help them kill Raylan.
  • Against the Wall plays with this trope a lot. It is based around a protagonist in the Internal Affairs division always investigating cops or other law enforcement officials. Sometimes played straight, sometimes subverted.
  • Law and Order occasionally brought up cops on the take. It even implied that one of its main detectives might be dirty. Fontana wore very nice clothes and flashed a big roll far too often for a simple detective.
    • Back when he was "on the sauce", Briscoe was implied to be dirty (or at least surrounded by a lot of other dirty cops). By the time he joins the 27th Precinct, he only pretends to be a dirty cop in order to get his informants to trust him.
  • CSI: NY has done this repeatedly. Flack's mentor, Mac's first partner, Danny's old partner...
  • CSI had Undersherriff Mc Keen, and more recently, Detective Vega.
    • Brass was originally an aversion of this, stating how he refused to be a dirty cop. But now, he is flirting with subverting it, ever since he covered up Ray Langston's unjustified killing of Nate Haskell by pocketing Ray's flex cuff at the scene.
  • Agent Kenton on Bones.
  • Detective John Sheppard in the penultimate episode of Stargate Atlantis barely manages to keep his job by scraping by on his quarterly performance reviews, has illegal gambling debts and quits the force to skip town after stealing money from a crime scene. Rodney McKay is extremely disappointed in him, since met another version of him that was honest and determined and a member of the Earth's defense against alien threats. He turns around before it is too late, and dies stopping the villain.
  • Leverage has surprisingly few for a show about Robin Hood like thieves. Virtually all of the targets are Corrupt Corporate Executives with a dirty cop not appearing at all until well into the second season. Hardison also impersonates a dirty cop during "The Boys Night Out Job" convincing Mexican drug dealers that he can help them.


  • The second verse of Lupe Fiasco's "Handcuffs" is sung by a drug dealer, commenting on his arresting officer, making such remarks as "You ain't no better than me, just a hustla with a badge."
  • Dirty Cops is on the block. Looking for an easy fuck.
  • Phil Ochs' song "Here's to to State of Mississippi" decipts the cops in Mississipi that way:

 They're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door

Their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor

No they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war

Behind their broken badges there are murderers and more

  • The N.W.A. song Fuck Tha Police has quite a few of these

Video Games

  • Edi E. from Final Fight took bribes from the Mad Gear Gang, controlled a part of the city, and got the crap beaten out of him by the heroes. He later double crosses the Mad Gear Gang by arresting it's members during the events of Final Fight Revenge.
  • Samuel L. Jackson's character Officer Frank Tenpenny in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is one of these, along with being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
    • Well, he shouts he is a Well-Intentioned Extremist just before he dies. But he hasn't been doing anything for the entire game other than fueling gangwars, and covering up his previous crimes, so that may be a case of Unreliable Narrator.
  • The two Vice cops in Scarface the World Is Yours.
  • Francis McReary in Grand Theft Auto IV.
    • The Undercover Cops in the beginning of The Lost and Damned, however they're killed in "Bad Cop Drop", a very early mission.
    • A group of NOOSE and FIB Agents in The Ballad of Gay Tony, who intend to frame Ray Bulgarin by planting fake evidence in his truck. They're killed off in the mission "Going Deep".
  • B.B. from Max Payne turns out to be one of these, especially when it's learned that he killed Alex at the Roscoe Street Station and had Max framed for it.
    • Winterson in the sequel, who has a love affair with the Big Bad.
  • Doctor Peace in No More Heroes is a Dirty Cop, a Deadly Doctor, and a skilled assassin with many interests outside the law.
  • Sumaru City's police force seems to have a bit of a problem with these, to put it mildly. One of them is a boss battle in Eternal Punishment.
  • The Godfather: The Game doesn't just have beat cops, but also FBI agents on the take who will help you keep the other families under control if the vendetta escalates to open Mob War.
  • Resident Evil 2 has Police Chief Brian Irons, a wife-beater and multiple rapist who is on Umbrella's payroll and thusly not only works to conceal their wrong-doings, but is also implied to discredit potential competitors and even provide human test-subjects for them. He's also a lunatic who suffers a mental breakdown during the resultant Zombie Apocalypse, actively sabotages the efforts of his police to aid the human survivors, and finally takes to hunting them down and killing them himself.
    • On top of all of that, the game also drops heavy hints that he may be a Serial Killer as well. And by hints we mean the human skulls in his secret taxidermy chamber.
    • Made worse in Outbreak. One of the files in the first scenario notes that 8 blonde women, all ages 18–23, started disappearing and people were saying there were groans and screams in the sewers. The description matches his last victim in RE2, the Mayor's daughter.
    • There's also a case of this in the first Resident Evil, albeit a rather unusual example: Albert Wesker was the team captain of Division A of the S.T.A.R.S. Precinct and presumably also their leader, and seems outwardly to be a model cop. However, he is in fact a double agent for the Umbrella Corporation, and more importantly is intending to lure the S.T.A.R.S. Teams to their deaths at the hands of B.O.W's both to silence them and to give the B.O.W's battle data, and later games reveal that he was in fact also planning to betray Umbrella as well.
  • An interesting aversion in Ace Attorney is Detective Tyrell Badd. He's a good man, a good cop, and the third 'leg' of the virtuous thief Yatagarasu.
  • Another interesting aversion is Dick Gumshoe... Although that might be because he's Too Dumb to Fool.
    • Now, dirty lawyers we have in spades. Manfred von Karma, Kristoph Gavin, Jacques Portsman, Calisto Yew...
    • And then there's Damon Gant who is a dirty police chief, and was strongly implied to be forging evidence before he killed anyone. There's something seriously broken about the Ace Attorney legal system.
    • Apollo Justice introduces us to Daryan Crescend, who is an international affairs agent who smuggles cocoons into the country (for good reasons) and kills Interpol agents (not for good reasons). We've also got Valerie Hawthorne from T&T, who helped fake a kidnapping and frame an innocent man, though she did try to make up for it.
  • Agent Ross from Red Dead Redemption, who's hobbies include kidnapping people's families in order to force them to track down outlaws he should be tracking.
  • C-Sec officer Harkin from the Mass Effect series, although he is fired from the force by the second game. Anderson mentions that the only reason he lasted as long as he did because humanity wanted a presence in C-Sec; they got shot of him as soon as they had the numbers.
    • Captain Bailey is a deconstruction of this trope with a sympathetic POV. He's willing to take bribes from corrupt politicians... but only because it helps keep the peace and keeps his men alive. He authorizes rough interrogation of prisoners... but only because the crime rate in his district is awful and he sees the need to use extra force. He's also on Shepard's side for the most part and will bend the rules for him/her when he needs to.
    • Officer Kaira Sterling from the Noveria corporate police is openly taking bribes to cover up Administrator Anoleis' corruption, and is more than willing to murder anyone who gets in the way.

 Kaira: Do you know what we did to cop killers back on my world?

Wrex: Do you know what we did to dirty cops back on mine?

  • Chase Linh in Need for Speed Undercover.
  • LA Noire has the entire LAPD except for Cole Phelps and his partners. Except for his fourth partner, Roy Earle, on the Ad Vice desk.
  • Dead Rising has Jo Slade working as a mall security raping women and beating them with her nightstick.
    • Dead Rising 2 has one also: Raymond Sullivan is working for Phenotrans all along.
  • Tashmann from the first Drakensang game: the first time you see him he's trying to use his badge to hire a prostitute for free.
  • Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor; after a few days in Tokyo after a lockdown resulting from demon presence, a group of police officers begin abusing the power of demon-summoning objects called COMPs to rob and/or kill others. They eventually surrender their powers after being beaten twice, the second time when faced with the lord of death, Yama.
  • Captain Eddie Shrote in The Darkness.
  • All 3 of the player characters in Call of Juarez: The Cartel are dirty to some degree. LAPD Detective Ben McCall is on the lighter end of the scale; he steals petty cash from criminals to help pay for the medical expenses of the child of one of the many hookers in his jurisdiction that he's protecting, he otherwise has a very strong sense of justice (although he also has anger issues and is prone to Cowboy Cop behavior as well as the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique). By "street cop" standards he's practically a boy scout. DEA Agent Eddie Guerra is on the much more extreme end of the scale; he's secretly running a network of street dealers to sell drugs for him, in order to pay off his huge gambling debts. He also sets up an informant to be murdered because he was worried Internal Affairs was getting to the guy. It also turns out he was The Mole and helped the Cartel abduct key witness Jessica Stone, because they owned his gambling debts. FBI Agent Kim Evans is by all appearances an idealisitic Good Cop, but is (reluctantly) willing to commit crimes, obstruct the investigation, and even outright murder witnesses when ordered to do so by the director of the FBI, supposedly for The Greater Good (although it turns out most of her crimes were the result of her being mislead by the director).
  • George Sewell in Silent Hill: Downpour. Especially in the end reveals he killed Frank Coleridge and pin the blame on Murphy.
  • Steve Haines from Grand Theft Auto V is a corrupt FIB agent.

Web Comics

  • In the "Phoenix Rising" Story Arc from Sluggy Freelance, Officer Tod is actually a former mob enforcer. He's found a pretty sweet gig where, as long as he covers up the local Vigilante Woman's numerous murders, he can just sit back, do nothing, and collect a fat paycheck from the government.
  • Paradigm Shift has vampires working for the FBI.

Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, George Bush is a dirty officer in the Maar Sul's SAVAGE who accepts bribes and looks the other way when the Totenkopfs act and does his best to help the cult's evil cause whenever he can.
  • Gronkh's mini-Let's Play of the game "Die Polizei" (a police simulator) was about being a racist, sadist, foul-mouthed asshole, to emphasize the bad quality of the game and spice it up.
  • The royal guard is corrupt and abusive, although its officers try to keep things safe and reasonable.
  • SM64 Bloopers: Since it would make for a boring episode if Toadsworth arrested Wario and Waluigi shortly after the episode began, Wild, Wild Mario portrays him as being a corrupt sheriff whose perfectly willing to let criminals get off scot-free as long as they pay him money.

Western Animation

  • In Minoriteam the villainous Dirty Cop is literally a police officer made of dirt and grime who actively participates in the White Shadow's evil schemes and, like many of his cohorts, is virulently racist.
  • Roger from American Dad turns into a dirty cop when he joins the police force in one episode... about three hours after joining, no less.
    • Took him that long?
  • The King of the Hill episode, "Lupe's Revenge", has a police woman who severely abuses her power. Naturally, in accordance with Hank's hilariously bad luck, she falls in love with him.
  • Chief Wiggum and the Springfield police in The Simpsons are sometimes shown to be corrupt as well as incompetent.
    • Wiggum's badge has "Cash Bribes Only" written on it.
  • Family Guy: Parapeligic officer Joe Swanson usually doesn’t let criminals bribe him to evade arrest, but he has outright looked the other way many times when his closest friends – Peter, Quagmire and Cleveland – break the law, even if not explicitly stated as such in the given episode. Instances include:
    • Numerous episodes: Quagmire's repeated preying on (and having sex with) teenaged girls; to a lesser extent, Peter.
    • Numerous episodes: Peter repeatedly abusing Lois – particularly in "The Courtship of Stewie's Father" – and Meg (countless episodes).
    • "Jerome is the New Black": Peter causing a fire at his new friend Jerome's house, this out of jealousy and hate when Peter believes that Jerome (a black man) is having an affair with Lois.
    • "Family Goy": From his upstairs window, Peter shoots a gun at his Jewish neighbor Mort Goldman while he is at his mailbox (a scene emulating an infamous scene in Schindler's List). Not only does Joe fail to arrest Peter, HE ALSO SHOOTS HIS GUN AT MORT (greeting him with a friendly hello to boot)!
    • "Burning Down the Bayit": Peter and Quagmire conspiring with Mort Goldman to burn down Goldman's pharmacy (to allow him to collect an insurance settlement).

Real Life

  • Think of Coslada, a peaceful little town 12Km southwest of Madrid, Spain, where everything seemed normal until it was known that the local chief police was a total Corrupt Hick, who almost literally had overthrown the town via recruiting new and young officers who just joined the academy so they could beat people and were completely loyal to him, demoting older and experienced honest agents to lower grades or sending them to other jurisdictions, imposing "taxes" on restaurants and shops in the town, harassing local commerce owners who didn't accept paying these "taxes", sexually harassing female agents and managing to make life hell for them if they refused or took action against him, employing city hall cars to hang around at the best pubs in Madrid, Invading the jurisdiction of the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía (National Police Corps) which have competence over locals on serious crimes such as murders, and even managing to move a whole prostitution network into the capital. Prior to that, he was just known for his love on Press Conferences about any event taking place in the town, even stealing spotlight from the Mayor.
  • Len Davis was a corrupt New Orleans police officer who was a drug dealer and he beat a teenager up and had Kim Groves murdered for reporting him.