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City leaders: 'COPS' worse than 'Breaking Bad'

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2014 at 10:59 am •  Published: February 24, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — More Albuquerque leaders want to stop the reality show "COPS" from being filmed around the city, and say the series is worse for Albuquerque's image than "Breaking Bad."

At least the fictional show filmed in Albuquerque brought jobs and tourists to the city, officials said.

City Council President Ken Sanchez and fellow Councilor Don Harris announced on Sunday they will introduce a resolution asking Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston to reconsider his recent decision to allow the Spike TV show to film deputies in April.

"The COPS television series sensationalizes criminal activity and focuses only on the seedy and negative aspects of the community it is filming in," the resolution reads.

The councilors join Mayor Richard Berry and others leaders who have recently voiced their opposition to bringing "COPS" to the Albuquerque area on ground that it would paint a negative picture of the city and might hurt economic development.

"All families have issues, all communities have issues and everybody knows you don't advertise those things," Harris told reporters. "We think there's no reason to be putting our worst foot forward."

Harris said the cheaply-produced reality series is much worse than AMC's "Breaking Bad," because the fictional drama brought jobs to Albuquerque.

"Breaking Bad," which ended last year and was filmed in Albuquerque, followed former high school teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston. White produced methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.

Despite its dark themes, the show garnered wide-support from Albuquerque elected officials. The city's visitors' bureau even helped promote the show with viewing parties and a website map of the show's popular locations.

In a statement, Houston said there aren't "statistics or factual information" suggesting "COPS" hurts a city's image. He said opposition to the show "reflects a non-transparent position and indicates a mindset of wanting to hide what goes on in our communities."

Houston called the move censorship and said it was similar to trying to ban residents from filming law enforcement with iPhones.


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