The Dirtiest Cop In Film History

The Usual Suspects

I've been wanting to do this for awhile. A top ten list of the dirtiest cops in film history, then I saw the list had already been done on IMDb. Of course I could have still did my own list, but where is the creativity in that? I know you would expect more than that from me, I expect more than that from myself. So what do I do? I cut the fat.

I surfed the web and found that on average the top two who almost always end up fighting for the #1 spot are Det. Alonzo Harris (Training Day) and Det. Victor Samuel Mackey (The Shield). Now we can get to the meat.

These two characters were both played to perfection by Denzel Washington (Harris) and Michael Chiklis (Mackey), but I'm not here to focus on acting. I am here to debate why I think one of the characters should hold the crown as "Dirtiest Cop in Film History".

Before I begin I have to give a SPOILER ALERT. If you have not seen Training Day or "The Shield" may I suggest you watch them both before going even further.

Det. Vic Mackey
Det. Vic Mackey

Suspect #1: Victor Mackey

Detective Vic Mackey is a ruthless guy. In the very first scene of the first season of "The Shield" we see "Mackey" as he's called, kill one of the member of his own Strike Team. What a way to introduce yourself huh? Throughout 7 Seasons we watch Mackey get him and his team into and out of trouble, each time falling deeper and deeper into darkness. One minute he's beating up drug dealers and taking their drug money, the next minute he's blackmailing a Mayoral candidate to get what he needs. Okay so you may not be impressed yet. I'm not done.

Mackey is so interesting because he always finds a way to surprise you. Just when you think he's not that bad, he smacks you in the face and punishes you for letting your guard down. What's worse is that Mackey not only corrupted himself, but also found a way to corrupt anyone who was close enough to know what he was really about. I know I gave a spoiler alert before, but I just can't allow myself to deprive you of the experience. Go watch this show for yourself, trust me you'll be hooked till the end.

Det. Alonzo Harris
Det. Alonzo Harris

Suspect #2: Alonzo Harris

Do you see the similarities? They're present in the photos alone. The black leather jacket. Not to mention they are both Detectives in the mean streets of Los Angelos. The connections don't stop there either.

Just like Mackey, Alonzo did his fair share of dirt. Rob, steal from drug dealers, bend and break the law at will. His freaking office was in his car! I don't even know if this guy remembers what a paperwork looks like. He probably has one of his hoes type up his reports. This is the difference between Mackey and Alonzo. Alonzo was smooth. He could have you laughing with him as if you two were best buddies, but if you knew him you knew not to turn your back on him.

You see Mackey was up close and personal. He could lie his ass off and you would know he was lying, but he would have covered his tracks so well you couldn't do anything about it. Alonzo on the other hand would really look into your eyes and talk to you in a way were you would believe your having a human to human moment with him, then he pulls out a shot gun and kills you in your own living room. What was so great about this character was the fact that as a viewer you kept thinking that he was just giving the rookie a hard time, showing him the ropes, preparing him for life as a real NARC. It's not until the moment he kills his so called friend that we realize how evil this guy is. He tricked us. He tricked us into believing the Devil did not exist and then he revealed himself.

So what's the verdict?

And The Winner Is.....

I have to agree with the consensus, Alonzo Harris has to be the "Dirtiest Cop in Film History".

My decision was simple. In no way am I saying that one of these guys is tougher or a badder bad guy than the other, the thing that makes Alonzo dirtier than Mackey is the fact that he cares about no one but himself. I mean there is one scene where Alonzo was going to shoot his own kid. I think that's what did it for me right there.

Mackey may have killed people to save his own ass, but at least there was some type of heart in there. He genuinely cared about his kids and I can't see him trying to kill one of them for his own survival. Even at the end on the series in the very last scene he pulls out a picture of his kids and takes a second to put it at his desk. Now one could make an argument that we never got the chance to see Alonzo's whole life, and the fact that he dies and Mackey lives, but I think had the situations been reversed each character would still end up the same. When you get to the end you are left with two of the dirtiest cops in film history, the difference is one silences his conscience in order to do what he has to to survive (Mackey at his desk in the last scene thinking) and the other has no conscience to silence.

But don't take my word for it. I know everyone has probably seen Alonzo, but do yourself a favor and check out all 7 seasons of "The Shield" before you make your decision. You could change my mind.

Who's the dirtiest?

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Comments 2 comments

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 3 years ago from Isle of Man

I started watching The Shield after I had watched The Wire and that was a mistake. Had I done it the other way around I probably could have got hooked on The Shield. I loved Training Day and am a big fan of Denzel Washington anyway. I do agree with you in that you would be hard pressed to come up with a meaner character than Det. Alonzo Harris. Thank you.


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 3 years ago from New York Author

Always glad to see a comment from you Whisperer. These two characters are close to each other, but also far apart.

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