The following case study is an exploration of police-generated propaganda in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Developed through a partnership between Generation Justice, the Harvard Shorenstein Center, and MediaJustice, the following case study explores disinformation spread by police.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) featured white supremacist imagery on their vehicles resembling the “Thin Blue Line” flag and the text: “Always Choose the Hard Right.”

At a public hearing in October 2022 with an advisory board for the Sheriff’s Office, community members criticized this white nationalist and far-right-aligned symbol. During the hearing, community members also pushed back on the office’s relationship with On Patrol: Live, a reality television show whose crew began filming officers engaging with the Bernalillo County community. On October 28, the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board also published criticism of the department-show partnership.

The analysis we present below details the history and impact of 1) “Thin Blue Line’’ and 2) reality television contracts with local police. Both of these issues discussed at the hearing detail copaganda tactics – particularly their normalization of police violence and the use of white supremacist symbols. The case study details methods community members used to fight back against copaganda, as well as national interventions preventing copaganda’s further dissemination.

Want to sustain the movement against Copaganda and police violence? Donate to MediaJustice to support the collaborations, staff, and research that make case studies like the above possible.


See All