The Brief: Copaganda or copraganda is media that portrays police in a positive light.

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

A combination of the words cop and propaganda, copaganda (or copraganda) is propaganda that favors police. It can refer specifically to photos or videos of police officers engaging in friendly-seeming activities like kneeling with protestors, playing basketball with children, saving kittens from trees, etc. More broadly, the term can reference the broader ways contemporary society is embedded with copaganda with examples like cop Halloween costumes, Paw Patrol, Brooklyn 99, or the idea that cops love donuts.

Copaganda is juxtaposed with the many instances in which law enforcement officials have enacted violence against people, perpetuating systemic racism by disproportionately targeting and killing Black and Brown people.Β  As Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality continue in the wake of George Floyd’s death, there is heightened scrutiny of copaganda online. Images taken of cops kneeling with protestors hours before they beat or tear gas them highlight the ways pro-cop propaganda can hide how police are violent and harmful.

In an episode of The Daily Show posted online on June 26, 2020, Trevor Noah addressed the issue of copaganda influencing public opinion about policing through TV shows and other positive media portrayals, specifically noting how police brutality is normalized and romanticized in television.