In my infrequent viewings of cable television, I have noticed that it is possible to watch some incarnation of "Law and Order" twenty-four hours a day. I have seen numerous episodes of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" and the "Criminal Intent" version. I've also watched various other cop shows and I have come to this conclusion: America is being conditioned like Pavlov's dogs and the entertainment industry is in on it. No, this is not the paranoid ranting of a fevered brain, this is just the observation of a casual television watcher.
This may take a couple of days to explain so bear with me, but the formula is this: the bad guy commits a heinous crime. The cops, through dedication and hard work manage to determine who the bad guy is (usually a white, male, suburban, three-piece-suit that thinks he's smarter than said cops because he makes seven figures). However, the crime is so heinous, and the bad guy so despicable, that we don't mind, or even notice when the TV cop violates the perp's Constitutional Rights in order to bring him to justice. In fact, we cheer when the bad guy gets roughed up, coerced, and even intimidated into confessing.
So, when cops do these things in real life, it is with the tacit approval of a largely ignorant public. In fact, we have been so conditioned that even when a cop is acting completely outside the law, the average citizen stands there unsure of what to do.