ENTERTAINMENT

Violence against D.C. police glorified in video game, one officer speaks out

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(WJLA) - In “Pay Day 2,” targeting and killing cops is all part of the experience. The makers want you to feel like you’re in D.C., and as a result, the game is so realistic – with police logos, cruisers, and uniforms almost identical to the real thing.

We repeatedly reached out to the makers of the game, Starbreeze Studios, with the hopes that we could understand what they were thinking – but we never heard back,

"What we do every day is not a game,” says Detective Kevin McConnell, who has been on the streets for almost two decades. Violence against officers almost got him killed while driving down Good Hope Road, and he still remembers that night clearly.

In August 2007, McConnell drove up to a scuffle inside of a take-out restaurant in Southeast D.C. A man inside was trying to get to the workers, and things soon escalated after McConnell identified himself as a police officer.

"It was hand-to-hand combat for probably six, seven minutes,” he describes. "Last thing I remember him saying is, ‘I'm going to choke you out.’ Things just started going black."

But McConnell managed to pull the trigger three times, shooting his own finger first before hitting the suspect twice.

“There was no life flashing before your eyes, things were getting dark. It's something you live, it wasn't a movie you saw,” he says.

McConnell doesn’t see the purpose of games glorifying violence against law enforcement:

"Shooting cops, killing cops…doesn't seem like a fun way to spend your time, knowing that the cops are out there for you."

A spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association cited a fact page on its website, which states:

"…Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have ruled 13 times that computer and video games are protected speech."

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier wouldn’t talk to us on-camera about the video game, but her spokeswoman says Lanier thinks that a game that glorifies violence against police officers doesn’t deserve any attention.

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