Cop Killer (song)

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Artist: Ice-T

Year: 1992

Date of Action: 1992

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Violence

Medium: Music

Confronting Bodies: CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas) ; U.S. law enforcement agencies; Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC); President George H.W. Bush; members of the general public.

Description of Artwork: “Cop Killer” is a song about a victim of police brutality who violently takes matters into his own hands. It was recorded by Ice-T’s rock group Body Count on their eponymous 1992 debut album.

The Incident: People responded through protests and boycotts of any company associated with the distribution of the record. This caused sales to skyrocket, but also prompted certain stores to take the album off their shelves. Some countries, such as New Zealand, attempted to have the song and the rap group itself banned. Stockholders threatened to pull out from Warner Bros Records and executives received death threats.

Results of Incident: Warner Brothers Records pulled this song off the album under pressure from government agencies and police groups. Ice-T left the label a few months later. While Ice-T stood by his work, stating that it was a protest song meant to reflect hateful emotions rather than encourage violence, he subsequently decided to recall the album, removing the trouble-making song upon re-release.


1.“Cop Killer,” Body Count (March 10, 1992), Turn That Down! 40 Banned and Censored Songs, NCAC, MARCH 3, 2015

Cop Killer (song), Wikipedia