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In True Detective Episode 4, an undercover Cohle is made to prove his criminality by assisting Ginger and the Iron Crusaders lift a crack den, resulting in THAT sequence...

But why do the Iron Crusaders bother to wear the Cop Uniforms?

The Bikers look no where near convincing in the Uniforms, and don't even seem to bother acting in any way like Police Officers. They behave like raiders, and don't even arrive in a Police Vehicle.

Cohle himself, doesn't even wear a Uniform, and he seems to be the point man of the operation, so they don't seem to be trying to pose as officers.

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I thought perhaps it was some kind of 'calling card' from the Gang, but it seems to be presented as something novel when they explain their plan to Cohle...

I also suspected it was just a way of disguising their true status as Iron Crusaders by wearing clothes not formerly associated with the gang, but Cop uniforms seem quite elaborate for this purpose.

Was there actually any purpose for the facade?

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Their entire modus operandi was "shock and awe". And believe it or not, police uniforms make for quite good shock and awe! Just for a minute try to picture a few cops, brandishing firearms, a goon in tow. There body language is very aggressive and seem to be on a raid. Now in any black neighbourhood that is known to have gang affiliations and illegal activity going on (which was pretty definite in this case), people would duck for cover or scoot to their home rather than confront the cops.

Rust's pals were banking on the fact that their appearance would at least make the people in the hood think twice before firing at them. Not a single soul, in that mayhem would had or did say, "Officer, may I please see your badge...". I agree the uniforms didn't make them look like bonafide law enforcement officers but it sure as hell did make the people second guess themselves. What was an out-and-out robbery, for a while seemed like a night raid.

Rust knew that as long as they made it a snatch and grab they would make out of it scratch free. By the time somebody got their heads around the facts that these guys didn't look like cops and weren't driving a cop car, they would be on their way out.

So yes, the cop uniforms were very necessary as a tool for creating that effect.

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    I understood this to be the purpose, but my point pertains to their hair/tatoo's/etc, not to mention their general style and mode of aggression, betrays any aspect of this. All it would have taken was hats or wigs: someone dressed like a cop that doesn't look like a cop invites more attention and suspicion, surely? It seems they give up on this ruse before they even begin. – John Smith Optional Mar 21 '14 at 9:48
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    The 2nd para of my answer is my take on that thought of yours (or at least an attempt at that!). Rust's pals were banking on the fact that their appearance would at least make the people in the hood think twice before firing at them. Not a single soul, in that mayhem would had or did say, "Officer, may I please see your badge...". I agree the uniforms didn't make them look like bonafide law enforcement officers but it sure as hell did make the people second guess themselves. What was an out-and-out robbery, for a while seemed like a night raid. – Sayan Mar 21 '14 at 11:46
  • I know that was the plan but in execution it looked nothing like a night raid, even for a moment. A raid includes strategy, area denial and light and noise discipline, all of which were rejected instantaneously. The Iron crusaders would know what a raid looked like, and so would the gang-bangers. I understand what the purpose of the uniforms was, but they failed at function due to the total lack of execution, rendering them pointless. – John Smith Optional Mar 25 '14 at 14:08
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    The execution did not matter, as long as they had the element of surprise and doubt! That was their game. Thats the point I tried to drive-in, in the very first para of my answer. – Sayan Apr 3 '14 at 8:21

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