NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly and the city's largest police union have called for a boycott of True Crime: New York City, citing its depiction of law-breaking cops in the game.
"It's an outrage," Kelly told the Big Apple's Daily News over the weekend. "I think it disrespects all police offers and it's done in extremely poor taste as well."
True Crime: New York City will be released in November for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. The game features a voice cast of well-known Hollywood actors, while two former NYPD officers, Bill Clark and Tom Walker, lent their technical expertise. (Clark also served as the executive producer of NYPD Blue and Walker authored the book Fort Apache: The Bronx.)
True Crime: New York City does not make any reference to the NYPD, calling the police department depicted "PDNY."
The game features a fictional "former criminal turned cop" known as Marcus Reed who hunts down the murderer of his mentor. The fictional cop characters are depicted breaking into apartments, often without warrants, and assaulting criminal suspects.
The game has started a war of words between Clark and NYPD staff.
Commissioner Kelly expressed his dissatisfaction with the game, and learning about Clark and Walker's involvement with the development, said: "It's totally inappropriate. It's a tough job, a dangerous job, and this undermines what police officers try to do. I'm saddened that even some former members of the department are linked to that video game."
Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, shares Commissioner Kelly's anger, but targeted Clark specifically for his involvement with the game. He also called on the Hollywood actors to give back the profits they received for their voice-over performances in the game.
"The cop who worked on this video should look in the mirror. He [makes] it harder for everyone working the job," Lynch said, responding to Clark's comments that police union officials should stop worrying about video games and spend more time "getting cops more than a $25,000 starting salary."
Clark's final comment: "It's a game, not a training video for the NYPD," he told the Daily News.