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What CSI: Miami Gets Wrong About Miami Police Officers

What CSI: Miami Gets Wrong About Miami Police Officers

Like many other network procedural dramas, CBS hit series “CSI: Miami” cut corners and fudged facts when it came to depicting forensic science and crime-solving in an accurate manner. The “CSI” franchise used plenty of working consultants to help with getting certain things right (via Bakersfield.com) but was fine with inaccuracies if it made for better television.

The shows were often criticized for their less than stellar track record with scientific detail, but the results spoke for themselves. “CSI” was such a huge phenomenon that CBS developed several spinoff series, including “Miami,” “CSI: New York,” and “CSI: Cyber,” with “CSI: Vegas” recently debuting on the network. “CSI: Miami” alone aired for an impressive 10 seasons and 332 episodes, at one point getting ranked the most popular show in the entire world, as reported by BBC.

Despite the success, “CSI: Miami” was still given flak for not depicting police work correctly, though this inaccuracy has nothing to do with forensics or autopsies. Here’s where “CSI: Miami” gets the everyday habits of Miami cops completely wrong.

Real Miami cops speak more Spanish than the CSI: Miami characters

According to KERA News, it’s important that you know how to speak Spanish as a member of the Miami Police Department, as the language is extremely common in the city. Spanish speakers are common to the extent that Miami has a bilingual economy that depends on users of both languages (via The Atlantic).

This has especially been the case since Cuban exiles came to the area over the past six decades, but “CSI: Miami” doesn’t represent this reality very well. Some characters like Horatio Caine speak Spanish fluently while others don’t, and oftentimes, the language doesn’t sound great as read by the actors.

“CSI: Miami” was even cited as an example of television butchering pronunciations and grammar in The Mercury News. “The show is based in a city where most of the population is fluent in Spanish and not necessarily in English,” the outlet wrote. “But some of the language is so mashed that those of us who do speak Spanish could still use subtitles.” It’s fun to watch but not exactly accurate to Miami-Dade County or its police officers.

You can stream all 10 seasons of “CSI: Miami” on Paramount+ and Hulu.

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