The portrayal of violence is pervasive in contemporary American television programming. While a number of social scientific and psychology-based studies have been carried out to study how audiences react to fictional portrayals of violence, far fewer studies have addressed what portion of that violence is carried out by officers of the law those acting under the color of authority in television shows. This study employs content analysis to measure and analyze such violence across a range of contemporary television crime drama programs in order to identify the justification of violence performed by officials. This study looks at the representation and justification of official violence in television dramas. Selected episodes of network crime dramas are viewed along with selected episodes of popular cable crime dramas. Incidents of violence by officials are quantified and compared to incidents of justified official violence to establish the numerical significance. An analysis of crime drama programming is used to answer questions about the justification of violence by police on TV.