Our Favorite Black TV Cops

Fictional Black Cops

Full of suspense and danger that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats, police dramas have remained wildly popular — even surviving the reality TV takeover. Today we salute our favorite actors and actresses who keep the fictional streets clean, from S. Epatha Merkerson’s long run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on “Law & Order” to Wendell Pierce as Detective Bunk Moreland on “The Wire.”

Forest Whitaker on ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’

Actor Forest Whitaker has been cast as FBI profiler Sam Cooper on the Criminal Minds spin-off. We can’t wait to see what this Oscar winner has to offer.

Regina King in ‘Southland’

On this beloved cop show (currently aired on TNT), King plays Lydia Adams, a no-nonsense but compassionate detective.

Ice-T in ‘Law and Order’

Originally slated to do just four guest appearances on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (on NBC), Ice-T made such an impression as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, he has stayed for 11 years.

S. Epatha Merkerson on ‘Law and Order’

By the time she left “Law and Order” in 2010, actress S. Epatha Merkerson was one of the most beloved actors on the show. Since 1991, she played the tough and level-headedLt. Anita Van Buren. Thanks to countless reruns we still welcome Lt. Van Buren in our homes on a nightly basis.

Phillip Michael Thomas in ‘Miami Vice’

As Ricardo Tubbs on the iconic 80s drama, “Miami Vice,” actor Phillip Michael Thomas is still one of the coolest police officers around.

Sonja Sohn on ‘The Wire’

We could never get enough of Detective Shakima Greggs, the tough-talking Baltimore police officer on “The Wire.”

Wendell Pierce on “The Wire”

Actor Wendell Pierce was so believable as Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on “The Wire” we still get chills thinking about his sometime shady ways.

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Alfre Woodard n ‘Memphis Beat’

Its always good to see veteran actress Alfre Woodard on the small screen. She currently stars as Lt. Tanya Rice on the TNT drama.

Omari Hardwick in ‘Dark Blue’

A police officer who’s easy on the eyes? Now that we like. Actor Omari Hardwick plays officer Ty Curtis on this TNT original drama.

Shemar Moore on ‘Criminal Minds’

Not technically a police officer, but a federal agent, actor Shemar plays the oh so fine FBI profiler Derek Morgan on ‘Criminal Minds’ (currently on CBS).

Jesse L. Martin on “Law and Order”

As Det. Ed Green, actor Jesse L. Martin had the perfect amount of grit and humor. He bowed out after nine years on the beloved show.

Reginald Veljohnson on ‘Family Matters’

Everybody, (except criminals) loved Laura Winslow’s dad on the 90s show “Family Matters.”

Malik Yoba on ‘New York Undercover’

As Det. ‘JC’ Williams on “New York Undercover,” actor Malik Yoba (left) raised the bar for urban cop dramas.

Jennifer Beals in ‘The Chicago Code’

Actress Jennifer Beals calls her character on the new Fox show, ‘The Chicago Code," a “ball-buster.” On the show Beals plays, Teresa Colvin, Chicago’s first female police superintendent.