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All of the threads have been pulled, The Summation has been made, the suspect has given his Motive Rant, the lead detective has give the order to make the arrest.

Cue the walk of shame, i.e. the Perp Walk, to the police car, past a group of onlookers that may include family, friends, enemies, or the media. In Fiction Land, this is often done in Slo Mo, and poses a much more significant risk for a Vigilante Execution than in Real Life. In some place (like Japan. for instance), the suspect is often offered the "dignity" of a cloth covering their cuffed hands and underaged suspects faces are blacked out; in America, only shows like Cops will blur suspects' faces (to avoid any possible jury pool poisoning), but any objects covering hands and/or faces have are generally self-provided.

Examples of Perp Walk include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Great Teacher Onizuka, after he had attempted to blow up the school, Suguru Teshigawara happens to pass by his father while being led away by the police and see for himself what an utterly deluded and broken man his father had become.


Live Action Television

  • Just about Once Per Episode in Crime Scene Investigation and its spinoffs.
  • Both Cold Case and Without a Trace often feature the Perp Walk interlaced with a Where Are They Now? Epilogue with each person involved in the case.
  • In Cops, usually with the cops leading a perp to the back seat of a police car, saying, "take a seat".
  • Law and Order and its spinoffs most often feature the "Up (or Down) the Courthouse Steps" version, and is the number one cause of Karmic Death for a perp who has otherwise escaped the long arm of the law.
  • In Life On Mars, when Gene Hunt and Sam Tyler are arresting a prominent gangster in his nightclub, Gene asks whether he would like to be escorted out the front, in full view of the patrons of his club, or discretely through the back exit. The gangster chooses the back exit. So naturally, Gene and Sam take him out the front.
  • Veronica Mars rarely involves an actual arrest, but the jerk of the week usually gets some kind of public shaming... that occasionally involves getting taped to a flagpole.
    • Let's not forget the episode where Veronica herself is arrested in front of the school. "Gosh, I hope they use that photo in the yearbook" indeed.
  • Occurs in Battlestar Galactica, Boomer gets a perp walk. Complete with slo-mo and vigilante execution.


  • In S.W.A.T., the bad guy yells out a reward of one million dollars to the person that frees him as he walks to the police station, setting up the story in the rest of the film.
  • Parodied on Lady and the Tramp when dogs at the pound pause as "poor Nutsy's taking the long walk" (i.e., being led away to be euthanized), with the oblivious Nutsy skipping all the way.
  • Happens to Ian at the end of the first National Treasure movie. He glares back at Ben, who simply shrugs.
  • Happened in the film version of In Cold Blood, when Richard Hickock and Perry Smith are arrested.

Real Life

  • Lee Harvey Oswald was shot during his Perp Walk.
  • Bernie Madoff was punched in the gut during his. Whoever did it jumped over police barricades and pushed his way through a scrum of press photographers to do it, so they must have been pissed off.
  • Mexican Federal Police shows off any cartel member or other significant criminal they arrest like a prize, giving them body armor if they see the target a danger of assassination.
  • Let's not forget the one that backfired, of Domnique Strauss Kahn. Thanks to Values Dissonance, people in his native France were furious he was being paraded before the cameras before being proven guilty.
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