Mr Good: Cop or Crook? is a Norwegian documentary series featuring a former Narcotics officer facing the maximum imprisonment penalty for his unorthodox methods to solve inter-gang rivalry. The episodes are now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Eirik Jensen, a talented police officer since 1977, gets quickly promoted to the Oslo police department’s Narcotics branch. His excellent communication skills allow him to land multiple informants within the active outlaw groups and gangs.
Episode one describes him as a vintage-style cowboy officer who rides a Harley Davidson. His unorthodox methods to solve cases are hugely popular in the department.
He leads a minimalist life with his wife and old mother. The ability to empathize with dangerous gang leaders and outlaws helps him expand his network. Fellow police officers start becoming wary of this intimacy.
Soon enough, he crosses paths with a junkie drug smuggler Gerjmund Cappelen. Just when Erik is about to arrest him for illegal drug business, Cappelen agrees to become an informant for him. In the following years, they become close friends with each other.
Eirik helps him with personal and financial issues, while Cappelen provides genuine insider stories from the underworld gangs.
There comes a time when rampant gun violence and drug trafficking force the police to initiate a crackdown. Eirik leads the special team and with the help of leaks fed by Cappelen, puts most of the gang members behind the bars. The entire country hails him as the ‘Super Cop’.
Police officer Baerum gets tipped off about Cappelen’s hash smuggling business. Upon investigation, finds out about his money laundering tactics and incredibly lavish lifestyle. Eirik knows that both are in grave trouble.
Baerum raids his backyard and arrests him for dealing and possessing hundreds of kilos of hash and unwarranted money. He also spots Eirik inside his car, along with coded text communication on phone, confirming the suspicions of collusion.
Eirik gets arrested and faces disgrace in the local and national newspapers. Determined to prove his innocence, he stands trial for taking bribes and colluding with Cappelen in his drug smuggling operations. He alleges conspiracy against him for being unconventional and quirky for normal police ideals.
Meanwhile, investigators discover a cell number saved by the name of ‘Mr. Good’ in Cappelen’s phone book. Suspicions grow into complicity as police find an undocumented renovated bathroom in Eirik’s house. He knows that he’s in a deeper pit of trouble.
The trial concludes, and the jury finds Eirik not guilty of involvement in the drug smuggling business but charged guilty of accepting bribes. The judges overturn the decision and announce a re-trial.
Eirik eventually gets charged on all counts and faces the maximum penalty of 21 years of imprisonment. The Oslo police department gets a sticking for allowing Eirik Jensen to constantly violate the police standards of procedures and regulations.
Eirik is still in jail, fighting to plead against the conviction. His last plea got dismissed by the Human Rights Commission.
Mr Good: Cop or Crook? ending explained in detail: (Episode 4: ‘The Fall’)
A slave or boss?
Nordlandsmafien leader, Gunnar Evertson, reveals that he was relieved to seek Eirik put behind the bars for the rest of his life. Claiming that he was a bent cop, Gunnar testifies that he conspired against him and nine other members to benefit Cappelen.
During the trial, Eirik says that he didn’t know anything about Cappelen’s illegal enterprises and hash business. He also claims to have been protecting him from threats and issues.
In defence of the alleged coordinated messages, he reaffirms that the communication timeline barely corroborates with the allegations. But the nature of text messages still compels the officers to pursue his case.
Gunnar adds to his testament: “He was a slave to his bosses, and I don’t feel anything about him.”
The ‘exhausting’ trials
The jury acquits him from most of the levelled charges but finds him responsible for corruption. The judges decide to overturn the decision and refer the case to a bigger consortium.
Cappelen presents a consistent story throughout the course of the trial. He reveals that Eirik helped a great deal in clearing the customs to get drugs safely into the country. Yet Eirik kept repeating that he didn’t know about his informant’s line of business.
The court finds Eirik psychologically complicit for not taking prescribed actions against Capellen’s illegal activities. Eirik claims that he might have been an insignificant handler in comparison to the bigger network he was really after.
The final verdict convicts Eirik of being guilty on all charges along with Norway’s maximum punishment.
Miscarriage of justice?
The larger bench finds Eirik complicit for not following standard police procedures and regulations. Bypassing the chain of command and obstructing the justice system led to Eirik’s shocking fall.
He alleges that his unorthodox methods and unconventional mingling with criminals invited bias and contempt. The verdict finds the police department guilty of not standing up to the SOPs.
Critics believe that the department was unfair to employ Eirik’s quirky methods for instant success and later discard them at the first signs of trouble. They believe that he was just an ideal policeman who lacked a professional sense.