In speaking with Polygon, a Battlefield Hardline writer, Rob Auten, mentioned how they actually had to remove lines of dialogue from the game in order for the "bad guys (to feel) like bad guys."
Writer Rob Auten told me that one of the difficulties he had with this game was creating thugs who were engaging enough to seem realistic, but not so engaging that the player might feel guilty about shooting them.

"I wrote one about this guy getting back together with his ex-girlfriend," Auten explained. "Someone on the team pointed out that 'hey idiot, this is someone you are about to shoot in the head, not deliver flowers to,' so we decided, let's not go down that route. We had to cut out the dialog and make it more informative. We had to make sure the bad guys felt like bad guys so the player isn't as emotionally conflicted about the gameplay."(...)

But game designers know their audiences, and there are certain understood boundaries for goons. "Part of the cops and robbers fantasy is moving among the bad guys and being in the same room," said Auten. "So you have an opportunity to hear more from them. In some cases we made them too charming and people felt bad about shooting them or wanted to hang out with them instead of fighting them and that is no good."

Moral ambiguity? Not in my games!

He also said that they didn't want "anyone cooler than the player showing up." He notes that "players don't want to feel like they are on the side of the squares, interrupting this cool party of fun guys." Cool party of fun guys? Never forget that a writer for this game actually said this.