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Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces Kindle Edition

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Length: 402 pages
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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the author:
''Radley Balko is one of those throw-back journalists that understands the power of groundbreaking reporting and how to make a significant impact through his work. Time and time again, his stories cause readers to stop, think, and, most significantly, take action.'' --Judges' Statement, Los Angeles Press Club Awards Ceremony

About the Author

RADLEY BALKO is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about civil liberties, police and prosecutors, and the broader criminal justice system. A senior writer and investigative reporter for the Huffington Post, he was formerly a senior editor for Reason magazine and a policy analyst for the Cato Institute. Balko's 2006 Cato report Overkill is considered the seminal work on the rise of SWAT teams and paramilitary police tactics in America.

Product Details

  • File Size: 829 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Trade Paper Edition edition (July 9, 2013)
  • Publication Date: July 9, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B3M3UFQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By J. Sheets on July 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a staunch conservative, a veteran of the U.S. Military, and have worked in private sector for the past 32 years in the Risk Management department for a large U.S. based retailer. I work closely with law enforcement across multiple jurisdictions mostly in the area of Organized Retail Crime and have an inbred respect for all law enforcement. I purchased this book with some reservations as I figured that it would be nothing more than a left wing progressive cop bashing fest. I could not have been more wrong about this author's body of work or intentions.

The book is well researched, full of facts, and I found it surprisingly to be politically neutral! The author in fact goes out of his way to not blame law enforcement for the current trend in the militarization of their officers, or the proliferation of SWAT teams materializing all over the country. In fact he lays most of the blame for this right at the feet of our legislators. No one party is or branch of government is exempt. Numerous presidents, senators, members of the house, and Supreme Court Justices are all mentioned, and their roles in getting the Fourth Amendment nullified are presented in excruciating detail. This book highlights how the sacred rights of the Castle Doctrine and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 have all been circumnavigated. This is a must read for all Americans regardless of their political affiliation.
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118 of 125 people found the following review helpful By John Mozena on June 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As always, Balko is alternately infuriating and terrifying, as he details the slow, incremental evolution in our police forces. This is not a "Cops are bad" screed, but rather a "Cops are important and powerful, so we need to pay attention to how they're being trained, equipped and used" warning flare. Well-written by arguably the leading journalist expert on the subject and based on years of following the topic, this is a very powerful and important book that'll make you look at the next picture of a cop in "riot gear" with a different eye.
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106 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Heather K. Michon on July 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chances are somewhere in America today, a SWAT team will arrive at a private residence. They'll throw flash-bang grenades and kick in the door; they'll force occupants to the floor at gunpoint and start tearing the place apart. They're will be profanity and screaming. They may kill the family dog, pitbull or poodle. And if they don't find anything, or it turns out they came to the wrong address, too bad. You're not going to get an apology.

This is the state of policing in America in 2013, says Radley Balko in his new book "Rise of the Warrior Cop." Across the country, law enforcement is turning to SWAT team and other specalized units not for their original purpose of providing rapid response to hostage situations and standoffs, but to serve drug warrants, enforce regulatory issues, and quell political dissent. Police are rapidly accumulating military weapons, armored vehicles, military-style uniforms and an "us against them" attitude that has resulted in wrongful arrests, property damage, injuries, and even deaths.

While many people have become aware of the militarization of law enforcement since 2001, Balko shows this process began in earnest about 40 years ago, when Richard Nixon decided to exploit the white, middle-class Silent Majority's fears of increasing drug use and crime. The "drug war' and now the "war on terror" has led to a steady erosion of our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure and the "Castle Doctrine," the idea that we are safe from government intrusion in our homes without serious cause.

Balko traces this history from the roots of the Castle Doctrine in British common law right up into the present day.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
For those of us who have followed Radley Balko on his old blog, 'The Agitator', and in his new position as Senior Writer and Investigative Reporter at The Huffington Post, this book is a culmination of some of his best writing.

The Rise of the Warrior Cop, was seen up close and personal in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Hundreds of police from all across New England converged in Watertown, Mass.,to hunt for the Marathon Bomber. The city under total lockdown, with these heavily armed policemen with all matter of armored vehicles racing down the streets, police knocking on doors, hunting in trash cans, gave the television viewer a sense of déjà vous. To the average citizen, we were OK with the police hunting down the criminals, giving up a twenty four hour period of our lives, to stay in doors under lockdown, while they went about their business. It wasn't until the guns started firing, cross fire between the police and the fugitives, bullets entering homes, breaking glass, with horrified citizens looking on. No, citizen was injured, which seems a miracle considering the amount of ammunition used. Is this the future of policing?

Radley Balko gives us the background of policing. The real militarization of the police. Once the wars wore down, the old and new equipment no longer needed by the military was given to the local police.. Large cities, New York, LA, benefitted first, then it spread out to the rest of the country. Drug raids now take place with armored transports, SWAT teams heavily armed, break into homes with wrong addresses, shooting dogs, harassing the citizenry, all done under the guise of good policing. Innocent people are dying, families split, and often no apology coming from the police.
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