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eBook Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces epub

by Radley Balko

eBook Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces epub
  • ISBN: 1610392116
  • Author: Radley Balko
  • Genre: Social Sciences
  • Subcategory: Politics & Government
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (July 9, 2013)
  • Pages: 400 pages
  • ePUB size: 1294 kb
  • FB2 size 1270 kb
  • Formats docx rtf rtf azw


I've lived in America for most of my life so I was well aware of the militarization of America's police forces before I started reading.

I've lived in America for most of my life so I was well aware of the militarization of America's police forces before I started reading.

Balko opens the book by saying that he is not anti-police. He then spends the next 13 hours painting American law enforcement as knuckle-dragging, power-tripping, buffoons. Balko then moves into story after tragic story of bumbling, bloodthirsty cops conducting raids on the homes of innocent people and how it destroyed their lives.

Today’s armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America

The last days of colonialism taught America’s revolutionaries that soldiers in the streets bring conflict and tyranny. As a result, our country has generally worked to keep the military out of law enforcement. But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America’s cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. Today’s armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers.

Rise of the warrior cop:the. The book’s examination of militarization does. not assist with analysing how policing is changing

Rise of the warrior cop:the. Militarization of america’s. New York: Public Affairs. militarization of policing to a number of. Amendments made to the US Constitution and to. the actions that were taken by previous presidents. and former chiefs of police. The book is arranged in nine, almost chronolo-. The first two chapters discuss. not assist with analysing how policing is changing. and how these changes are affecting the delivery of.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I’ve always felt that I’d never officially feel like a writer until I could see a book I’d written sitting on my bookshelf. Police militarization has largely been fueled by the drug war, so this book also owes a debt to Dan Baum, whose meticulously reported Smoke and Mirrors is the be-all, end-all history of the drug war through the 1990s. Police forces have been part of the American criminal justice system since an eight-man department was established in Boston 175 years ago and the first large department was created seven years later in New York City.

The Militarization of. America’s Police Forces. Published in the United States by PublicAffairs™, a Member of the Perseus Books Group. For information, address PublicAffairs, 250 West 57th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10107

Radley Balko deserves a medal for writing this book.

This is not an anti-police book, but a serious look at the growth and use of SWAT and military style tactics, at America's war on drugs, and the financial incentives that created the new community police forc. his book is highly recommended for the historic value of the information; it is clear, concise, and well argued. Radley Balko deserves a medal for writing this book.

But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America?s cops have increasingly come to resemble .

But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America?s cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other?an enemy. Today?s armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit?which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers.

The last days of colonialism taught America's revolutionaries that soldiers in the streets bring conflict and tyranny. As a result, our country has generally worked to keep the military out of law enforcement. But according to investigative reporter Radley Balko, over the last several decades, America's cops have increasingly come to resemble ground troops. The consequences have been dire: the home is no longer a place of sanctuary, the Fourth Amendment has been gutted, and police today have been conditioned to see the citizens they serve as an other—an enemy.Today's armored-up policemen are a far cry from the constables of early America. The unrest of the 1960s brought about the invention of the SWAT unit—which in turn led to the debut of military tactics in the ranks of police officers. Nixon's War on Drugs, Reagan's War on Poverty, Clinton's COPS program, the post–9/11 security state under Bush and Obama: by degrees, each of these innovations expanded and empowered police forces, always at the expense of civil liberties. And these are just four among a slew of reckless programs.In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Balko shows how politicians' ill-considered policies and relentless declarations of war against vague enemies like crime, drugs, and terror have blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. His fascinating, frightening narrative shows how over a generation, a creeping battlefield mentality has isolated and alienated American police officers and put them on a collision course with the values of a free society.
Comments: (7)
Wenyost
If you like today's sensationalized media, this book may be for you. At best it has valid arguments about aspects of the drug war and contains a broad survey of disturbing police errors from around the country. Otherwise, this not "anti-cop" book is anything but. This book fails to clearly define its topic and fails to show exactly how police have militarized even under the broadest definition. It discards rationale arguments for hyperbole and exaggeration. It uses distinct terms interchangeably and draws conclusions based on generalizations. While calling for standardization, it appears to unwittingly scoff at groups doing just that. Then again, it was based on a paper that was written with a specific purpose in mind, so loaded conclusions should not be a surprise. You'd cannot expect more from a think tank "intellectual." If you really are interested in reading it, save your money and visit your library.
Dagdardana
The first day of my job as a police officer, I was confronted by a drugged out parolee who stuck a gun in my face. It never occurred to me to reach for the pistol on my hip. My partner, who took cover behind a tree, could have shot and killed the fellow at any time. He did not. I used my powers of persuasion to talk the parolee out of killing me. As far as I know he is still alive and kicking.

It was 1963 and the general police policy view was that if you shot someone, you'd better come back with a bullet in your body somewhere. Shooting someone who turned out to be unarmed would have gotten you fired or even prosecuted. You did not guess someone was armed, you had to know for sure.

Later, while attending the sheriff's academy in San Diego, I learned constitutional law as envisioned by police instructors there. The general theme was one of hostility to the courts and judges that were making decisions restricting an officer's discretion. I did not realize at the time I was not being taught constitutional law, but how to avoid complying with it. I ultimately became a probation officer, lawyer, and juvenile court referee. That education revealed the truth. As I look back on it all, I am of the opinion that police academies need to be reformed from the ground up. Shooting policies need to be completely changed. Killing someone because "he reached into his pants," is not only absurd, it demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the sanctity of life.

Did the drug war cause all of this? I think it has played a big role. As the money involved in drug transactions increased and the penalties for selling it went sky high, dealers began arming themselves to avoid arrest at all costs. But there are other factors at work as well. One, that may seem a stretch but is very real, is the workers compensation system. Cities do not like their officers being injured because the cost of its insurance would then rise. Thus, pressure grew on officers to protect themselves first and ask questions later. This led to officers drawing their guns without cause to believe they were really in danger. Watch any cop show and note how they now approach suspects, guns drawn. They assume the individual is armed rather than waiting to see if it is true. In 1963 we were taught not to draw the gun unless we intended to shoot someone.

Just yesterday I saw a video of two police officers firing into an SUV they knew held children and a woman they knew had done nothing but exceed the speed limit. Will they be prosecuted? Probably not. But they should be and we need to do something about a system that will allow them to escape untouched.

I am saddened when I see studies that show American police to be among the most hated public officials in the country. A few years ago, I saw a travel magazine picturing a Canadian Mounted Police officer on the cover. The article was all about how the Canadian people loved their primary law enforcement officers. What a difference; and one might ask why this is so. I think it is because those officers have proven over time that they will treat people with respect and dignity. Our officers are not taught to do that. Its all about officiousness, being tough and muscle bound, not losing control and a sense they are entitled to unlimited respect and the immediate compliance with any order they might give - legally justified or not.

Radley Balko deserves a medal for writing this book. He has boldly challenged the system and deserves to be applauded for doing so.
Malodred
This book is the textbook definition of a mixed bag. Overall I'd say it's a good read, and worthwhile for anyone interested in modern policing, from actual cops to their critics. Balko thoroughly details some of the worst cases of police excess and abuse. His real life citations of police horror stories are sure to make readers cringe, including the readers that are cops themselves. More importantly, it will help people get more involved in this issue, something that needs to be done if any real reforms are to take place. Balko deserves a lot of credit for laying out some of the worst cases of police abuse, attempting to find all the root causes, and coming up with reasonable ideas for correcting them.

I wish that was the whole story, but sadly that's not all there is to it. Balko turns out to be highly biased, misleading, and often guilty of the same excesses over-hyped evaluations he accuses the police of (though thankfully with far less destructive results). First of all, he seems to think that any use of military terminology or metaphors in policing or cop statements counts as devastating evidence of a destructive "militarization" culture. But simply using military terms is not damning on its own. Yes military terms are used a lot when people describe police actions, but they are also used a lot in everything else, from professional sports articles to pop songs. Simply throwing in a military term here or there when making a statement is a common thing is all aspects of our culture and policing is no different.

Likewise, he views all vehicles and equipment that have ever been used by the military as illegitimate for police use. This is ridiculous. Civilians routinely use things originally made for the military, from Jeeps to GPS. It's hardly surprising that law enforcement would find some legitimate use from military equipment as well. A semi-automatic rifle originally made for the military is fine for police use, so long as it is limited to proper circumstances where a rifle is warranted. Likewise, there is nothing sinister about the police use a military armored vehicle when they take off the cannons/machine guns and simply use the armor plating to protect officers during extreme violent situations. Balko rightly criticizes the use of armored vehicles smashing into the homes of non-violent offenders, but fails to consider cases where armor plating is perfectly justified, such as evacuating officers and civilians in an active shooting. During the notorious North Hollywood shootout (which Balko cites at one point), the police borrowed an armored car from money transport company to evacuate their wounded under fire. Using a former military armored vehicle for the same thing would not violate anyone's rights.

There are also some points in the book that are highly misleading to outright dishonest. He cites a SWAT raid where retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal was present, called him an "aspiring lawman" and "honorary deputy". This gives the notion that he was just some wannabee cop poser who had nothing to do with real police. In fact, O'Neal went through the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Reserve Academy and became a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Port Police. O'Neal isn't an "aspiring lawman". He's a certified police officer, or at least was at one time. Now if Balko wants to make that point that O'Neal should not have been on this particular raid because it wasn't his department, that would be fine, but to leave out the fact that he did go through a police academy and receive a law enforcement certification is highly deceptive.

Finally, Balko is often guilty of gross stereotypes and over-generalizations (ironically something he accuses all police of doing). He claims that he's not "anti-cop" at the beginning and end of the book, but these statements are contradicted many times over. Mixed in among well documented and cited real life horror stories are totally unfounded claims that demonize all police without any hint of qualification. Probably the worst example of this is at the end where he claims, with no evidence whatsoever, "Lying and exaggerating in police reports on the witness stand isn't just common, It's routine and expected, it's part of the job." It would be one thing to claim this about a department with a particularly bad track record. But to apply this to every cop in the nation is beyond absurd. You would be hard pressed to find anything positive he has to say about the police. I remember two times, at the beginning and end of the book, each time when making his claim that he's not anti-cop. He also seems to put some effort into de-legitimizing policing in general, often questioning if the police have any valid role in society. In the last chapter, he comes quite close to outright claiming they do not. Balko seems to fancy himself a mind reader when it comes to policing, always telling us about these dangerous mindsets and notions they have, again without qualification or clarification, as if every cop (or at least most cops) are braindead thugs who just want to shoot people. How does he feel he can read all their thoughts on the matter?

The books flaws are a real shame because they undermine legitimate criticism of a very serious problem, one that Balko deserves a lot of credit for drawing attention too. However, Balko fails to realize that demonizing all police as part of it through guilt-by-association does nothing to solve the issue. On the contrary, it compounds. Still a valuable read for anyone concerned with the topic of police abuse (which really should be everyone), but it could have been a lot better.
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