The American approach to law enforcement was forged by the experience of revolution. Emerging as they did from the shadow of British rule, the country's founders would likely have viewed police as they exist today as a standing army and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive force and disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in America today.
According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of a generation-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguably unconstitutional policing - one that would have shocked the conscience ofAmerica’s founders.
Rise of the Warrior Cop traces the arc of US law enforcement from the constables and private justice of colonial times to present-day SWAT teams and riot cops. Today relentless "war on drugs" and "war on terror" pronouncements from politicians, along with battle-clad police forces with tanks and machine guns, have dangerously blurred the distinction between cop and soldier. Balko's fascinating, frightening narrative shows how martial rhetoric and reactionary policies have put modern law enforcement on a collision course with the values of a free society.
©2013 Radley Balko (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
nevermind the naysayers. they are just angry cops who don't like the truth being revealed. this book it's historically and factually accurate. I have been investigating and researching police brutality and violence nearly my whole life. and when I say we have a major problem believe me we do. as the author describes it has a lot to do with policy and the blue line mentality. look folks , read or listen to this book and make it viral. spread the truth because the life you save might be your own family or friend or self.
26, in the Army. I'll read just about anything
The information given. I researched a lot of it after the fact. All true.
The feeling of dread that I had in realizing that it's only going to get worse and that our country is screwed.
He was extremely good. But that being said it's a work of non fiction and mostly all he has to really do spit out facts.
I wouldn't say an extreme reaction.
I'm listening to this for a second time just to hear all the facts again. If you listen to this book and DON'T get an overwhelming feeling of dread once you realize what road this country has been heading down for over 50 years then you need to get checked into an mental home.
It's a great book and a very necessary addition to anyone's library who is sincerely interested in liberty and the path that America is currently on.
If one is sincerely concerned about the size of our government, then it stands to reason that they should be equally concerned about the militarization of that government's arm of enforcement. Likewise, if one is genuinely worried about expanding the rights of every citizen and every lifestyle, shouldn't they be just as worried about a militarized police force that is already being used to subjectively oppress those rights.
This book is not about Left wing or Right wing, but about what is already happening to America and the individual rights that our freedom rests upon.
Like most things in government, the policies of policing are broken. Balko details many issues facing the citizens at large who sadly have traded away our right ever time, piecemeal in lieu for the illusion of safety from ourselves. Now, not only must law abiding citizens fear criminals but our protectors who for good or for ill are taking liberties with our freedoms. State sponsored seizures of property and assets, ultra-violence, wrongful death and injuries with no victim recourse sounds like something out of 1930's Germany and that could never happen here at home. Hopefully after reading this, you too will join together and help take back our nation before another family is hurt or destroyed with no recourse.
I think the subject is very interesting. Much of the book goes over history (remote and recent) including case law to get where we are today. This would be much better as a written book. It also would be convenient to use as a reference to case law as a written book.
Skip the audiobook and buy the written book instead.
Yes. Everyone should understand how and why the nation's police are militarized.
The facts. All of them.
The content of the book, because this book is so well researched, written, and narrated, should upset everyone.
This book is excellent. The only thing I would have added is a much more clear and obvious thesis at the start and end of every chapter. Only because there is a lot of information and some of the details are so disturbing that the actual points that some of the stories are trying to illustrate become background or lost from the reaction one is likely to have from hearing the story. Statistics about unconstitutional SWAT raids followed by stories of SWAT raids resulting in deaths of completely innocent people followed by more statistics and stories, some of the finer points, and sometimes the chapters' central thesis, end up overlooked.
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
This book absolutely blew me away. It details the evolution of how today's "bullies with badges" came to be. Let's face it, cops are not liked by a vast majority of citizens in this country, and for VERY good reason. A high percentage of cops suffer from "little penis syndrome" (they feel the need to pick on those whom they deem weaker, in order to build themselves up in their own head), have an ax to grind with one or more segments of the population (i.e. they're racist, anti-women, anti-homeless), and/or they're just outright PSYCHOPATHS. This book does a fine job of detailing this behavior in a historical context, while integrating various political motivations.
What it only briefly touches on, however, is how to fix the system. Psychological evaluations by INDEPENDENT EXPERTS (not inter-department shills) once a week for EVERY cop on the force is a good place to start. Every cop should also be equipped with "Google Glass" type cameras that record every move, for months BEFORE they're given their badge and gun (as well as 24/7 after they become armed). Review boards of unbiased citizens, with ZERO LINK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, should be the ones looking over the complaints received from the public, NOT internal affairs (who are just cops, themselves!!). It sickened me to learn that around only 1% of all public complaints against LAPD cops are ever truly taken seriously. That department takes "corruption" to levels that even Al Capone would be proud of.
Further, the book makes a compelling case as to why cops deserve to be punished MUCH harsher than the average citizen, if they break certain laws. Cops are given an ENORMOUS amount of power and trust in our society. They are the only armed people, roaming amongst the unarmed sheep, for 99.9% of the calls they respond to. So, if they break the public's trust, they should be severely punished, right? 60 years for each instance of officer misconduct, even for small offense, would be fine with me.
The book makes the iron-clad assertion that cops in this country need to be reigned in. I agree there are some very good cops out there... some heroes, even. But, most of the ones I've seen are power-hungry psychopaths, looking to exact vengeance on a society that never truly appreciated the magnificent "gifts" they brought to the table. There is very little, if any, oversight, when it comes to monitoring their interactions with the public. We've given them their power, and as a society we must control this monster before it's too late. Today's LAPD, for example, is becoming more and more like the Nazi Gestapo with each day that goes by. Is a Nazi-like America really what we ultimately want for our grandchildren? I think not.
While Balko presents some very real and disturbing issues in today's policing, the arguments presented throughout the book to not do a thorough job of presenting contrary points before moving to a new topic. Counter points are hinted at or left as a theoretical "maybe" or "perhaps" without offering solid testimony from the perspective of the opposed view.
As a result I found Balko's book frustrating and tiring to finish, but does manage to do a good job of shedding light on the view of police from today's public.
I tell my son to be careful about friends and relatives he hangs out with. He could get caught up in something he's not even fully aware of. If you are picked up by the police, lawyer up before you volunteer anything, so that you fully understand why you've been detained. While it's rare to get caught up in the situations described in this book. You don't want to be in his sequel.
"Wake up call"
One of the most frightening books I've ever read. Details the step by step erosion of the constitution. Must read.
This is an extraordinary journey from the beginnings of modern policing in America, right up to present day military style raids to enforce breaches of barbering licenses !
Unless you are already well versed in this area, it is likely that you will find he contents of this audiobook absolutely incredible . I know that I did !
I can't say if it's a balanced account of modern police tactics in the U.S but there are lots of facts and figures to back up the general impression created of gung-ho cops , kicking down doors - often the wrong doors . And a system which offers almost no protection to the average citizen . Having said that, it is not an anti police book by any means . If anything , it is pointing the finger at an administration which manipulates the law and those that uphold it for purely political ends.
It is superbly written and read. At times it made me reel with the injustice of what i was hearing and other times, made me laugh out loud at the disproportionate and ridiculous police handling of often trifling maters .
All in all then, I have had an absolutely fantastic listening experience and can't rate this book highly enough !
"My jaw just kept on dropping!"
Reality Hand Grenade! What this book and the title infers is 'America's' militarization of their Police Forces, yet after reading this book my eyes were opened to a new reality; the 'Global' Militarization of Police Forces. We all want to feel safe in our homes, but when you are more likely to be assaulted by Police rather than criminals, then we have a problem.
This book is not an attack on the Police, it was in fact a warning to all, that Governments and Big Business are transforming our Police Forces into a Praetorian Guard to protect their own interests against the 'Plebeians'.....We the law abiding who at any time can find ourselves on the wrong side of the law.
A great narrative, interesting and clear. I sometimes find myself turned off by the readings of audible books, but in this case I felt as though I was listening to a trusted old friend passionate about the subject matter and keen on capturing my attention.
Flash....Bang! You may be innocent, but we still may take your life!
Essential reading, don't let the title put you off. This is not a book supporting crazy conspiracy theory agendas. On the contrary it informs us all of the Civil Liberties we are losing and those that we have already lost. The 'Castle Doctrine' lies in pieces on the floor along with the broken shards of your front door and your shot to death pet dog.
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